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Obituary: Sumner L. Moore ’37

Sumner Lucien Moore, a fourth generation Natick native, 96, peacefully passed away Friday, Aug. 27, 2010, in Natick, MA.

Sumner spent more than 80 years residing in the family homestead built by his grandfather. For the last five years, Sumner enjoyed serving as the senior member of his four generation household, with ages ranging from 6 to 96.

He spent his final days being lovingly cared for by daughter Karen, granddaughter, Linda, and her spouse, Terry, and their children, Evin, Jenn and Jessica Anderson.

Sumner was born to teaching missionaries in Hangzhou, China, returning to the states at age two and growing up in the family homestead. This is where he learned his love of nature, the outdoors, and how to garden.

Following a stint at Antioch College in Ohio, Sumner met the love of his life, Lillian Rose Kirman, during the Great Depression. Following a brief three month courtship, the two married, and returned to the east coast.

After the birth of their oldest son, the young family moved back into the Homestead where Sumner tended the house and gardens and worked at his Aunt Jessies lumberyard. He later started his own business, selling building material supplies.

Sumner and Lillian were active members with First Baptist Church, singing in the choir, helping build a new wing and he served as the church handyman for decades. Sumner and Lillian ensured that the Homestead was welcoming to all. They frequently opened their doors to enlarge the household, not only to relatives, but to all ranges of people, including recent Russian and Thai immigrants who were in need of housing while they found work and established themselves, and foreign students of Walnut Hill School for the Arts as well as a local college.

Sumners last paid employment was at Polaroid, from 1967 until 1984, where he worked as a lab tech, running the spectrophotometer. Following his official retirement at age 70, Sumner was able to get serious about tending his garden / often for 12 to 14 hours a day. He spent the next quarter century of his life growing fruit, vegetables and flowersespecially his famous dahlias. He was generous with his bounty, sharing fresh produce with neighbors, giving cuttings, seedlings, roots and seeds to friends and family, and supplying churches and nursing homes with cut blooms.

Sumner donated resources and knowledge to the Natick Organic Community Farm such as providing them with dahlia roots and teaching them how to raise them.

Sumner was the beloved husband of the late Lillian (Kirman) Moore for 63 years. He is survived by his four children, Dave Moore, Karen Glatt, Tom Moore, and Doug Moore; his 13 grandchildren, by age, Sue Lawrence, Bill Stephenson, Tom Stephenson, Ron Moore, Michael Moore, Linda Glatt Anderson, Wendy Grant, Alison Moore, Kristen Sullivan, Heather Glatt-Deeley, Holly Brown, Rob Moore and Rachel Wyatt; 24 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, dear friends and neighbors.

Join us for an open house at the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park St. (at Natick Common), Natick, on Friday, Sept. 10, from 2 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, at 5 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Natick, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Natick Community Organic Farm, 117 Elliot St., Natick, MA 01760. Arrangements are entrusted to the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home.