Pearl Brownell "Brownie" Sumner

June 23, 1931May 28, 2018
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Pearl M. Sumner (Brownie) June 23, 1931 – May 28, 2018

Augusta Ga. – Pearl Marie Brownell Sumner was born in Nelson, Wisconsin to Amos Brownell and Ivy Bisgrove Brownell. Upon graduation from high school, Brownie joined the Women’s Army Corp and soon after was stationed in Berlin, Germany. It was in Berlin where she met her husband, Raymond Thomas Sumner Sr. They were married June 9th 1951. After many years of military postings, R.T. retired in 1967, and the family settled in Augusta with their two children, Raymond Thomas Jr. and Patricia Marie. Brownie later chose a career as a civil servant at Army Community Services at Fort Gordon, Ga. and remained there for twenty-eight years. R.T. eventually retired after a second lengthy career at the Academy of Richmond County High School. The two of them never wavered in their love for adventure. They became avid travelers and dedicated grandparents. They always remained committed to their family and community. Brownie’s legacy includes two children and four grandchildren. Raymond Thomas Sumner Jr. and his wife, Jennifer Collier Sumner, have two sons -- Philip Benjamin Sumner and William Blake Sumner. Patricia Marie Duggan, and her husband, Dr. Asa Daniel Duggan Jr. have two sons – Asa Daniel Duggan III and John Sumner Duggan.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with the Rev. Roger Schwartz officiating. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Deans Bridge Road.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 PM June 5, 2018 at Elliott Sons Funeral Home, 2524 Lumpkin Road, Augusta.

Pallbearers are Frank Nagles, Chad Young, Leon Sumner, Eugene Morris, Ben Sumner, Blake Sumner, Daniel Duggan, and John Duggan. Dennis Wilson will stand as honorary pallbearer.


  • Visitation Tuesday, June 5, 2018
  • Funeral Services Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Pearl Brownell "Brownie" Sumner

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      When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Pearl Brownell "Brownie" Sumner who was indeed a born manager. She will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. She was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with her throughout her life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, Pearl was an individual who clearly communicated to those around her just who she was and what she was all about. Everyone acquainted with Pearl knew her as a well-respected woman who was a stable force in her community.

      Pearl was born on June 23, 1931 at At home in Nelson Wisconsin. Her parents were Amos Charles and Ivy Bisgrove Browne II. Pearl was raised in Nelson Wisconsin. Even as a youngster, Pearl learned to be objective and decisive. Her faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that she carried with her throughout her life.

      As a young girl, Pearl was able to put her natural abilities to work. She was a bit like the sergeant of the family, helping to make sure that the others did what they should do and that they avoided those things they weren’t supposed to. In other words, she liked to organize and direct. Pearl was raised with six siblings. She had all older siblings, in order of their birth Leon, Charley, Adelaide, Norman, Harold and Sidney. Pearl had an inborn appreciation for the order in the family, allowing for the oldest members to be the most respected and to take on the most responsibility. For Pearl, this was a natural order of life, one she gladly embraced.

      Pearl's matter-of-fact attitude about most things was developed during her childhood. As a young girl, Pearl enjoyed being part of teams, and organizations and groups of other kids who shared similar interests. Pearl took part in no sports as she grew up on a farm. In her spare time she liked reading. Pearl's memorable achievements included.

      In school, Pearl was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. She sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of her classes. She would eagerly complete her homework, and often put in extra study time when she felt it was necessary. A logical and focused thinker, Pearl was always good at following directions and meeting her schedules, whether they were set by her teachers or were self-imposed. Pearl’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time.” She graduated from Union Free High School in 1949. She enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. She just missed graduating as Salutatiorian because she made a "B" in Shorthand.

      Pearl was sociable and approachable. Because she was always so straightforward in how she approached relationships, friends and family knew that what they saw was always what they got. She enjoyed the camaraderie of being with a group of friends. When Pearl was a member of a group, her interaction worked to keep the others grounded. She wasn’t afraid to confront her friends and, when necessary, she challenged them to stick to the task at hand. Those close to Pearl came to expect her high standards of performance. While growing up, some of her best friends were Elaine Moore (niece) and Darlene Scharr. Later in life, she became friends with Lee and Grace Quidley, Frank and Dara Nagles, and Claudus and Sara Ann Birdsong.

