Robert D. "Bob" Summers - 1927 - 2018

 

After 91 years of laughter and love, Robert Decatur Summers took his last breath on earth and his first breath in heaven on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. It was truly a wonderful passing, as dozens of family members had been at his bedside for several days laughing, praying, reading Scripture and singing his favorite songs.
Bob was born in 1927 to John Robert and Eleanor (Briscoe) Summers in a log house on a homestead near Coos Bay, Oregon. With no electricity or running water, his family survived by living off the forest. Along with brothers, Johnny, Brad, Tommy and Marshall, and sisters, Eleanor and Kathy, little Robert developed an incredible ability to walk through the woods and pick out every edible plant. 
The siblings walked through the forest to a landing on the Coos River to catch the milk boat to a two-room schoolhouse downriver. Bob remembered walking home through the woods at night, feeling the trail with his bare feet and hearing an animal tracking him in the brush nearby.
Bob's four older brothers served in the European theatre during World War II. Two brothers' planes were shot down, and they spent time in Nazi prison camps. As the youngest, Bob couldn’t wait to join his brothers fighting for our nation. He fudged about his birthdate, joined the Navy and became a motor machinist mate in the South Pacific.
When the war ended, Bob came home. Arriving in California, he hitchhiked to Sherwood, where his parents now lived. Along the way, he met up with his brother, and together they stopped at a store in Tualatin. There he saw a beautiful 15-year-old girl behind the counter with long brown hair and gorgeous eyes.
That night, the beautiful girl, Myrna Lea Andrews, dreamed she had married that sailor. Bob also told his brothers, “That girl is going to be my girlfriend." She ended up inviting him to a school Sadie Hawkins dance, and the rest is history.
Myrna had asked Jesus to come into her heart and life. If Bob wanted to date her, he was going to have to do the same. “A smart man," Bob Summers heard the Gospel message and accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord. Two weeks after Myrna graduated from Sherwood High School, Robert Decatur Summers and Myrna Lea Andrews became “Bob and Myrna” on June 6, 1948.
Bob and Myrna's newlywed years consisted of taking kids to church in the Model T Ford they named “Rattling Roger." They soon bought a bus to take kids to Youth for Christ rallies in Portland. Soon, one bus wasn’t enough, so they bought a second.
When their first child, Diana, was a baby, Bob worked for the Portland Fire Department while studying the Bible at Cascade College. After one year and additional studies at a Bible school in Medicine Hat, Alberta, they moved little Diana and son Tommy to Moses Lake, Washington, to pastor a small church. Upon arrival, Bob found extra work as a mechanic and TV repairman. In 1954, he started Summers Wood Floors for the purpose of feeding his growing family and providing work for men in the church. (The rest is history, with youngest son Matt, wife Kim and son Michael still operating the business in Bend, Oregon.)
In 1959, the Summers family, now with kids, Diana, Tom, Mike, Ken, Wes and Matt, moved to Newberg, Oregon. They purchased 20 acres on the top of Parrett Mountain, where the kids grew up.
Bob and Myrna immediately became involved in Newberg Nazarene Church and “every time the doors were open, the Summers clan was there.” Bob taught seventh-grade boys' Sunday school classes because he felt like this was an age when boys were in transition and often felt lost and left out.
In 1969, Bob and Myrna moved their family to Carlton and began taking kids from Carlton and Yamhill to their church in Newberg. Soon Bob had to buy a bus to carry them all. When the Newberg youth group exceeded 50 teenagers and the Sunday school classes were full of kids from Carlton and Yamhill, Bob and Myrna knew God was leading them to start a church in their own community.
That first Sunday, over 50 people crowded into their old white house across from Yamhill Grade School! Bob immediately knew the fledgling church needed a building, so within a few years he purchased a 100-year-old church building in Carlton that had been empty and abandoned for decades. He named the church Community Missionary Fellowship, now Carlton Community Church. From that building Myrna began serving meals to seniors and started the food bank now known as Joseph's Storehouse or the Yamhill-Carlton Food Bank.
Bob and Myrna shared over 70 wonderful years of marriage. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and son, Mike. He is survived by his loving wife, Myrna; children, Diana (Steve) of McMinnville, Tom (Lori) of Augusta, Montana, Mike's wife Sandy of Lacey, Washington, Ken (Vickie) of Newberg, Wes (Becky) of Newberg and Matt (Kimmy) of Bend; 24 grandchildren; 51 great-grandchildren; and a multitude of loving nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday January 5, 2019, at Church on the Hill in McMinnville.
Friends wishing to communicate their memories or condolences to Myrna are encouraged to send cards to her attention at 955 W. Sheridan St. Newberg (97132) or  email: matt@summerswoodfloors.com. Contributions in Bob's name may be made to the Carlton Community Church Building Fund.
Bob’s testimony from Job 19: 23-27 (paraphrased):
“Oh that my words were now written. Oh that they were printed in a book. Better yet: that they were engraved with an iron pen on rock and visible forever. For I KNOW that my redeemer lives, and that He shall stand on the earth at the last day. And after decay has destroyed this body, yet IN MY FLESH I shall see God. I MYSELF shall see him with my own eyes, not another. Oh how my heart yearns within me in earnest expectation for that day!"

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