Gladys Cumming

Obituary of Gladys E. Cumming

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Gladys (Glad) Cumming, 94, passed peacefully to heaven on August 23, 2022, at The Chemung County Nursing Facility in Elmira, New York after a lengthy illness. She was born in Elmira on May 29, 1928, to Genevieve and J. Bruce Shutts. She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 71 years, Joseph, and five adult children: John (Sheila) of Bellaire, Tx; Richard (Lynn) of Concord, NH; Cynthia Weigle (Luke) of Durham, NH; Betsy Bills (Steven) of Sterling, VA; Douglas of Elmira. Glad and Joe have 5 grandchildren, Laura, Luke, Daisy (Daniel), Kelly, Sarah, and three step-grandchildren: Jane (Todd), Brette, and Paige. She is also survived by sister-in-law, Joyce Shutts. Glad was the last survivor of four other siblings—Barbara Shutts Collins (Bob), Robert Shutts (Joyce), Jimmy Shutts (Barbara), and Richard Shutts (Marlene). She is also predeceased by sister-in-law, Joanne Hammond (Gene). As a young lady Glad loved music, school, basketball, softball and ice-skating on Brick Pond. Her competitive sibling rivalries with her brothers and sister were continued with great fun through adulthood. She was a terrific cook, talented musician, avid reader, library patron, and wrote hundreds of poems that she continuously contemplated and revised. Gladys attended public school in Elmira and graduated with high honors from Elmira Free Academy in 1946. She also was graduated from State University of New York at Fredonia in 1950 and earned her MA in Music Education. Following college, Glad moved to Seneca Falls where she served as the school district's Supervisor of Music. While living there, Glad met Joe Cumming, an Air Force officer from Arizona serving at Sampson Air Force Base. They met on Halloween, 1951, became engaged at Thanksgiving, and were married December 30 in Elmira. Many were skeptical because of the courtship's brevity—which turned into a 70-plus year marriage worthy of the movies, as they spent their years together raising their children and leading accomplished lives. During Joe's Air Force service, they were stationed in Okinawa, Japan before returning to Elmira. Glad was famous for baking a yearly buffet comprised of dozens of types of Christmas cookies. She was also a fastidious housekeeper, teased by her family because she cleaned the house thoroughly before the family piled in their station wagon for their annual vacations to Cape Cod and Arizona. She spent much of her life teaching and leading music programs in churches and schools. She was a demonstration of exemplary religious faith and a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. As Director of Music for the Westside United Methodist Church for nearly forty years, she led choirs of all types and directed multi-faceted musical programs, particularly at Christmas and Easter. She served as District President of United Methodist Women, President of Symphonia, President of Thursday Morning Madrigals, and oversaw hundreds of church ceremonies, bazaars, and celebrations. She always found time to volunteer for her five children's school events, Meals-on-Wheels, and several other organizations. Glad and Joe spent their retired years constantly traveling in their RV to Cape Cod, Texas, Arizona and Florida along with many weekends at the lake. Even after the flood of 1972 severely damaged their home, Glad led her family forward with faith, optimism, and love. Glad and Joe represent a love story for posterity. Even in the most trying days battling the infirmities of aging they always ended their conversations with, "I love you, Glad." "I love you, Joe." The family extends heartfelt thanks to the third floor medical staff and administration of Chemung County Nursing Facility. Donations may be directly sent to Patty Mesko at the Chemung County Nursing Facility, 103 Washington Street, Elmira, New York 14901 in Memory of Gladys (Glad) Cumming. Services for Glad will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at New Beginnings Methodist Church, 300 E. Miller Street, Elmira. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., with a Funeral Service starting at 11:00 a.m. Interment will then take place at Woodlawn Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.
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Saturday
24
September

Visitation at New Beginnings Methodist Church

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, September 24, 2022
New Beginnings Methodist Church
300 E. Miller Street
Elmira, New York, United States
(585) 402-6491
Saturday
24
September

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday, September 24, 2022
New Beginnings Methodist Church
300 E Miller Street
Elmira, New York, United States
Saturday
24
September

Final Resting Place

2:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Woodlawn Cemetery
1200 Walnut Street
Elmira, New York, United States
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