      An objective and conscientious individual, Pearl reveled in the security of her family. On June 9, 1951 Pearl exchanged wedding vows with Raymond Thomas Sumner at the McNair Barracks Chapel of Berlin, Germany. One of Pearl’s most endearing qualities was her uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and her unending enthusiasm for organizing a celebration for her family and friends.

      Pearl was ever watchful of her children. She worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. She maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. Pearl would give her stamp of approval to their requests, as long as she could see how they might benefit. She also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that her children were properly raised. Pearl was blessed with two children, one son, Raymond Thomas Jr (Thomas) and one daughter Patricia Marie (Patti). They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Ben and Blake Sumner, and Dan and John Duggan.

      Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Pearl was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. She was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent project supervisor, Pearl was a person who could quickly make decisions based on the information available. She worked cooperatively and expected the same from her colleagues. In both her personal and professional environments, Pearl upheld her standards. Her primary occupation was homemaker then Army Community Services Consumer Affairs Coordinator. She was employed for 26 years by the U. S. Army at Fort Gordon. Pearl was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

      Pearl was an U. S. Womens Army Corps veteran. Her sense of duty helped lead her into the military where her understanding of rank, her willingness to abide by rules and regulations and her desire to follow orders was admired by her fellow service men and women. She was in the Command Headquarters at Berlin, Germany as a Crytographic Specialist after joining July 3, 1949. Through her hard work and dedication, she achieved the rank of Private First Class. She received several awards recognizing her for her heroism, including a Army Occupations Medal (Germany).

      Pearl approached her leisure time in the same manner that she approached her life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, she appreciated the hours she was able to devote to her various hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were camping, reading, bowling, travel and collecting bosson heads. Pearl was content to enjoy her favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share her interests with others.

      Playing by the rules was a natural thing for Pearl to do in life and that carried over to her enjoyment of sports. Recreational sports included bowling. She also was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching her favorite events whenever she got the opportunity. Tops on her list were baseball (Atlanta Braves), bowling and golf.

      Being generous with her time and energy, Pearl liked to belong to a variety of groups and organizations. She was a vocal leader who enjoyed being a part of things. Her desire to uphold traditions and her ability to take charge of any type of project made her a tremendous asset. Throughout her later years, Pearl was an active member of the Academy of Richmond County ROTC with her husband, Ft Gordon tax assessment volunteer and the American Legion.

      A civic-minded person, Pearl was usually ready to jump in and help with community activities. She was the type of person who could masterfully organize events and projects and then see to it that they were run in an efficient and timely manner. Politically, Pearl was a Republican. During these years, Pearl applied her analytical intellect to problem solving and so was an asset on most committees.

      Faith was important to Pearl. She held high moral standards and was worried about the moral decay she saw around her. For that reason she held deep spiritual beliefs that she was willing to share. She was a member our Redeemer Lutheran Church for 53 years. During that time, she was church Treasurer, Usher and member of the God Parent Program.

      When it came time to travel or take a vacation, Pearl used her scheduling expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. That also meant that she made certain no single person was overworked in putting the trip together. Pearl had a knack for making sure that everyone who was involved had their specific tasks and that those tasks were completed. Favorite vacations included Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Colorado, Wyoming, Florida and Wisconsin.

      Pearl was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. One of Pearl’s favorites was Ronnie and Penny then Tracey all Boston Bull Terriers.

      When Pearl’s retirement finally arrived in 1991, she was well prepared. She used her critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. In retirement, she found new pleasure in Augusta, Georgia by traveling and camping in their motor home and with the American Legion. In many ways, Pearl loved retirement. It provided her with the opportunity to catch up with her friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

      Pearl passed away on May 28, 2018 at Benton House, Augusta, Georgia. She grew tired and softly faded away. She is survived by Thomas, Jenny, Ben, Blake Sumner and Dan, Patti, Dan and John Duggan. She was the last of her generation. Services were held at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Pearl was laid to rest in Hillcrest Memorial Park in Augusta, Georgia.

      All who knew her would agree that Pearl was a pillar of the community. She lived her life with her feet firmly on the ground. She had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in her thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. She was willing to share her ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. Pearl Brownell "Brownie" Sumner did her best to ensure that her family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life she touched was given the chance to become a better person.