Mr. Carl Summers Jr.

Published 5:38 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

AUBURN, Ala. — Mr. Carl Summers Jr., 93, of Auburn, Ala. died Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.

He was born March 16, 1925 on a farm in Lee County, Ala., the son of Carl and Mattie Will Summers. Both his maternal and paternal ancestors immigrated from South Carolina to what is now Lee County in the 1830’s and a large number of their descendants still live in Lee County. His father was a third generation cotton farmer and his mother taught in Lee County public schools for many years. He was preceded in death his wife of 67 years, Jessie E. Summers, their son, David E. Summers, his sister Dorothy Summers Cooper and his brother-in-law Jack Paul Etheridge. He is survived by his sister Mary Nelle Hester, his brothers-in-law Arthur Wiggins Cooper and Robert Charles Etheridge along with twelve nieces and nephews.

Carl Jr. attended Beulah School and graduated from high school in 1942. He attended Auburn University in 1942. On July 1, 1943 he entered Georgia Tech in the Navy’s V-12 Training Program. In March 1945 he left Ga. Tech to attend Midshipmen’s School at Columbia University in New York. Graduating there on July 1, 1945 he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He served as an engineering officer on the carrier USS Tarawa CV-40 until his release to inactive duty in July 1946. Returning to Ga. Tech he graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1947.

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He married Jessie Etheridge from Atlanta in December 1947, which he said was the smartest thing he ever did. After graduation he worked in several sales positions until he was recalled to active duty in the Navy during the Korean War in November 1951. During that tour of duty he served as engineering officer and damage control officer aboard the USS Whitley AKA-91. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve and retired as a LCDR with over 22 years total service.

After release from active duty in 1953 he worked in several engineering positions until going with West Point Manufacturing (later West Point Stevens) in 1955. He worked both in Research and Engineering at West Point and retired there in 1989 as corporate manager of Environmental and Energy Engineering.

Over the years Mr. Summers has had an avid interest in local history. He served as president of the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society for five years and as president of the Lee County Historical Society for seven years from 2001 through 2008 and has served as a trustee of the Genealogical Society of East Alabama.

He has written a number of articles on local history. He’s written three books and co authored several other books. He and his wife built a home in Auburn in 1995 and moved there from West Point, Ga. in March 1996.

He was both an enthusiastic supporter and avid participant in Auburn University Lifelong Learners (now OLLI). In 2005 he and his wife established the Carl and Jessie Summers Scholarship Fund. The fund provides renewable scholarships each year for students that come from rural Lee County and need financial help to attend Auburn University. Carl was a member of the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

A graveside service was held in Auburn Memorial Park on Saturday, August 4, 2018 with Rev. Diana Jordan Allende officiating. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers those who wish can make a donation to the Lee County Historical Society, P O Box 206, Loachapoka, Alabama 36865 or to the Auburn Unitarian Fellowship. Frederick-Dean Funeral Home is directing. Funerals & Cremations Since 1900.