Raymond E. Summerer

Raymond E. Summerer

Raymond E. Summerer of Otsego, Michigan, passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Plainwell.

Born of German descent on March 14, 1917, in Chicago, IL, Ray grew up in South Haven, Michigan, on his uncle’s fruit farm. He served as 1st Lieutenant in Iceland during WWII, and was honorably discharged after the war. Ray put himself through U of M and became a registered professional electrical engineer, working at A.C. Delco Sparkplug (GM), where he patented the tamperproof odometer, coil-on-plug ignition and different fluid level sensors in use today. He had also worked at Apsco in Allegan, went on to found a successful consulting engineering firm in Otsego, MI, and patented several more electrical devices.

He served on the Board of Elders at Zion Lutheran Church. He was also a member of I.E.E.E. and remained a lifelong outdoorsman, who in his spare time enjoyed fishing, gardening and growing trees. Ray is remembered by his family as a hard worker, humble teacher and a good and honorable man.

On April 26, 1941, in Benton Harbor he married Frances J. Peppler who preceded him in death in 2004. Surviving are his son, Bruce (Linda) Summerer of Plainwell; three grandsons, Allen (Staci) Summerer of Plainwell, Brett (Emily) Summerer of Shanghai, China and Corey Summerer of Denver, CO; four great-grandchildren, Noah, Bree, Truman and Evander; and his brother, Kenneth (Joyce) Summerer of Connecticut.

Friends may meet with his family from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 P.M. Sunday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, where services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, with Pastor Larry Brelje officiating. Graveside Military Honors will be at Lakeview Cemetery, South Haven.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Ray may be made to Christian Neighbors or Wings of Hope Hospice.

Messages of condolence may be left at https://www.winkelfuneralhome.com

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Beverly Parsons says:

    Ray was a thinking man, a philosopher, and always the teacher. He loved to talk and I was lucky enough to drive him across the state to Flint. He informed me the whole trip about farmland, farming techniques, and land use. We had a delightful day talking about plants, weather, and various concerns of farmers. Indeed he was determined to travel the whole way in sight of farmland. To heck with those modern freeways! Ray wasn’t always so sure about which way to go, and he apologized a lot, but we got there. Bruce graciously drove us home and he is pretty fond of farm roads too. I drove with Linda waaay up to Frances and Ray’s summer place and was impressed with the ingenuity and design of the cabin. It was functional, with spartan simplicity and you have to be impressed that they built a wonderful haven for their family in the pristine forest with lake access- that means no road. Closing up the cabin was equivalent to attending a college class in engineering. Ray had a clever solution to store everything, and because it had worked this way for years, Linda and I were coached in the packing-up process until we got it right. My son Sam spent time with Frances and Ray and their grandson Alan. I confided a concern I had with my son and Ray asked permission to write him. The letter was a heartfelt affirmation and good advice for Sam. I was grateful for that man-to-man support for my son. Ray was a real gentleman. I’m happy I got to spend some time with him. Bruce, Linda and the grandchildren gave Ray the assistance he needed to stay in his home. Ray’s comfort took precedence with his family. God bless all of you. Bev

  2. Brian and Sue Phillips says:

    Dear Bruce and Linda:

    Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your father and father in law.
    We know what a fine son and daughter in law you have been throughout his life and we haven’t known you for very long. However, we have worked with you in the past few months, sharing war stories of our fathers and praising their valor and contributions.
    We know how dedicated Ray’s family was as we heard about daily visits and the Saturday shopping trips throughout the years.
    Our favorite memory is the time we shared the Fourth of July on your back deck. Ray was in fine form and laughing and telling jokes. It was so much fun.
    Then, we read the Obituary and find out more of his fine talents and contributions. What a great life and how proud you must be. May God bless and sustain you with these and many more fond memories in his absence.
    We were privileged to share your father and father in law with you and will treasure those moments.
    Know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Brian and Sue Phillips

  3. Jerry and Judy Shumaker says:

    We are so sorry for your loss, Bruce, Linda, Allen and Staci and family. Please know that our thoughts and sympathy are with all of you. Jerry and Judy Shumaker

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