OAKLAND, N.J. -- Paul Edward Sumner, 92, of Oakland, died Sunday, Oct. 30.
He was born Aug. 4, 1924, in Guthrie Center, Iowa, the son of Edward and Enid Sumner. He grew up in Iowa and attended local schools.
In 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sumner, who was not old enough to enter the military, decided to help his country by enrolling in school to become an airplane mechanic. He was drafted in 1943, placed in the U.S. Army Air Corps and sent for training at Kearns Field in Utah. He then also spent time in the Army's specialized training program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Eventually, at Camp Adair in Oregon, he trained as a 60 mm mortar gunner with the 70th Infantry Division.
He was shipped overseas late in 1944 and arrived in France and then Germany, where he endured 78 consecutive days of combat, which included the Germans’ Operation Nordwind offensive. With the 70th Infantry Division, he helped liberate an estimated 60 cities and villages. He re-enlisted for another 18 months of service after the war and returned to Germany as part of an occupation force. He loved to travel both domestically and internationally, photography and spending time with friends and family especially his grandchildren.
He is survived by his oldest son, Curt and wife Lisa; grandson Justin and wife Dyanna; great-grandson, Chase; and great-granddaughter Vivian; grandson, Tate and fiancée Mia; daughter, Carla and husband Scott Trivisani; youngest son, Mark and wife Giane; and grandson, Ryan.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to The American Legion – Oakland Memorial Post No.369, P.O. Box 274, Oakland, NJ, 07436 or the Oakland/Franklin Lakes Rotary Club, P.O. Box 42, Oakland, NJ 07436.
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