Captain Edward Joseph Cummings Jr. (USN Ret.)
August 28, 1920 - December 31, 2018
"He is a gentleman because his nature is kind and affable to every creature. ~The Blue and Gray 1938
Edward J. Cummings passed away in San Francisco on December 31, 2018 at the age of 98. His enthusiasm for life, family, friends, the Catholic Church and his great quest for knowledge will long be remembered. Edward was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Dr. Edward and Helen (Donovan) Cummings. He was raised in Washington DC and attended Georgetown Preparatory School (class of 1938). He always referred to the Prep as
"my foundation in life" where the Jesuits ignited his intellectual and religious curiosity thereby strengthening his faith. He also developed a passion for competitive sports, particularly football (team captain) and gathered lifelong friends.
The Prep paved his way to the United States Naval Academy (class of 1943). The Academy continued to shape his character and develop his fortitude. His entire class graduated in 1942 as these young officers were needed for the war effort. A year later, his ship, the USS Buck, was torpedoed in the Mediterranean. Within moments, the situation had rendered Edward the senior officer at age 23. After issuing orders and assisting the injured overboard, he joined his shipmates in the water and commenced survival strategy which included much prayer; rescue occurred 24 hours later.
Following his short recuperation, Ed was assigned to the battleship USS Missouri in the Pacific. Upon this deck, he witnessed the historic formal surrender ceremony thus ending WWII. He then embarked upon his 30 year naval career; his family accompanied him throughout his various tours of duty along the East and West Coasts, Hawaii, the Far East and Europe. After retirement, they settled in San Francisco. Ed's engineering background led him to the construction business at the Plant Company.
Soon after the sinking of the Buck, Ed married (1943) his fiancée, Ethel Crean, whom he had met at a USNA dance. Although he was always smitten with her green eyes and beautiful auburn hair, their 73 year marriage was built upon love, respect and trust. Ed and Ethel were a devoted and lovely couple who enjoyed the company of their family and many friends; they travelled to fascinating places, and they always maintained a keen interest in politics and the world around them.
Edward was a marvelously kind father who led by example. His family loved him dearly and thoroughly enjoyed his droll sense of humor, his immense wisdom, his study of history, his love of Ireland, his strength of character, his faith, his compassion and charity to all. He was a patriot.
Edward was preceded in death by his wife Ethel and his parents Dr. Edward and Helen Cummings.
He is survived by daughter Candace Crean Cummings, granddaughter Cameron (Elliot) Binder, grandson Edward (Anne) McGavren and his beloved great-grandchildren Hannah Binder, Ethan Donovan Binder, Emerson Binder and Carson Edward McGavren.
The family would like to thank his extraordinary caregivers Nerizalyn Garcia and Luz Diego, the staff at St. Mary's Hospital and SF Campus for Jewish Living, and Dr. Richard Gerber.
Family and friends are invited to the viewing on Wednesday, January 9th from 4pm-6pm Rosary at 5:30 pm at DUGGAN'S SERRA MORTUARY, 500 Westlake Ave, Daly City. A memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, January 10th at 10:30 am at St. Stephen Church San Francisco. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jeffrey L. Jones Scholarship Fund c/o Georgetown Preparatory School ,10900 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852.