Richard Fenner Cummins

Passed away on January 5, 2019

Richard Fenner Cummins died peacefully surrounded by family on January 5, 2019. Age 81. He is predeceased by his parents, Marjorie Devereux and John Fenner Cummins of Nashville, and his sister Kathryn Cummins Mays of Lynchburg, Virginia. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Polly Armistead Cummins, their three children, Elizabeth Armistead Cummins, Devereux Cummins Pollock (Gordon) and Richard Fenner Cummins, Jr. (Mary), and his beloved six grandchildren, Grace Devereux Pollock, Frank Gordon Pollock III, Richard Fenner Pollock, Richard Fenner Cummins III, William Bradford Cummins and Louisa Courts Cummins, all of Nashville. He is also survived by his sister, Susan Cummins Tuke (Robert), and many nieces and nephews. His family member, William Jennings Cummins, built Cummins Station in 1906.

Mr. Cummins was born on October 21, 1937 in Nashville. He attended Peabody Demonstration School, Woodmont Elementary School and was a 1955 graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy. As a 1959 graduate of Washington and Lee University, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, ROTC, the Sigma Society and the Cadaver Society. He remained passionate about W&L and was active in alumni events, including serving as President of the Middle Tennessee Alumni Chapter and receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Upon graduation, Mr. Cummins served in the United States Army as 1st Lieutenant and was stationed in two overseas deployments. He participated in the Bay of Pigs maneuvers and in 1961 was awarded the Medal of Accommodation. Throughout his entire life, he continued to love and respect the military and was especially interested and passionate about World War II.

Upon his honorable discharge from the U.S Army, he began his professional career with Commerce Union Bank. After several years in the banking business, he joined the family business, Cumberland Oil Company, founded in 1940. He became President of Cumberland Oil Company, Cumberland Terminals and was the General Partner of Fenner-Spelman, a family real estate firm. He served as Chairman of the company until his death.

He was a member of Belle Meade Country Club, Westminster Presbyterian Church, American Legion and was a past Director of Tennessee Oil Marketer’s Association.

As a native Nashvillian, Mr. Cummins touched many lives over the years. He loved to tell wonderfully vivid stories that always delighted his audience. Also, his love of the water, the outdoors, MBA, and the University of Tennessee athletics was evidenced by his support and passion for each. All will remember him for his informed opinions, wonderful sense of humor and his devotion and loyalty to all of the things he loved, especially his family.

The family is very grateful to Dr. David Heusinkveld and Dr. Tom McRae for their wonderful care.

Family will receive friends for visitation at Westminster Presbyterian Church from 3:00pm to 5:00pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. A private graveside service will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 2:00pm at Mount Hope Cemetery in Franklin, Tennessee.

Honorary Pallbearers are members of Richland Creek Commerce Association, the MBA Class of 1955, the Buffalo River Hunting Club, J. Terry Hunter, Hoyle C. Jones of Mill Neck, NY, George E. Gifford and John B. Jewell III.

Memorial contributions may be made to Montgomery Bell Academy, 4001 Harding Road, Nashville TN 37205; Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3900 West End Avenue, Nashville TN 37205; or Washington and Lee University, Office of University Development, 204 W. Washington Street, Lexington VA 24450.


  • Visitation Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Richard Fenner Cummins

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