Cover photo for Howard L. Sumner's Obituary
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Howard L. Sumner

November 12, 1924 — June 29, 2016

Howard L. Sumner

Howard L. Sumner passed away at home in rural Norcatur, Kansas, on June 29, 2016, at the age of 91. He was born on November 12, 1924, to Robert C. Sumner and Gracie Mae Spence Sumner in their Limestone rock home on the Long Branch Creek in Northwest Norton County. He continued to live in the small rock house with his parents and older sister, Dixie, until graduating from Norcatur High School.

Shortly after graduation, in 1 942, Howard enlisted in the Army Air Force where he was assigned to the 350th fighter group in Pisa, Italy. For the duration of World War II, he flew a P47 Fighter, and ended his Military career as an 1st Lieutenant. For several years Howard enjoyed attending the Fighter Pilot Reunions held throughout the United States.

After Military Service, Howard and Joyce Van Gundy were married in 1946. Three sons, Larry, Ward and Greg and one daughter, Janet, were born to this union.

In his early married years, racing cars on dirt tracks was his passion. One of the cars he raced, is still being raced on the Old Timers Circuit. As years passed, the passion turned to buying and selling cattle, while for almost 50 years his sons ran the farming and cattle operations. The family operation became to include not only grandchildren, but great grandchildren working on the farm.

Howard was an avid hunter and trapper. Trips took him to moose hunting in Canada once, and elk hunting in the Colorado Mountains many times. During his life, he could be seen in sale barns several days a week buying and selling cattle. He enjoyed the process, and will be remembered for his many antics at the livestock sale barns.

Howard leaves to mourn his death, three sons, Larry, and friend Barb, Ward and wife, Marlene, Greg and wife, Yvonne, and special friend, Sharon Drullinger, and her son, Steve, eight grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. He is predeceased by his parents, his sister, Dixie, and one infant daughter1 Janet.

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Caregivers for their dedication and special treatment given to Howard during his illness.

Memorial services will be 10:30 am Monday, August 1, 2016 at the Kansas State Veterans Cemetery in WaKeeney, Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, family members request a Memorial be sent to: DaVita McCook Dialysis Center 801 W C St Ste 4, McCook, NE 69001

Arrangements in care of Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory 2509 Vine Hays, KS 67601.

Condolences may be left by guest book at or emailed to

Service Information

Memorial Service Monday

August 1, 2016

10:30 AM

Kansas Veterans' Cemetery

403 south 13th street

WaKeeney, ks 67672

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Howard L. Sumner, please visit our flower store.


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