James Ralph Sumner, Jr., 76 of Carlisle, passed away March 24, 2022. There was a joyful celebration in Heaven as he was reunited with his parents, James Ralph “Cootie” and Toka Dean Crowder Sumner, brother, Ricky Sumner, and his sister, Sun Dean Freeby. Jim was born in Beebe, Arkansas on February 4, 1946, the oldest of the 3, who grew up in Carlisle along with their Uncle Robert Earl Sumner.
Jim was an army veteran and served with an engineering unit stationed in Alabama, Missouri, and Texas. He was a graduate of Arkansas State University where he majored in Ag. Economics. He worked for Lonoke County Co-op 34 years, serving as manager for 30 years and retired in 2009. He would always say what a pleasure it was to work with such fine men as those who served on the Co-op’s board of directors.
Jim was a Gideon and a longtime member of first Baptist church of Carlisle, where he served as deacon. He loved working for the Lord whether it was in the kitchen, driving the van, teaching his AWANA kids about Jesus, or serving on a committee.
Jim is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sharolyn Oliver Sumner, his son, Paul and his wife, Diana Sumner, and his daughter, Wendy and her husband, Jason Clark. Some called him Peepaw, and some called him Peeps, be he was the proud grandfather of and survived by Grant, Blake, and Hunter Sumner, Maggie, Emma Kate, and Graham Clark, Jordan (Jordan) Layrock, and Sydney (Riley) Jenkins, and two great-grandsons, Landon and Wyatt. He is also survived by a brother-in-law, Jan Freeby; two sisters-in-law, Mary Sumner and Betty Kelly Schafer; uncle, Robert (Carol) Sumner; nephews, Ken (Angela) Sumner, Jan Michael (Gina) Freeby, Jerry (Janet) Kelly, and nieces, Ann Wise, Mary Catherine Sumner, and Brenda (Pat) Wagner.
Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7:00 P.M., Saturday, March 26, 2022 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Hazen. Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Sunday, March 27, at the First Baptist church in Carlisle. Interment will be in the Carlisle Cemetery.