James D Sumner, age 78, of Cadiz, Kentucky, passed away Friday, January 19, 2018, at Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. James learned at an early age from his parents to respect and protect the natural resources of the land they farmed. In addition to helping his parents on the farm, as a young man he worked at Fort Grocery Store in Cadiz. After graduation from Trigg County High School, he attended Western Kentucky University, earning a degree in agriculture. James enlisted and served in the United States Army from 1962 to 1965. After his discharge, he worked for Borden’s Cheese in Hopkinsville, was later promoted to plant manager at Swift Foods in Atlanta, and spent the remainder of his career as plant manager at Tolibia Cheese in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. After retiring, he returned to his family farm in Trigg County where he and his wife Marge built their home. He became an active member of the Thomas Bridges Association, serving as Vice President, and was a charter member of the Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, in which he served as Treasurer. Mr. Sumner received the 2001 Outstanding Farmer Award from the Trigg County Conservation District and the 2004 Farming for the Future "Outstanding Conservationist" Award from Woodmen of the World. His family farm was recognized in 2012 as a Kentucky Centennial Farm. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Conservation Award from the James Thomas Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and subsequently received the award at the state and national levels. Mr. Sumner was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Margery "Marge" Doom Sumner of Cadiz; one son, James Thomas Sumner of Nashville, Tennessee; one daughter, Lisa (Peter) Sumner Guse of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; two grandchildren, Olivia Guse and Elizabeth Guse; two sisters, Sue Sumner of Cadiz and Juanita (William "Willie") Pewitt of Franklin, Tennessee; and three sisters-in-law, Martha Doom Maxfield of Nashville, Hazel Doom Guess of Fredonia, Kentucky, and Shirley Doom Smith of Moberly, Missouri.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Woodson and Myra Lorraine Thomas Sumner.
Arrangements are being handled by Goodwin Funeral Home, Inc., 138 Main Street in Cadiz, where the family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 21, 2018, with the funeral service to begin at 2:00 p.m. Reverend Geoff Baggett will officiate. Burial with full military honors will take place at a later date in Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Thomas Bridges Association, P.O. Box 85, Cadiz, KY 42211, or to Col. Stephen Trigg Sons of the American Revolution, 225 Jackson Terrace, Cadiz, KY 42211.