Cover photo for Ernest "Ernie" James Sumner's Obituary
Ernest "Ernie" James Sumner Profile Photo
1937 Ernest 2023

Ernest "Ernie" James Sumner

September 17, 1937 — November 20, 2023


Ernest “Ernie” James Sumner, 86, of Checotah, Oklahoma passed away Monday, November 20th, 2023, at home surrounded by family.

He was born September 17, 1937, in Claremore to Grover and Iva (Hester) Sumner.

He was one of seven children that Grover and Iva raised on their farm in Non during the 1930’s and 1940’s which were hard times across the United States and especially in Southeastern Oklahoma.  Working crops, trips to town, going to school was done by horse or mule much of the time. From an early age, working alongside his family on the farm, Ernest “Dunn”, knew the value of hard work and determination.

Ernest attended Grade school in Gerty, Oklahoma and Junior High at Jones Academy in Hartshorne, Oklahoma. He attended Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, where he met Sallie Butler, and they graduated together in 1957. Ernie had many nicknames throughout his life, but we will not mention the nickname he had at Haskell.

Ernest and Sallie were married December 28, 1957, in Canadian County and in time raised their family North of Yukon, Oklahoma.

While attending Haskell, Ernest began his life’s work in the Masonry Trade. After graduation he joined the Brick Layers Union of Oklahoma as an Apprentice.  In time he went to work for Botchlet Masonry as a Foreman. Ernie “Chief” stayed with Jerry Botchlet and Botchlet Masonry for 20 years.

Ernie then started his own Commercial Masonry Company, Ernest Sumner Masonry, in the early 1980’s and eventually retired in 2002. During his career he built many commercial buildings around the state of Oklahoma and surrounding states.

Ernest and Sallie moved to Lake Eufaula in 2002 where they have lived the last 21 years.

From an early age, horses were a part of Ernie’s life. He started riding and working in the fields with horses and mules at a very young age. His love of Quarter Horses led to the racing industry in the late 1970s. Ernie still has a horse in training getting ready to run at Remington Park in the Spring of 2024.

Ernest is survived by his wife of 65 years, Sallie Sumner, of the home; children, Rick Sumner of Checotah, Stan Sumner of Denver, CO, and Lisa Prince of Checotah; grandchildren, Lisa Graham and husband, Wes of Carter, OK, Miles Sumner and wife, Tanya of Fort Liberty, North Carolina, Cassandra Sumner of Tulsa, OK, Chelsie Packham of Oklahoma City, OK, Samantha Pemberton and husband, Jake of Checotah, OK, and Veronica Gragg and husband, Brent of Bethany, OK; great-Grandchildren, Jackson and Jase Bow, Bella and Benjamin Sumner, Oliver Packham, and Allie Gragg.

A memorial service will be held at noon on Sunday, December 3, 2023 at The Farmstead Venue and Events located at 6820 Econtuchka RD, Shawnee, OK.  A meal will be served at 1 following the service.  Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Swearingen Funeral Home in Seminole, OK.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ernest "Ernie" James Sumner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

The Farmstead Venue and Events

6820 Ns Co Road 349, Shawnee, OK 74804

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