July 6, 1922 – May 7, 2013
In his 91 years, oilman Bill Cummer nurtured a remarkable array of friendships through his achievements in business and community service. Long before “globally competitive” became a buzz-word, Bill helped transform a small Calgary drilling company into a multi-national enterprise.
Bill was born in Drumheller, the eldest of three sons of Jack and Laurine (Jackson) Cummer. He attended Central High School in Calgary, where an optional course in accounting unveiled a talent for finance that would help shape his career in business. Following a medical discharge from the army in 1943, he found work in the oil patch as a payroll clerk for a small drilling company, General Petroleum of Canada. The business grew and evolved and so did his career. From 1976 he directed the global operations of Westburne International Drilling Ltd. from his home in Bermuda. While working in Leduc in the late 1940s, he met Marion Murray of Edmonton, and the two eloped to California. That trip began a lifetime of travel for Bill and Marion, and the two explored the world together, including a trip to China in 1981 to help promote the American Stock Exchange. After his retirement as Vice Chairman of Westburne, Bill and Marion returned to Calgary in 1990 where he resumed his work with charitable organizations, especially the Optimist Club of Calgary, where he was a member for over 50 years. He helped charter many Optimist Clubs in Alberta.
As sidelines, Bill embarked on several business ventures of his own, including part ownership of Elkana Ranch in Bragg Creek. Bill was a quiet, private and gentle man – and a gentleman – well respected for his ethics and acumen, and beloved for his wisdom and sense of humour. Following a brief illness, he died quietly in his home, in the company of his family.
Bill was predeceased by his brothers Allen and Fred, his first wife Barbara (Nadeau), his beloved Marion, and is mourned by: his children Allen (Jan DeGrass), Don, Diane (David Wigington), Denise (Dolph) and Dean (Mark O’Neill); his grandchildren Jeffery Cummer, Daniel Cummer, William Cummer (Katie), Matthew Cummer, Jacob Cummer, Stephen MacDonald (Ashley), Cameron MacDonald (Patty), Melissa Bottoms (Kyle), Mike Dolph; and great-grandchildren Seanna, Fox, Charlotte, and Abigail, as well as family friend Verna Mae Gannon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be directed to the Optimist Club William J. Cummer Scholarship Fund by cheque to The Calgary Foundation, Suite 700, 999 8th Street SW, Calgary Alberta T2R 1J5, or online at www.thecalgaryfoundation.org.
A visitation will be held at McInnis & Holloway’s Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W., Calgary, AB), Thursday, May 16, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral service will be held at Lakeview United Church, 3023 63 Avenue S.W. on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Bill, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences