New Oxford High Class of 1967
Memories of John Summers
John Harrison Summers, Jr., 65, died at his home in Abbottstown on Saturday, June 27, 2015, from pancreatic cancer. Born on October 16, 1949, in New Oxford, Summers was the only son of John Harrison Summers, Sr. and Steinie Louise Summers.
He graduated in 1967 from New Oxford High School, where he was a blue-eyed, golden-haired star athlete and class president. At the age of 19, Summers enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed to Vietnam. Assigned to the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), he fought in 1970 and 1971 with the elite "Blue Dragons," the 2nd Marine Brigade of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps. He received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in action, a U.S. Navy Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service, and an honorable discharge. Sergeant Summers returned home and went to work for the family business, H&S Supply Company of New Oxford, for the next 37 years, serving as its longtime president. He also served on the boards of Hanover Hospital, Gettysburg Bike Week, Farmers Bank, and First Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Oxford, where he was baptized and Sunday-schooled. He was renowned for his awesome athletic gifts in basketball, track and field, military combat, weightlifting, softball, and nearly everything else he attempted. His discus throw on May 10, 1967, for New Oxford High School remains unbroken. He was also a skilled woodworker, motorcycling enthusiast, canny fisherman and grill cook, self-taught harmonica player, organic gardener, and ready road tripper. He spent his last months at his home building a two-story barn for his thoroughbred horses and restoring a 16-foot, white cedar and mahogany yacht-racing sloop. If he had enough time, he would have made his own coffin and it would have been superb.
In addition to his wife of 35 years, Belinda Jane Summers, he is survived by four sons, John Harrison Summers, III and his wife, Anna of Cambridge, Mass., and Joshua Summers and his wife, Christina, Adam Summers and his wife, Amanda, and Sheanon Summers and his wife, Alison, all of New Oxford; a sister, Patricia Ann Hafer and her husband, Homer Hafer, Jr. of New Oxford; and eight grandchildren, Kyla Summers, Daniel Summers, Leo Summers, Mason Dahnke, Anna Claire Summers, John Michael Summers, Aubrey Summers, and Gavin Summers. A sister, Sandra Louise Summers, predeceased him.
With heavy hearts, we say our goodbye to this sweet, irascible, and remarkable man at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 200 Lincolnway East, New Oxford with a burial at New Oxford Cemetery.
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