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Ron Sumter

Obituary for Ronald O. Sumter

First Christian minister for nearly 30 years, SHSU Bearkat Chaplin

A memorial service for Ronald O. Sumter, former minister First Christian Church, Huntsville, will be conducted Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 at Royal Lane Baptist Church, 6707 Royal Lane, Dallas, TX at 2 p.m.

Ron Sumter was born in Atoka, Ok.  to Robert O. Jr. and Vera Sumter on August 16, 1937. He attended the University of Oklahoma and East Central University, where he met the love of his life, Heidi Lowrimore, marrying her in June 1957. Ron and Heidi welcomed three children into the world: Stephen, Scott and Stephanie.

After his undergraduate degree, Ron attended Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas finishing in 1963. HIs first church after his ordination was Westridge Christian Church in Roswell, NM.

In 1967 Ron accepted the invitation to become minister of the First Christian Church in Huntsville, where he served until his resignation in 1996. From there he and Heidi began their adventures traveling while Ron served as an interim minister for the Disciples of Christ Churches in Oklahoma City, OK, the Woodlands, Corpus Christi, Amarillo, and Rockwall, Texas.

Ron loved running, completing marathons in Houston, Boston and New York among many others. He had a great love of college football, his favorites being the University of Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Christian University Horned Frogs and the Sam Houston State Bearkats, where he served as chaplain while in Huntsville. Ron also had a great love of fishing, sharing this love with his parents and his children.

Ron was preceded in death by his wife Heidi, his parents and his older brother Bill. He is loved and survived by his son Stephen and his partner John Leonard Gresham, son Scott and daughter Stephanie, her husband Greg Fouche and his grand daughters Elizabeth and Maryclaire.

“Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to www.raicestexas.org

About Rich Heiland

Rich Heiland, former publisher of the Huntsville Item and owner of Free Press publications, LLC, a reporting/writing firm working with media, has been a reporter, editor and publisher at several daily papers. He was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team. He taught journalism at Western Illinois University. He can be reached at freepresstx@gmail.com or 936-293-0293.

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