J.W. Summerhill

J.W. "Just Wonderful", "Tomboy" Summerhill

Transitioned to eternal life on Saturday, November 9, 2013 after living a "Just Wonderful" life.

J.W. Summerhill was born to the late William Edward Summerhill and Katie (Anderson) Summerhill on July 9, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Summerhill attended Indianapolis Public Schools #64, #19, and Crispus Attucks High School.

Mr. J.W. Summerhill enjoyed a successful military career. He served bravely, traveled all seven continents, and earned numerous awards for Honorable Achievement, Meritorious Service, and for his generosity. Before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1951 he was employed with Berling & Son Construction, Hebert Mathews Co, New Comer Lumber Company. Upon retiring from the military, Mr. Summerhill was employed as a mortician, baker, boxing trainer, and was successful in numerous entrepreneurial endeavors.

Mr. Summerhill earned an Applied Science degree in Industrial Management from IVY Tech Community College. He also held certifications and licenses in the following areas: Welding, plumbing, heating & cooling, and mechanical drawing. Before retiring he served as the Director of Maintenance for the Indianapolis Housing Authority, while operating his own business, "Custom Home Remodeling and Lawn Care".

Mr. Summerhill served as a trainer and a judge for the youth of Indianapolis during the Indiana Black Expo Amateur Boxing events. He also served on the Indiana Golden Gloves Committee as well as serving on the USA Amateur Boxing Federation and assisted in securing the 1987 Pan American Games for Indianapolis.

J.W. Summerhill was politically active and served the Republican Party in time, service, and fundraising. He was also a huge supporter of President Barack Obama. Mr. Summerhill used his political influence to ensure development of the South East Indianapolis Community. His number one ambition was to help others.

Mr. Summerhill was a gifted musician and singer. He was a member of numerous singing groups, most notable the Indiana Wonders. He sang with this gospel group for over twenty years and served as the group's business manager and booking agent. He enjoyed entertaining others.

J.W. Summerhill loved his family dearly; he was very proud of his family and inspired all to perform to the best of their ability. He was very protective, caring, and supportive. Not only did he encourage, educate, and equip his family for success he led by example.

His favorite pastimes included:making people smile,helping people, being with family,singing, playing musical instruments, dancing, designing custom suits, complimenting pretty women, building, lawn care, world travel, baking, hunting rabbit, motor cycle riding, big boat fishing, as well as collecting and performing with weapons.

Mr. J.W. Summerhill earned numerous awards : The Republican National Committee -Certificate of Merit in gratitude of outstanding commitment and financial support, The Indianapolis Parks & Recreation Dept. - awarded J.W. Summerhill & the Indiana Wonders Gospel Group the 1991 Entertainment Award, Marion County GOP Organization -Letter of Appreciation for honorable service 1991: Given by William H. Hudnut III, Mayor of Indianapolis, OIC Child Development Center -Plaque of Appreciation for dedication, outstanding support, and contributions 1992, Men of Barrington - "Man of the Year Award" 1992 for True Devotion To His Community, Southeast Community Alliance -CHIEF in service award 1993, AFSCME Local 3766 Superior Service & Support award 1993, Indianapolis Public Housing Agency - awarded J.W. Summerhill & the Black History Month Celebration Committee the Certificate of Excellence February 27, 1996, Men & Women of Barrington INC. honored J.W. Summerhill "Without your support and contributions our mission to provide something positive for the youth in the Barrington area would not exist" October 1999, National Republican Party -2003 Certificate of Recognition for dedication and leadership of the Republican National Committee sustaining member honored herewith J.W. Summerhill has helped elect a republican majority in the US Congress 2003-2004/ April 4, 2003: Republican National Committee -2004 Certificate of Appreciation Sustaining Member of the Republican National Committee, 2008 Disabled American Veterans Commanders Club -Bronze Leader award for appreciation of generosity, Family, Friends, and Community - awarded J.W. Summerhill the Lifetime Achievement Award / In Appreciation, Admiration, and Amazement We Rise Up and Call you Blessed "Your honorable duty to God, country, other people and self has taught us to be prepared for life" July 9, 2010, and Mr. J.W. Summerhill was inducted to the Hall of Fame for Military Service, Personal Accomplishments, and Community Service on November 1, 2013.

He leaves to cherish his memory: His devoted companion for more than 15 years, Zerlene "Sugar" Morgan; Tonya Radford-Hill (Greg); sons, Leonard Radford (Joann), John Summerhill, and Vaughn Summerhill; daughters Judith Summerhill Harrington (Willie), Katie Marie Summerhill, Cynthia Summerhill Rhem, Sandra Summerhill, and Wanda Summerhill; 23 Grandchildren; 36 Great Grandchildren; a very special nephew/brother, Andrew Britt; and a host of cousins and friends.

Preceding him in death include his parents, former wife Mardell Cubit Summerhill, sister Rose Marie Lange, sons William Nathan Summerhill and William Sims.

Mr. Summerhill's family would like to offer special thanks to the staff of Signature Healthcare at Parkwood - Lebanon, IN., Heartland Hospice, and VA Hospital Staff especially Katrina Jahn and Dr. Patton.

A Home Going Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 (Viewing 10 a.m. - Services 11 a.m.) at Righteous Living Christian Church at North Eastwood 9425 E 30th St. Indianapolis, IN. 46229. Burial will be at New Crown Cemetery. Family and friends may sign the guest book at http://www.craigfuneralhomeinc.com.

Funeral Home

Craig Funeral Home
3447 N College Ave Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 923-1359

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Nov. 14, 2013