Brown-Wynne Funeral Home

200 Southeast Maynard Road, Cary, NC


Richard Eugene Sumler

June 28, 1948September 7, 2019
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Richard Eugene Sumler, age 71, of Cary, died Saturday, September 7, 2019 at his residence.

Born in Durham County, NC he was the son of the late Lee and Louise Sumler. Richard graduated from Durham High School. He was a retired firefighter with the Town of Cary with over 30 years of service. Richard was a member of IDPA. Richard enjoyed carving wood and making walking sticks. He also enjoyed boating, fishing, hunting, and trips to the beach, lake, and mountains. He loved backpacking and hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Survivors include his wife of over 50 years, Martha Rowe Sumler; daughter, Angie (Jamie) Bellis; grandchildren, Tristan and Andrew; brother, Terrill (Carolyn) Sumler; and a niece, Cheryl (John) Rogers. The family will receive friends from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home.

A funeral service will be held 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Wake Memorial Park Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made at www.BrownWynneCary.com

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the NC Firefighters Fund, 323 West Jones Street, Suite 401, Raleigh, NC 27603.



  • Visitation Wednesday, September 11, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, September 11, 2019


  • Graveside Service to Follow


Richard Eugene Sumler

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tim Tietgen

September 13, 2019

Heartfelt Condolences, at this time of sorrow, for the entire Sumler Family.
Myra and I are sending prayers and hugs.
Richard and I spent many evenings sitting on the apron in front of Engine One, at the original Cary Fire Station #1. We would have deep discussions, office chair roller races, and the occasional idiot driver running their car onto the train tracks.
Tears & a Toast for you Pappy! One of a special kind!!

Coach Anthony Holland

September 11, 2019

Richard loved to come to Tristian’s baseball games and watch him play. He was a proud grandpa. Richard was also inspiring at the practices always willing to offer a helping hand. We had some great conversations, he was a humble gentleman. He will be missed here, but I am sure he was welcomed in heaven with “Well done my good and faithful servant”.

MaryCatherine Swaim-Collins

September 10, 2019

Cousin “Rusty” was always the fun, happy cousin in the family. Always made you laugh with his simple humor. You could play a joke on him and he never got mad. One summer he was staying with us for a while at the farm when he was in high school. He fell asleep in the chair after a long day. My sister and I got a water bottle and squired his face. He jumped out of the chair with his arms a waving. We all had a good laugh. From then on he made us promise we wouldn’t do that again. I believe we kept that promise. I will always remember “Rusty” with a smile on my face. Love MaryCatherine

JoAnn Balboni

September 10, 2019

Dear Neighbor and Friend

I lived across the street from you for 30 years. You were always there if I needed you. I miss the chats we had standing in the yard talking about his place at the lake, boat and the grandkids. You will be missed. Jo Ann

Heather Wiltshire Hendricks

September 10, 2019

When I was a little girl I was friends with his daughter. He often invited me to weekend trips with the family to Kerr Lake. I have so many great memories of him teaching me to fish and water ski! Just a few weeks ago my family was vacationing at Kerr Lake and I shared with my family those memories of Richard. I will always think of him when I fish, boat or water ski! He was also very supportive on Facebook when I was going through difficult medical problems last year. He will be greatly missed.

Craig Daigle

September 10, 2019

“Two peas in a pod”
I feel blessed that our paths crossed and that they crossed early in my career. You have been like a father, brother, mentor, and friend to me. I am thankful for the special relationships I have gained through you. Thank you for inviting me into your family and closest circle. I miss you buddy, but I know our paths will cross again. Until then rest easy in your stand at the top of the hill. Knowing that you always have and that our memories always will make many of our days just real good.


Bonnie Duncan

September 10, 2019

Richard was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and firefighter. He was our friend and will be missed.

Alfred Wortman Jr.

September 10, 2019

I have so many fond memories of Richard. He and Max Garris enjoyed sending me to pick up parts for the trucks we were working on, knowing I had no Idea where I was going. He even nicknamed me his rat killer as I crawled out from under a truck we were working on at station 2. Richard played a huge part in shaping the careers of many young firefighters and I am proud to say I was one of them.


September 9, 2019

Richard always had a big smile and made you feel good being with him. our family will miss this very special cousin!💜

Oscar Dean

September 9, 2019

Good bye my friend of 65 years. I always thought you would be going to my funeral instead of me going to yours. Have a good trip and don't put your hand in any stump holes because there might be a rattle snake in there. Meet you at the top of the field at your tree stand.