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George Sumpter - April 30, 2013

George W. Sumpter was born May 16, 1925, in Iron Mountain, Mo., to Jake and Mae Sumpter. He was the middle child of nine. He died April 30, 2013.

He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who deeply loved his family. He never met a stranger and had a smile and greeting for everyone he encountered.

He owned the Ben Franklin Store in Holyoke and was instrumental in building a nursing home and senior care center for the community. He also owned Ben Franklin stores in the Springfield, Mo., area for many years.

He was an active church and community leader. He was Grand Master of Masonic Lodge #345 and a 56-year member. He served on the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging Foundation board.

He was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Springfield, where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, greeter and department director and served on numerous committees. His greatest joy was serving in outreach by visiting nursing homes and homebound members.

He is survived by Nadine, his wife of 68 years; children, George W. and wife Dena, Cynthia Gracey Bernsen and husband Mark and Troy and wife Angie; one sister, Gladys Currie; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

The memorial service was held at First Baptist Church in Springfield on May 3.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Springfield Benevolence Fund.