John A. "Jack" Cummings, Whitewater, WI/and Big Pine Key, FL (1931 - 2013)
May 3, 1931 - January 3, 2012
John (Jack) Cummings died at home on Jan. 3, 2013, after a long bout with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Jack was born at Evanston Hospital in Evanston, IL, to John L. and Valeria (Nokes) Cummings. He grew up on the family farm in Little Prairie, WI, where he attended Little Prairie Grade School-one room, one teacher, grades 1-8, and 52 students. In 1949, he graduated from Whitewater High School. On Sept. 16, 1950, he married Nancy Bogie at Little Prairie Methodist Church. In 1953, he graduated with a BS and BE degree from Whitewater State College (now UW-Whitewater). In 1959, he received his MS degree from UW-Madison and in 1966, he earned his Doctorate of Education from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.
Jack taught Biology and Science at Fort Atkinson High School from 1953 to 1961. He finished his professional career as a Biology Professor at his alma mater, UW-Whitewater from 1961 until his retirement in 1990. He enjoyed his years of teaching because he was blessed with such great students, both undergrad and graduate. He especially enjoyed the Marine Biology of the Florida Keys class which he taught for 16 years. While at UW-W, he was awarded the W. P. Roseman Award for Excellence in teaching in 1982. After retirement, he was honored by having the Upham Hall Natural History Museum named for him.
Nancy and Jack spent their married life in Whitewater, Lauderdale Lakes, and Big Pine Key, FL. Jack and Nancy RV'd all over the United States, saw Australia and New Zealand, and cruised the islands. Jack's greatest source of pride was his family: wife Nancy, daughter, Jackie and her husband, Les; son, Kim and his wife, Carol, grandsons, Craig and Kyle, and great-grandson Mason. Over the years, Jack and Nancy attended many choir concerts, band concerts, football, basketball, and baseball games that the young members of his family have been involved in. It has been a real pleasure to watch them all mature.
Jack enjoyed hunting, fishing, diving, snorkeling for lobster, but most important was quality time with family and friends. He was an avid football fan of the UW-W Warhawks and the Packers.
Jack served on the UW-W Foundation Board, the UWW Alumni Association, the Emeriti Committee, the Science Alliance, the Quarterback Club, and the UW system's Field Station Board. He was a volunteer for the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society, both county and state and was named as ACS Honorary Life member. He was a driving force in getting the Indian Mounds Park established. He was instrumental in the Whitewater exodus to Gulf Shores, AL, for spring break. His first trip to Gulf Shores, was in the spring of 1958. He served the full slate of officers in the Badger Chapter of FMCA. He was also an active member of the Department of Defense, teaching radiation protection to police and fireman. He volunteered for 18 years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key, FL, and at the Eco Center in Key West, FL.
Jack is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughter Jackie (Les) of Delavan; son, Kim (Carol) of Silver Lake; grandson, Dr. Craig and friend Katie of Milwaukee; grandson, Kyle (Michelle) of Lake Villa; great-grandson, Mason of Silver Lake; sister, Kay (Dick) Mackie of Madison; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Richard Mackie; and brother and sister-in-law, Ray and Helen Bodie.
A celebration of life service will be held at 12 Noon on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at the NITARDY FUNERAL HOME CHAPEL, 550 N. Newcomb Street, Whitewater, WI, with visitation preceding the service at 10 a.m. A luncheon will follow the services at Randy's in Whitewater.
Memorials may be made to the Dr. John Cummings Scholarship at UW-W Foundation, to the ACS, or to the Whitewater Aquatic Club.
The family would like to thank the following doctors: Dr. Harold Anschuetz, Dr. Henry Aufderhaar, Dr. Michael Kruk, Dr. Marcus Santana, and nurse Jen, and the Rainbow Hospice for their excellent care. Special thanks to our best friend, Jim Follis.