William S. (Sam) Cummings Sr.

Sep. 16, 2013 @ 11:10 PM

William S. (Sam) Cummings Sr., age 79 of Knoxville, passed away Sunday, September 15, 2013. He was a member of the Rockford Masonic Lodge and was a Lifetime Master Mason.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Hannah Jane Spangler Cummings; parents, Robert H. Cummings and Bertha M. Cummings; sister, Joyce Cummings; and brothers, Lester Cummings and Leon Bean.

Survived by: Brother: Joe Cummings; Children: Carolynn Cummings, Robert Edison Cummings and wife Kim, William (Bill) Samuel Cummings, Jr. and wife Ida, Douglas A. Cummings and wife Connie, and Beverly Anne Thatcher and husband Brent; Special nephew: Jody Cummings and daughter Kaitlyn; 11 Grandchildren; 12 Great grandchildren and one on the way; Several nieces and nephews.

An entire chapter of my life ended on September 15, 2013. My grandfather, Sam Cummings, left this world to be with the love of his life, my Mamaw Hannah, who passed away two years ago on September 12, 2011.

I learned a lot from my Papaw Sam in my 28 years. I learned to love the sound of deep male voices and their even deeper laughter. I learned to fear the nightmare known as a razor strop (although I never felt it!). I learned to love the smell of knife oil and cedar shavings and the sound of a good blade on a whetstone. I learned to love the smell of earth and old leaves, night winds and the curious songs of the coon dogs. I learned to shoot and how to be hard; I learned to chase puppies through half-grown corn and how to be soft. I learned to love the taste of homegrown food and the scent of honest sweat after a day with our hands in the soil.

There are so many things I learned from Papaw Sam, a man who was of the earth, loved the earth and returns to the soil he treasured now.

Papaw, I love you and I will always miss you. I'm so glad you're happy with Mamaw Hannah, wherever the two of you are now. If ever I need inspiration for a simple hero, all I have to remember is you. If ever I need inspiration for true, abiding romance, I just have to look at the picture of the two of you on your 50th anniversary.

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again someday.

-Rebecca Suzanne Thatcher-

Graveside service at 11 AM Wednesday in Highland South Cemetery with Rev. Dwight Singleton officiating. The family will receive friends 6-8 PM Tuesday at Atchley Funeral Home, Seymour, 122 Peacock Court, Seymour, TN 37865, (865) 577-2807.