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AGE: 87 • Brick
Joseph Summer, 87, of Brick, peacefully passed away Sunday, April 14, 2013, at Ocean Medical Center, Brick, surrounded by his loving family. He was born and raised in the lower East Side of New York City. As a young man, he moved to Newark with his beloved wife, Yetta and raised three daughters near Weequahic Park. Summers spent at the shore later prompted a move to Wanamassa. But Joe's lifelong dream of a small horse farm materialized in Farmingdale, where he spent 37 joyful years riding his horses, and reveling in the company of his cowboy buddies. He made his final home in Brick intent on living carefree with Yetta in retirement.
At the outbreak of WWII, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he trained as a pharmacist's mate second class. Stationed in the South Pacific he served with distinction tending to wounded sailors and marines and earned military honors including an American Theater Ribbon, an Asiatic Pacific Ribbon, and a Victory Ribbon. He earned one more honor when he met Yetta Star, a vivacious hostess at a USO dance, who promised to marry him when he returned home from war. They were happily married for 67 years.
Joe Summer made his living working for Tuscan Dairy, but he made his life out of his passion for horses. His barn was immaculate; his livestock were fat and sassy and his truck was enormous. He favored Resitol western hats and wore a bucking bronco belt buckle. For a holiday, he and Yetta attended the Calgary Stampede in British Columbia, Canada. He read every word printed in Western Horseman Magazine. And, he could enact from memory the Lonesome Dove roles of both Robert Duval and Tommy Lee Jones.
He is survived by his wife, Yetta; three daughters, Carol and favorite son-in-law, Nicholas Hahn of Fort Myers, FL, Judith and her husband Wayne Edwards of Tinton Falls, and Denise Summer and her true love Barry Schneider, of Neptune; three grandchildren, Scott Libman, Nicole Lemme and her husband Michael, Victoria Hahn and one really great-grandchild, Everett Lee.
An 11:30 a.m. memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, April 21 at Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels, 1300 Vermont Ave., Lakewood. Guests should arrive by 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warriors Project at www.woundedwarriorsproject.org/donate.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Apr. 17, 2013