CUMMINS,Kenneth Ray January 4, 1927 to November 6, 2014 Kenneth passed away November 6, 2014 at a care facility in Rohnert Park, California at the age of 87. Ken was a World War II combat veteran, gunsmith, land surveyor, competitive target shooter, Little League baseball coach, outdoors-man, and father of six. Ken was born January 4, 1927 in Oakland, California at a relative's house. A fourth generation Northern Californian, he was raised on the remote family ranch in Mina, CA which is near the border of Mendocino and Trinity counties. He attended high school in Ukiah, California until the outbreak of World War II when he volunteered to join the Marine Corps. His company was part of the initial invasion of the Japanese island of Okinawa. His company experienced heavy combat and almost every member of the company was eventually either killed or wounded. He was wounded on May 5, 1945 and transported back to Mare Island, CA for recovery. He was discharged in December 1945. He returned to Ukiah and completed high school graduating in 1947. After graduation he attended college in Colorado. He returned to Ukiah and began working in the Land Surveying-Civil Engineering field. He had obtained skills in this area from his father Russell who was a licensed civil engineer and surveyor. He met his future wife Mary Saunders while in high school and they married on December 12, 1949. In 1955 his family moved to Sebastopol, CA, along with his four oldest children. Ken and Mary had two more children while living in Sebastopol. In Sonoma County he worked with the engineering and surveying company Henry Wallace and Associates and later with Lombardi and Associates. He measured and determined many property boundaries throughout Sonoma County as well as providing construction layout for subdivisions in Rohnert Park including Sonoma State University. Ken was an expert small bore marksman and was a member of the Ukiah shooting team. He had a keen interest in gun safety and volunteered many hours teaching gun safety classes in Sebastopol. When his four boys were older and became interested in sports he gave up shooting temporarily and became a Little League baseball coach. He coached for many years in Little League and Senior League. He became quite an accomplished pitching coach and helped many an aspiring pitcher hone their craft. During his baseball years he also volunteered his surveying skills to map and layout the ball fields at Clahan Park in Sebastopol. Ken was an avid outdoors-man/naturalist. "He knew more about plants and animals than anyone I ever met. He could walk across a bed of dry leaves and not make a sound." Said one of his sons. A dedicated father of six, he influenced many people who got to know him. Ken was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Mary. He is survived by sons, Mark (Robin) Cummins, Rex (Terry) Cummins, Allen Cummins, and Kris (Jeanna) Cummins; daughters, Corine Edgar (David) and Terry Silva; his 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. A life celebration will be held March 8th at the Community Church of Sebastopol at 2:00 p.m.
Published in Press Democrat from Mar. 5 to Mar. 7, 2015.