School 14

Dr. Rodger Summers

January 10, 1945 ~ July 3, 2020 (age 75)


Dr. Rodger Summers, formally of of Whitman, passed away peacefully at Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care in Milton, MA. Born in Philadelphia, PA he graduated from John Bertram High School in Philadelphia, PA. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education/ English from Cheney University, where he was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, his Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Vermont, and his EdD in Higher Education from Indiana University.  He was Vice President for Student Affairs at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, West Chester University in Pennsylvania, and Binghamton University in New York.

He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 47 years, Pamela Summers, father of Megan Bernard and her husband Doug of Abington and Jordan Summers and her wife Olivia Breen of Cambridge.  Grandfather of Theodore and Vivien Bernard.  Brother of Benjamin Summers, Jr. of North Carolina, and Reverend Moses E. Summers, Ruby Simpkins and sister-in-law Doretha Summers of Pennsylvania as well as a host of nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents Benjamin Summers Sr. and Viola (Kemerlin) Summers, sisters Thelma Spells,  Essie Crew, and Elizabeth Little, and brother Clarence Summers.

Rodger was a mentor to nearly everyone he met. He was a friend to all who knew him and confidant to many. As a father, he would always ask “is this a need or a want” though never left his daughters, wife, or grandchildren wanting for anything.  He was relaxed but formal in every portion of his life, opting to mow the lawn in a button down oxford, dockers and boat shoes, his usual casual weekend uniform. He was an amazing cook and baker who never used a recipe, made the best Manhattans, blueberry waffles and everything in between, preferring to end every night with a cup (with saucer of course) of earl grey tea. 

A private family service will be held on Tuesday, July 7 at the Alfred Thomas Funeral Home in Milton. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the Mosaic Center for Students of Color at the University of Vermont ( ) for the Rodger Summers Award which recognizes undergraduate students of color who have affected the UVM community of color through their leadership and vision.

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