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EDWARD SUMMERS

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EDWARD SUMMERS Obituary
1933-2012 OKLAHOMA CITY Edward Hardy Summers died peacefully this week at his home in Oklahoma City. Hardy was born in Muskogee in 1933 to Cleon Summers, a long-time U.S. Attorney, and Fern Hardy Summers, a surgical nurse. He grew up in Muskogee where he excelled in academics and debate and lettered in basketball, tennis, and baseball. He spent summers as a teenager working on his uncle's farm, playing sandlot semi-pro baseball, and listening to radio broadcasts of St. Louis Cardinals games. Hardy earned degrees in government and law at the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He received numerous scholastic accolades, including Order of the Coif and Distinguished Air Force ROTC Cadet. After graduating he entered active duty in the Judge Advocate General division where he prosecuted and defended court-martial cases in the U.S. Air Force. His tour of duty in Landstuhl, West Germany, gave him the opportunity to travel in most of western Europe and parts of the Near and Middle East. When he returned to civilian life in Muskogee he served as Assistant County Attorney before joining the law firm of Fite, Robinson and Summers. In 1963 he married the love of his life, Marilyn Smith, an OU grad who worked as a reporter for the Muskogee Phoenix newspaper. In 1976 Hardy was appointed by Gov. David Boren to fill a vacancy as District Judge for the 15th Judicial District. For 81/2 years he held court in Muskogee, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah and Adair Counties, the same district where his uncle had served for nearly 40 years. In 1985 Gov. George Nigh tapped Hardy for the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He derived immense fulfillment from his work on the Court and served as its Chief Justice 1999-2000. Throughout his judicial career colleagues remarked on his exceptional ability to make both sides feel they had been treated fairly in his court. He retired in 2004 after serving 27 years on the bench. Hardy loved fishing, particularly wading or canoeing clear streams, and hunting quail with his English Setters. He fried or grilled his bounty with equal gusto. In Oklahoma City Hardy became a friend of the First Unitarian Church and was a member of Downtown Rotary and the Mens Poker Dinner Club. He and Marilyn took great pleasure in their mutual love of music and travel among other pursuits. A loving and patient father, he passed on to his two children his passions for justice, baseball, hunting, fishing, arts, and learning. He delighted in his grandsons and took pride in their accomplishments. He is survived by his wife Marilyn; daughter Julia Summers of Norman, grandson Gabriel Castro and wife April of Sapulpa; son Andrew Summers, grandsons Dalton and Rogan Summers, and their mother Samantha Beams-Summers, of Broken Arrow; several cousins and a host of beloved friends. The family wishes to thank friends for their cards, calls and kind support, and Hospice of Oklahoma City and A Chance to Change. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc., the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, or a . A memorial service will be held at First Unitarian Church at 13th and Dewey on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. Another service is planned for Muskogee at a later date.

Published in The Oklahoman on Sept. 16, 2012
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