DADE CITY — The memory of former County Attorney Robert Sumner was rekindled this week as family and friends gathered for the renaming of the East Pasco Judicial Center in his honor.
People swapped stories about Sumner, who served a decade as county attorney after a career in private practice. He died in May at age 76.
County Commissioner Ted Schrader, whose father was close with Sumner, remembered Sumner as a determined man who tried to help his community. He coached little league, co-founded the Florida Pioneer Museum and opted for public service late in life instead of retiring.
"Bob either didn't know the definition of 'no' or it wasn't in his vocabulary," he said.
Billy Brown, general manager of Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, shared a story of two high school friends faced with the prospect of being drafted into the Korean War. Sumner persuaded Brown to join the Coast Guard to avoid the Army. Brown served four years, and Sumner earned a medical discharge after only three weeks.
Near the end of the event, Sumner's wife, Marlene, finished Brown's story: "Oh, and by the way, that medical problem was flat feet."