Robert B. Cummings, 1934-2013

SCAN0001Robert Bruce Cummings, 78, of LaPorte, died Sept. 23, 2013.

He was born Dec. 8, 1934, in Moulmein, Burma, to Baptist missionaries Hazel June and William H. Cummings Sr. Bruce was also a grandson and great-grandson of Baptist missionaries to Burma.

Bruce was a world traveler and lived in Burma, America and Thailand. He attended high school in Kodaikanal, India. Bruce received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in entomology and insect ecology from Purdue University. He was employed for 40 years by the State of Indiana Department of Natural Resources, inspecting greenhouses and nurseries. Bruce loved God and was a choir member, deacon, trustee, and a Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church in LaPorte. He loved the out-of-doors, especially camping. This led to being a Boy Scout leader for more than 40 years with Troop 321 at the Baptist church.

He is survived by his wife, Louise; his brother, William H. Cummings Jr.; two daughters, Lois Vertullo and Linda Young; two grandsons, Steven RL Benson and Robert Vertullo; granddaughter, Theresa Tapella; three great-grandsons, Myles, Tucker and Tyler; many nieces and nephews; and a multitude of friends who also share in the loss. Bruce was foster father to teenagers, including many Boy Scouts.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Carol Grieves and his brother Gordon.

Anyone who knew Bruce is welcome to a visiting from 3 to 5 p.m. and a memorial service at 5 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Boy Scout Camp Topenebee, 0377 N. Holmesville Rd., Michigan City, IN. A potluck dinner will follow the memorial service at the campgrounds. Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, LaPorte, is handling arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 802 Indiana Ave., LaPorte, IN 46350; or Boy Scouts of America Troop 321 c/o Cutler Funeral Home, 2900 Monroe St., LaPorte, IN 46350.

Messages of condolence may be posted below on WNLP, as well as at

4 Responses to “Robert B. Cummings, 1934-2013”

  1. Lee Mumaw

    Sep 27. 2013

    Louise & Family,
    I am so thankful for the friendship my son and I have had with Bruce. I appreciate the times we spent at summer camp, on scout campouts and the vast array of knowledge he shared with us, he was a great friend and truly an amazing person. Myself and many others will certainly miss him.

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  2. George Brenn

    Sep 28. 2013

    I had known Bruce for nearly 40 years through his job with IDNR and was always impressed with his knowledge of insects and plants, but also with his pleasant demeanor. It seemed like Bruce was always in a good mood. But more than that, he was always willing to help or answer questions, of which I had many. I learned much about insects from Bruce. He was a unique individual and it was my great privilege to have known him. He will be missed by all those who knew him

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  3. Carolyln Gardner

    Oct 03. 2013

    Louise & family & friends. I only knew Bruce for a short time, about 12 years. First time I met him he was repelling up a tree looking for Emerald Ashborer. We became friends after a few laughs and my asking if his wife knew he climbed trees like that. Over the years our paths crossed for one reason or another. A nursery inspection, a park tour, a few bee issues. I saw Bruce just a few months ago here at my house solving my bee trouble. My husband had the honor of just sitting with him and talking for a while. I have been blessed to call him my friend. My only regret is that I did not meet him much sooner. Always upbeat and inspirational. I will miss him dearly as will all that knew him.

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  4. Terry Scherer

    Oct 05. 2013

    Louise, family & all the people who were touched and blessed by Bruce’s life (including my son Andrew and I), my sympathy and prayers to all. I knew Bruce from Scouting. I had the pleasure and honor of having served as a scout leader with Bruce. I know my son loved him and he would listen to Bruce better than he did me! Bruce was very kind and considerate. My son sends his sympathy also as he can’t attend the memorial service at Topenebee(he’s away at college) and I can’t because I have to work that day. We will be with you in our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers!

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