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Harold “Hank” Sumner



Harold was born in Stalybridge, England on June 22, 1929 to William and Clara Sumner. The depression meant hard times and the family teamed up with an aunt and uncle with 3 children to share lodging and belongings as they moved through the English countryside looking for work. They ended up in Blackpool and remained there for many years. Harold grew up with his three cousins as his best friends and his aunt and uncle and his parents as his favourite adults.

Finishing school at 14 he looked for an apprenticeship to continue his education. He wanted to become a cabinet maker, but as this was a very popular apprenticeship and always full, he was unable to enrol in it, and thus chose stained glass work for his training. At 18, he was required by the British government to enlist in the army for a 2 year stint. In the army he travelled to Egypt, Cyprus and Somalia.

Returning to civilian life, he began to wish for more adventures and travels to foreign lands. At first he planned to go to Australia and work in the outback, but an uncle who lived in Canada persuaded him to go to Canada instead. In 1952 Harold sailed for Canada and visited the uncle in Quebec. He had been led to believe there would be work in stained glass in Montreal, but this proved a mistake. He was fortunate to be told about construction work available in Red Rock, and arrived here by train. A friendly citizen helped him to obtain work in construction, and thus began his 72 year sojourn in Red Rock. Two years later he began working in the paper mill and worked there until 1988 when he retired.

In 1957, he found his bride, Luella Barker, and they had 67 years together, having two sons, a lot of fishing, and a workshop to build furniture in, fulfilling his life long interest in woodworking. He also developed a great interest in playing darts, becoming a very well respected player, taking part in many tournaments in the area and making many friends. Hank (as he was known) became a well known sight at Legions across Northwestern Ontario with his favourite darts in his shirt pocket and his favourite pipes in his back pocket.

In the last few years his health began failing, resulting in his death on January 14, 2024. Harold is survived by his wife Luella and their son Kenneth, sister-in-law Rae, nephews Mark, Kevin, Scott, Michael, Greg and nieces Kathy and Mary Beth. He was predeceased by their son Jeffrey and brothers-in-law Gerald, Eric and Wally and sisters-in-law Marilyn and Jacqueline.

The family wishes to thank all our good friends and neighbours in Red Rock who has been so kind and helpful. Also the doctors and medical staff at Nipigon Hospital and the staff at Wesway and Paramed.

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