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Donald Cummings II


1925 - 2017
Donald Cummings II Obituary
Donald E. Cummings II, age 92, former Group Vice President of Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Trexlertown, and management consultant, died Thursday, July 20, 2017, at Moravian Village of Bethlehem. Don was married for 63 years to the late Mary Lou (Hoffman) Cummings. He was devoted to his family, the Catholic Church and Catholic education. Don was a longtime trustee of DeSales University and an active member of St. Stephen's Parish, Allentown, where he enthusiastically supported the revival of the Traditional Latin Mass. Don had a successful early career with Air Products and Chemicals Inc., joining the company as a sales engineer in 1954. He spent his first years at Air Products in sales and management positions in the Industrial Gas Division before being named Group Vice President. Don presided over the rapid growth of the onsite industrial gases business, leaving the company in 1968 to purchase Easton Car and Construction Company, a heavy equipment manufacturer in Glendon, Pa. After successfully transforming the company and selling it in 1975, Don became an international management consultant to the steel, metallurgical and mining industries. Don was born January 11, 1925 in Aliquippa Pennsylvania, to Donald Earl and Constance (Sieffert) Cummings. His father's untimely death at age 35 left the young family struggling during the Great Depression. Don excelled in school and upon graduation from Aliquippa High School in 1942 was selected to participate in the Navy V-12 College Training Program. In 1946 he earned a B.S. degree in Naval Science and Mechanical Engineering from Yale University. Don worked as an engineer for Jones and Laughlin Steel Company in Aliquippa until he was recalled to active military duty during the Korean Conflict. There he served as a Navy Lieutenant, surviving the tragic sinking of the USS Hobson in 1952. In 1953 Don married Mary Lou and began a family that happily included seven children. In 1961 Don received his M.B.A. degree from Lehigh University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Don was the recipient of many awards and honors including the Yale Medal honoring outstanding service to Yale University and an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from DeSales University. Don was a founding member of the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter of the Yale Alumni Club where he took great pleasure in recruiting young men and women to his alma mater. Don greatly enjoyed the outdoors and shared this love with his children and grandchildren, frequently at the family's 100-acre farm in Lenhartsville, Pa. A great many life lessons were learned by his children and grandchildren at the beloved farm. Don was preceded in death by his cherished wife Mary Lou and brother Jack of Swansboro, N.C. Survivors include brother William of Albuquerque, NM and sister Constance (Cummings) Millman of Hopewell Township, Pa.; sons Donald III of Fredericksburg, Va.; Christopher of Bethlehem, Michael (Allison) of Meridian, Miss. and Matthew (Susan) of Wyncote, Pa.; daughters Linda Cummings of New York, N.Y., Pamela Cummings of Harrisburg, Pa. and Becca Wynsome of Seattle, Wash.; grandchildren Catherine Mae, Ian Matthew, Stella Me'me and Harrison Rayne, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Services: A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 27, 2017, at St. Stephen's Catholic Church, Allentown, Pa. Friends may call on Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Downing Funeral Home, Bethlehem. Interment beside his dearest Mary Lou at Holy Saviour Cemetery, Bethlehem. Memorials may be made to St. Stephen of Hungary Catholic Church or the .
Published in Morning Call on July 23, 2017
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