Name: Hezzie Leon Summitt Location: Sims, AR D.O.B.: 1/18/1925 D.O.D.: 2/14/2018
Hezzie Leon Summitt, 93, of Sims, Arkansas passed away peacefully at St. Vincent’s hospital in Hot Springs on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018. Born in Sims, Arkansas on January 18, 1925 to Fredie Shipman Summit and Lula Mae West Summit. Hezzie lived his entire life in Sims.
He graduated from Mount Ida High School and then taught school at the Rocky one-room school house during the early 1940’s. Hezzie married his true love, Lillie Eva Plyler, on March 14, 1943. He was drafted in the U.S. Army infantry working his way up to the rank of Technical Sergeant in the WWII European theatre in Italy and France as a member of Company B, 133rd Red Bull Division from March 1944 until he returned home in January of 1946.
On returning from the war, Hezzie and Lillie purchased a house and store building from his grandfather, Ransom West. They were given 66 acres of pasture land from his parents and began raising cattle. Then the couple purchased another store building across Highway 88 from their house and opened H.L. Summitt Grocery and Merchandise. They ran the general store in Sims from 1947 until 1973. At that same time in 1973 they built their dream home on a hilltop overlooking Sims where they lived until Lillie passed away in 2011.
While operating the store, Hezzie enjoyed farming and raising cattle. He could always be found at the Mount Ida or Glenwood livestock sale barns on sale days. In 1973 the Summitts were chosen the Montgomery County Farm Family of the Year. Hezzie continued to grow his farm, his family and his cattle.
After Lillie passed away, Hezzie moved into the Montgomery County Nursing Home Rehabilitation Unit where he was always known as the candy man. Everyone loved to visit Hezzie and get a piece of candy with their visit. Hezzie spent the last years of his life in the loving care of the staff of the Home.
Hezzie was preceded in death by his parents, by his wife of 68 years, Lillie Plyler Summitt, his sister, Berlene Tabor Grisham, and one grandchild. He is survived by his three children, Patricia (Terry) Morphew of Channahon, IL, Terry (Kathy) Summitt of Mount Ida, Arkansas, and Jerry (Marcia) Summitt of Sims, Arkansas, six grandchildren, Paula Morphew Newsom of Morris, IL, Chad (Cassie) Summitt of Las Vegas, NV, Christopher Morphew of Channahon, IL, Chandra Ellison of Mount Ida, AR, Derek (Alice) Summitt of Sims, AR, and Michael (Natalie) Summitt of Hot Springs, AR. Also surviving are twelve great grandchildren, one great great grandchild and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.
Visitation will be held Sunday, February 18th from 1 pm until 4 pm at Thornton Funeral Home in Mount Ida. Funeral services will be held at 10 am on Monday, February 19th at the Lone Valley Church of God in Sims with Brother Bud Wilburn officiating. Pallbearers will be the grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers are Willis Summitt and the staff members of the Montgomery County Nursing Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lone Valley cemetery fund or to the Lone Valley Church of God. Arrangements were made under the direction of Thornton Funeral Home of Mount Ida, AR. Guest Register at www.thorntonfh.com
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Hezzie and family were the best. He provided grocery credit for my single mother family to help us get through difficult times. As said He and his Wife and Kids were a delight to the community. He definitely provided happiness to the world. Thank you.
Rest in peace. You are loved.