Cantrell Funeral Home
8520 Main Street
Frisco, TX 75023
Gilbert Cummings and
St. Francis Catholic Church
Opening Music: "Nocturne in E Flat Major, Opus 9, No. 2" by Chopin, Track #1
Welcome family, friends, and acquaintances of Esther Paul Cummings. Esther, the mother of seven and grandmother of 14, died at the age of 79. She never remarried after her husband, Alfred Glenn Cummings died in 1961, leaving her to raise the seven children alone. Her children, their children, and all other family and friends have gathered here today to celebrate her life.
Opening Prayer: Msgr. Duesman
Sprinkling with Water: Msgr. Duesman
Opening Remarks: Gil
No one in this room needs to be reminded of Esther's independent nature and dedication to her family. Esther was born in Palaski county, Indiana, and grew up on the family farm. She told stories of how she cared for the pigs and raised the black sheep that were outcasts of the herd. She enjoyed swimming in the Wabash river with her best friend, Betty White.
Esther attended Purdue University, where she met her husband, Glenn, and studied bacteriology. During the war she worked for Seagram's, making medicinal alcohol for the war effort. Once Glenn passed away of cancer at the young age of 37, Esther moved the family to Delphos, Ohio, a small town perfectly suited to raising children. Esther and Glenn had converted to Catholicism as adults and she wanted to make sure the children received a Catholic upbringing. She and the children were members of St. John's Catholic Church which was also where the children attended school. While raising the children, Esther dressed them up and took them to church each Sunday; afterwards, she always served a large chicken dinner.
Once the children were grown, she moved to central Ohio and worked for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. During that time she also volunteered to help handicapped children. She even helped Downs Syndrome children to learn to speak. Her education and work experience were unusual for a woman born in her era. Esther inspired her children to go on to become the best that they could be.
Her oldest son Glenn dedicated 26 years to the United States Air Force and has since retired from the Air Force. He now works as a systems analyst for the University Medical Center Information Services Department in Dallas.
Gilbert Cummings works in computers with Chevron Oil Corporation in California.
Trina Webb is raising 4 children in Houston, Texas and does book work for Costco.
Anne French works for Texas Instruments in Plano, Texas, developing video projection chips.
Teresa Cummings works for the American Red Cross in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a published author.
Tom Cummings works for Southwestern Bell in Houston Texas.
Kathy Denton works for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and Gantthead.com as a computer analyst and tech writer. She is also a published author.
The accomplishments of her children are a testament to the excellent job Esther did of raising each of them to be independent high achievers. She herself was a renowned Scrabble high achiever, despite her propensity for palming a "Z" now and then.
Song: "Tears in Heaven", Eric Clapton, Track # 2
Esther lived a hard life void of luxuries. She loved all God's creatures and she welcomed them to feeders at her "little house in the woods" as she called her home at Lake Wauwaunoka in Missouri, where she moved after her retirement. She also loved her dogs, Peekie and Patty, as well as the birds she cared for over the years.
Esther taught her children through stories. She taught them to stomp in the woods to avoid being bitten by a snake. She taught them to always dress warmly in case their car broke down. She taught them to drive, and she accepted them despite their human errors. She also taught them about their father so they would never forget what a "saint," in her eyes, he was. She told them how much he loved his babies. She told them how he helped a chemical plant next to his clean up from a chemical spill and how he came home that evening, and moved the family to save them from the effects of the chemicals that had escaped into the air. She shared with them the story of their wedding and how the Army honored them by lining their exit aisle and holding their sabers over their heads as an archway. Esther has said repeatedly since Glenn's death, over 40 years ago, that she just wanted to be with him. Now she walks with him and with God in heaven. Let us not grieve for her, but rather, let us celebrate her life and her new eternal life in heaven.
Song: "Infinite Eyes", Keb Mo', Track #3
Esther's son, Gil, had these thoughts on hearing that she was in the hospital:
"Having had a night to stare at the ceiling and figure out how to say what I feel, and know. It occurs to me that mom is not, as you put it, very sick. She's packing. She's been planning this cruise for years. She has been focussed on boarding the cruise for about 40 years. There is a couple by the pool on the party deck. The crowd has turned in. There is wine, and a guy named Glenn (known to his friends as Al, but his mom calls him Glenn). They are sailing off into the sunset.
Don't make this out to be a tragedy. It started in time of war. Now, among family at least, there should be only peace. All together now. Wave. Bon voyage."
Thank you for gathering today for Esther's memorial ceremony. Since there will not be a graveside service, we invite you all to join us at the Abbey Texas Café about ˝ mile to the west. Refreshments will be available and we have a movie and slide show of Esther's younger days.
Song: "I'll Fly Away" from "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou", Track #4