Cover photo for Ralph N. Sumner, M.D.'s Obituary
Ralph N. Sumner, M.D. Profile Photo
1931 Ralph 2011

Ralph N. Sumner, M.D.

June 23, 1931 — August 15, 2011

Ralph N. Sumner, M.D., 80, a longtime resident and family practice physician in Fredonia, Kansas, died Sunday, August 14, 2011 at Fredonia Regional Hospital. He was born June 23, 1931 in Independence, Kansas, the son of William G. and Norah L. Sumner. He was a graduate of Independence High School, Independence Community Junior College, and received his bachelor"s degree from The University of Kansas. Ralph then attended and graduated with his doctorate degree from The University of Kansas School of Medicine. In 1958, after completing his internship at Bethany Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, he worked for two weeks in Hutchinson at his brother"s medical practice so that his brother could go on vacation. After those two weeks and with the encouragement of Dr. Lynn Beal, he moved to Fredonia and began his long career caring for Fredonians, both medically and personally. A board-certified family practitioner since 1971, Sumner received the Physician"s Recognition Award from the American Medical Association in 1987. He was a charter diplomate for the American Board of Family Practice, and a member of the AMA, the Kansas Medical Society, the American Association of Family Practitioners, the Kansas Association of Family Practitioners, and the Southeast Kansas Medical Society. Affiliated with several hospitals, he primarily worked at Fredonia Regional Hospital, which was known as St. Margaret"s Mercy Hospital when he came to Fredonia in 1958. Dr. Sumner served on countless committees at the hospital, served as chief of staff, and worked countless hours in his private practice and at the hospital during his 42 year career, retiring in June of 2000. Dr. Sumner also served as the Wilson County Coroner for many years. On March 17, 1950, he was married to Mary V. Barnes and from this union, Evan, Darrell, Paul, Brian, and Keith were born. They were later divorced. On December 16, 1982 at Miami, Oklahoma, Dr. Sumner married Catherine Riggle. She survives at their home. Survivors, in addition to his wife, Catherine, include: Sons: Dr. Evan M. (Dee) Sumner of Lawrence, KS Paul D. (Anita) Sumner of Topeka, KS Brian G. (Julie) Sumner of Fredonia, KS Dr. Keith N. (Marlene) Sumner of San Antonio, TX Mike (Carrie) Jacobs of Olathe, KS Sister: Opal M. Blumer of Sun City, AZ Mother-in-law: Carolyn Riggle of Topeka, KS Grandchildren: Marshall Sumner, Jordan Sumner, Erika Sumner, Ashley Sumner, Mary Sumner, Bridget Sumner, Jackson Sumner, Shannon Sumner, Madeleine Sumner, Morgan Sumner, Coleman Jacobs and Caroline Jacobs Great Grandchildren: Matthew Sumner, Noah Sumner and Kayden Sumner Nieces and Nephews: Jim Blumer, Judy Adair, Randy Sumner, Steve Sumner, Annie Lewis, Sierra DePriest, and Ryan Shively His parents; one son, Darrell D. Sumner; one grandson, Justin Sumner; and one brother, Dr. Marian M. Sumner preceded him in death. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at the First United Methodist Church with Pastor Charlotte Coates officiating. Burial will be in the Fredonia City Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday, 5:30 P.M.-7:30 P.M. A memorial has been established in Dr. Sumner"s name with the Fredonia Regional Health Care Foundation and contributions can be sent to the funeral home. Words of condolence for the family may be left on this website. Timmons Funeral Home, PO Box 168, Fredonia, KS, 66736, is in charge of the arrangements.

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