Friday, November 19, 2010
Dr. Bruce Keith Cummings
Aug. 11, 1960 - Nov. 14, 2010
On Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, our friend, father and companion, brother,cousin and uncle, Dr. and friend, Bruce Keith Cummings, age 50, was taken from us in an aviation accident on Johnson Ridge in the Blue Mountains while flying his airplane to Enterprise. A funeral service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010, at 1 p.m. at the Walla Walla University Seventh day Adventist Church in College Place. Interment will follow at the Mt Hope Cemetery, College Place. Memorial
contributions may be made to the Walla Walla University Church Pathfinders or the Cummings Children Education through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.
Bruce Keith Cummings was born on Aug. 11, 1960, in Walla Walla, the son of Robert Samuel and Lola Irene Bingman Cummings. His birth completed a family of eight, Bruce being the youngest child. Growing up his family traveled to and from Alaska, commercial fishing in the Bristol Bay area with his father Bob. After his mother's death of cancer in 1974, Bruce and his brothers settled in the College Place area. Bruce attended Walla Walla Valley Academy and in 1979, his senior year, he graduated from Walla Walla High School. In 1977, Bruce met and fell in love with Marjorie Hoofard and on a snowy Dec. 16, 1979, in Milton-Freewater, Bruce married Marjorie. Together they enjoyed a week-long, lavish honeymoon to Mazatlan, Mexico.
Bruce was a hard-working man. He learned the techniques of the dental laboratory trade from his father-in-law Floyd Hoofard, who owned Milton-Freewater Dental lab. In 1981 Bruce became the proud father of a beautiful, blue-eyed daughter, Melissa Ann (Cummings-Hipple). In that same year the Cummings family returned to Alaska, where Bruce opened his own dental laboratory, Soldotna Dental Techinque.
In pursuit of a dream, Bruce returned to college to pursue a degree in the field of dentistry. He obtained a bachelor of science degree from Portland State University and pursed a doctorate in dentistry from Oregon Health Sciences University, graduating with honors and awards in 1991. It was during these years that Bruce made many cherished life-long friends. He opned his first dental practice where
he would remain for many years. While in Alaska, Bruce joined the Soldotna Fire Department, serving on the volunteer force as an EMT and firefighter. During this time he received "Volunteer of the Year Award" for his outstanding service to his community. Alaska was dear to Bruce's heart. He enjoyed many days and nights snow-machining in the Caribou Hills with friends and family. Bruce enjoyed teaching children's Ministries and with his church family in Kenai. In Sept. 27, 1995, a son, Samuel Marcus was born. Bruce was enamored. In addition, his little sweetheart, Lola Jane arrived April 9, 1998, completing the Cummings family of five. He loved and adored his children with his whole being and strove to be
the best father he could be. He desired to watch them grow up. He enjoyed mentoring and loving them. He wanted to protect them and take care of their needs. He never chose to leave them. In the year 2000, Bruce temporarily relocated his family to Battle Ground, Wash., while searching for his next practice setting. In 2001 the Cummings family moved to Enterprise. There, Bruce opened Wallowa Valley Dental Care, where he practiced until his death. Bruce took pride in being the best dental practitioner he could be. He obtained advanced education and
residencies in many specialty fields. He enjoyed his patients and staff members and was known by all to be a caring, kind dentist who was empathetic to their needs. He treated his staff with great respect and appreciated each one.
As a child Bruce dreamed of farming. This dream came true for him several years ago when Bruce purchased a farm in Enterprise. Bruce loved to be on the farm with his cows. He loved spending his time as dentist and farmer. Immediately prior to his death, Bruce was working to relocate to Walla Walla, to be closer to more of his family and to return to his roots. Being with family filled Bruce's spirit. He enjoyed life-long close relationships brothers and sisters. Bruce's
siblings were of utmost importance to him, and they loved him well. Bruce's brother Randy, and many other family members, spent the night searching for his lost plane, and Randy was the first to reach him.
Survivors include his wife of 31 years, Marjorie Cummings of Walla Walla; three children and son-in-law, Melissa Cummings-Hipple and Adam Hipple of Vancouver, and Samuel and Lola Cummings of Walla Walla; sister and brother-in-law, Daina Winslow-Rogers and Don of Salem, Ore.; sister, Laurie Cummings of La Grande; brother, Steve Cummings and Lynn Caigle of Benton City, Wash., brother, Randy and Yvonne Cummings of Milton-Freewater, and a brother Brent Cummings of Beaverton, Ore. He is also survived by his father Bob Cummings and Shirley James of Woodland, Wash.; his father-in-law and mother-in-law,
Floyd and Sharon Hoofard of Hermiston; his sister-in-law, Cynthia and John McDaniel of Bend, and Catherine and Gary Zimmerman of Walla Walla; his brother-in-law, Steve and Trisha Hoofard of Hermiston; numerous nieces and nephews, Chad Winslow, Eric Winslow, Craig Winslow, Rochelle Roberts, Hillary Rogers, Whitney Rogers, Trisha Rogers, John Rogers, Nicole Cummings, Ashley Cummings, Cortney and Shona Caigle, Beau Cummings, Bronson Cummings, Christine Owslwy, Troy Cummings, Kari Kruger, Tennsion Hoofard, Tyler Hoofard, Trevor Hoofard, Jennifer Hoofard, Christopher Malott and Michael Malott;
great-nieces and nephews, Bryson Cummings, Colin and Cameron,
Haileigh Owsley and baby Owsley (to be born) and "Monkey" Cummings (to
be born). His mother, Lola Irene Bingman-Cummings, and his grandparents, William Bingman and Alice Bingman, preceded him in death.