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George Maynard Summers, 100

August 01, 2009

DEC. 4, 1908-JULY 30, 2009

George Maynard Summers, 100, died Thursday, July 30, 2009, at Northampton Manor Care Home.

He was the husband of 69 years to Mary Elizabeth "Sweets" Summers

Life story: Mr. George Maynard Summers of Frederick, Md., was born into this life Dec. 4, 1908, in Mount Pleasant, Md. He was the son of the late George Samuel and Lillie Bell (Castle) Summers.

Maynard, as he was affectionately called, grew up on the family farm learning to work hard and establish a good work ethic. He started school at Mount Pleasant Elementary School and went on to graduate from Frederick High School after the family left the farm and moved to the City of Frederick.

During his high school days, Maynard, was a multitalented track star. As a 6-foot-1, 169-pound teenager, he was a champion runner, jumper and thrower, becoming somewhat of a "Frederick's version of Jim Thorpe." Years before the four-event limit was imposed, he scored points in the quarter-mile (his specialty), broad jump, hop, step and jump, 100-yard dash and javelin. Maynard was the 1927 Interscholastic meet's high scorer and was able to take home a trophy and a gold watch. In that meet, he became known as Frederick's "One Man Track Team." He scored all of the Cadets' points as they carried off the state and interscholastic titles. In 1928 he practically duplicated his effort at the same event, however, Frederick wasn't a repeat winner. As a high school athlete, he ran the 100-yard dash in an impressive 9.9 seconds, consistently ran in the low 50s in the 440-yard run, recorded regular broad jumps of 20-plus feet and triple jumped in the mid-40s.

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In 1932, Maynard traveled to the "Windy City" of Chicago, where he competed in several events, many of which he ran against the famed Jesse Owens, four-time gold medalist at the Berlin Olympics. After graduating from Frederick High School, Maynard continued his track and field career. Instead of attending one of the many colleges that pursued him, however, he joined the Stonewall Democratic Athletic Club in Baltimore and began competing in the South Atlantic AAU. It was the Stonewall organization that gave him the chance to try out for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. In Chicago, he took second in the triple jump and quarter-mile run and placed well in the javelin, moving on to the next stage of trials. He was eventually eliminated in California just short of the Olympics.

After the Olympic trials, the young Mr. Summers returned to Frederick to begin his career in business. He was willing to work anywhere, so he started out getting a job with a contractor building a bridge. Showing his expertise in mechanical work, the owner introduced him to the only Texaco station in Frederick, which he ended up owning. From there, he saw an opportunity to get into the vending and jukebox business, which he built into a very successful enterprise. He expanded from that into the restaurant from which he retired in 1960. He was able to purchase several prime pieces of real estate on which he built successful businesses, which gave him the opportunity to retire early in life and travel.

During his travels around the area and especially into Hagerstown, Md., Maynard spied a young lady who took his eye, love was born and on Dec. 4, 1941, George Maynard Summers and Mary Elizabeth "Sweets" Hawbecker were united in marriage at Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Summit Avenue in Hagerstown by Reverend Holcraft. Mr. and Mrs. Summers went to house keeping in Frederick, Md.

During their 69 years of married life, their greatest joy has been traveling together throughout all the states in America and several other countries. They enjoyed going wherever they wanted to and staying as long as they desired. In doing so, they have been blessed with many wonderful friends from all around the country, which has given them great pleasure. Another of their great joys has been their condominium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They were able to spend 50 winters there and again met many wonderful people who became their close friends. The parties and social life with their close friends brought them much pleasure.

Mr. Summers wore many different hats during his life, one of which was serving his country in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1943 during World War II. He also wore the title of Kentucky Colonel as well as serving as the national vice commander of AMVETS Post II in 1952. Maynard was also a life member of the Elks, American Legion, AMVETS , Eagles Club, Disabled Veterans and Moose Club. He also was a great supporter of the Frederick YMCA, having a gymnasium named in his honor. He also had been a long-standing member of Centennial United Methodist Church of Frederick, to which he has donated a sound system.

In addition to his wife Mary, Mr. Summers was survived by a great-nephew, Thomas Summers Ramsburg.

Mr. Summers was preceded in death by one sister, Ethel Ramsburg; and one nephew, Guy Ramsburg.

Visitation with family will be Monday, Aug. 3, 2009, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Keeney and Basford P.A. Funeral Home, 106 E. Church St., Frederick.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009, at 1 p.m. at the funeral home. Pastor Jonathan Laye will officiate. Interment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick.

Expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.keeneybasford.com.

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