Donald James Sumner

In profound sorrow we bid farewell to Donald James Sumner, a beacon of strength and love in our lives. He abruptly departed this world on January 30th, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of love, wisdom, and cherished memories. As a devoted husband, father, grandparent, and pillar of his community, he poured his time and energy enriching all our lives. His legacy is etched in the lessons he taught, the jokes he told, and the quiet moments he spent with us. As we navigate this loss, may his spirit linger in the cherished stories we hold close. Don was born in Petoskey, MI on April 1st, 1956, son of Dean and Wanda Sumner. In his youth, he had a passion for sailing, fishing, and skiing. He played tennis in high school and became a state champion in 1974. He left his mark on his hometown working for his father’s painting business, Sumner Paint Spot. In the summers, Don would help his father paint Petoskey homes, as well as multiple hotels on Mackinaw Island. Don graduated from Central Michigan University in 1978 and started his first job at AC Spark Plug as a computer programmer. He married the love of his life Beth in 1985 and had the blessing of sharing 39 years together. They both became scuba certified and dove at numerous sites in the Great Lakes and Florida. In 1990, they had the opportunity to live and work in Brussels, Belgium for six months. They had their son, Andrew, in 1989 and their daughter, Kaitlyn, in 1994. They raised their family in Clarkston, MI. In 2008, Don and Beth planted deep roots in Oakland County by acquiring a gymnastics business (Kids Energy Zone) with their business partners Jan and Dave West. Don spent many hours during the days and nights maintaining the facility. At the gym, he was most affectionally known as Mr. Don aka Dondalion aka Donasaurusrex. In his untimely passing he leaves behind his wife (Beth Sumner), his two children and their spouses, Andrew (Stephanie) Sumner, Kaitlyn Sumner (Nathan Baxter), his grandson (William Sumner), and his brother (Doug Sumner), and three nephews (Matt, Jeff & Nicholas). Enjoy your new life in heaven Don, your memory will live forever on in our hearts. See you again someday. Don’s celebration of life will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 11am at Mt. Zion Church ,4900 Maybee Rd, Clarkston, MI 48348. Visitation will begin at 10:00am. The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in honor of Donald James Sumner to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Arrangements entrusted to Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, Oxford.

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