Ralph W. "Bill" Cummins, 88, passed away Friday, March 11, 2022. Bill was born May 5, 1933, in Lawrenceville, Illinois, and was a resident of Charlotte County from 1956 until 2021. He and his wife Donna had recently relocated to Ft. Myers to be closer to his niece's family.
After serving four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Bill decided he liked the weather in Florida much more than cold Illinois winters, and moved his family to Punta Gorda, where he worked several jobs, until eventually applying at General Development Corporation. He stayed in the land department as a crewchief on a survey crew until his retirement from GDC in 1993. He then worked for Charlotte County Engineering Dept, eventually operated his own lawncare service, before retiring permanently.
Bill and Donna lived on both sides of the Peace River over the years; they witnessed hurricane Donna destroy most of the mobile home park where they lived in 1960, and completed their first home in Port Charlotte later that year. Bill was very involved in the creation of the Port Charlotte Little League, helped build the first baseball field across the street from the Cultural Center, and coached/managed his son's teams, including a league championship (go Lions Cubs). He loved camping, and spent many weekends and holidays with family and friends in "the big slough", just about where I-75 crosses the Myakkahatchee Creek now. In later years, he and Donna joined the Good Sam Club, and traveled in their minihome. Bill was also a handyman; he enjoyed working in his shop on the weekends, making improvements to his home, converting a bread truck to a camper, helping his sons work on their cars, any sort of project that involved making a racket with tools. He also was a storyteller with a rich memory of family and friend's highlights, all told with an infectious sense of humor.
Bill was predeceased by parents Peter and Amanda (Mills) Cummins, siblings Frankie, Cynthia Opal, Vern, Imogene, Warren Grant, and Paul.
He will be missed by his wife of 69 years, Donna; sons Lester (Linda) of Ellijay GA, and Randy (Cathie) of Union Hall VA; special niece Diana (Dave)Linton of Ft. Myers; grandchildren Michael (Miranda) Cummins, Heather (David) MacMahon, Jennifer (Clint) Riley, Sarah (Lawrence) Pangburn, and Kimberly (Jimmy) Sanford; 15 great grandchildren, 8 great-great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and countless friends in Charlotte County.
A private Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.