William T. Cumler

November 29, 1927 ~ July 17, 2018 (age 90)


William T. Cumler

Age 90, of Canton, passed away Tuesday July 17, 2018.  He was born Nov. 29, 1927 in Cleveland, OH, a son of the late William V. and Dorothy (Butler) Cumler.  After graduation from Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served two years as a baker on an ammunition ship in the Pacific area.  He was discharged from the Navy in 1947 and attended Fenn College (now Cleveland State) and George Williams College in Chicago, where he graduated in 1951 and began a period of full time work for five years with the Chicago YMCA as a youth and camp director.  During this period he also completed a year of graduate studies in Group Work Administration at George Williams College.  In 1956 he moved back to his native Ohio, where he completed 34 years with the YMCA-Canton Area, retiring on January 1, 1990.  From 1971 until his retirement he was the Chief Executive of the Greater Canton Area YMCA, with overall responsibilities at Y Program Centers in Canton, North Canton, Louisville, Minerva, Canton South, and Camp Tippecanoe.  In retirement, Bill more than filled his time with unusual travel experiences and volunteer jobs in the community.  He had served as Chairman of The Stark County Park District Board of Commissioners, President of the Ohio-West Virginia Chapter of YMCA Retirees, Finance Chairman of Christ United Methodist Church, and a former member of the Board of Hilscher-Clarke Electric Co.  Bill also gave a substantial amount of volunteer time helping the Y raise endowment money for future generations of Y kids.  He also was active in several other community activities.  The YMCA was always a major part of Bill’s life in retirement, and he went to the Y every day to run his 3-5 miles in the Canton Park system, logging over 42000 miles, and he also completed two Boston Marathons.  Travel adventures included home exchanges with families in England, taking a 24 foot boat from Florida to Maine with his brother, riding all over Europe for one month on a Eurorail train pass, trips with the Navy Memorial Foundation to Guam, the Philippines and the Mediterranean, and a YMCA sponsored trip to China.  In 1993, he served as the team leader with a Rotary Study Exchange in northern Germany for one month.  He traveled twice on freighters (container ships) totaling over 11000 miles.  These voyages have taken him to ports on the east coast of the United States, the Bahamas, through the Panama Canal, and eleven ports on the north and west coast of South America.  After Marilyn died he took several more freighter trips, including a three month voyage around the world.  The Windermere Methodist Church in East Cleveland and it’s Pastor, Dr. M. Wayne McQueen and the Summer Youth Institute at Lakeside, OH, had a profound influence on his and Marilyn’s lives, for it was here during school days that Jesus Christ truly came into their lives and the church youth group provided a Christian fellowship that would last throughout their lives.  In Canton Bill was a long-time member of Christ United Methodist Church until it closed and then became a member of Church of The Lakes, United Methodist.  He was a member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Canton Rotary Club.  Besides his parents, Bill was preceded in death by an infant daughter, and his brother, Robert Cumler.  He married his high school sweetheart Marilyn Miller on September 10, 1949, and they enjoyed a wonderful marriage for 46 years until Marilyn’s untimely death on May 20, 1996.  Their marriage blessed them with four daughters who all reside with their families in the Canton area: Janice and Erik Ahbel, Nancy and Joseph Halter, Susan and John Pollack, and Carol (Mike Kuhn) Raff; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, Kyle (Peggy) Ahbel and their daughters, Sadie, Madison, and Chloe, Ryan (Francoise) Ahbel, and their daughter, Celine, Joey (Kimi Recor) Halter, Matt (Anastacia) Halter, and their children, Maxwell and Lexi, Davis (Ashley) Raff, and their daughter, Rory, Karie (Eric Gehlbach) Raff, and Tyler Raff.  A Memorial Service will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. in Church of The Lakes, United Methodist with Pastor Bryan George and Pastor Nancy Conley officiating.  Military Honors will be held at the church.  Friends may call Sunday 2:30-5 p.m at the church before the service.  A private inurnment for the family will be held Monday in North lawn Cemetery.  The family wishes to express their appreciation to Dr. Louis Shaheen for his long-time care of Bill, also care givers Darla and Kathy, and Chris and Jen of Hospice, and the Aultman Compassionate Care Team for the love and care they gave to Bill.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bill’s memory may be made to Aultman Compassionate Care, 2821 Woodlawn Ave. NW, Canton, OH 44708, Church of The Lakes, 5944 Fulton Dr. NW, Canton, OH  44718, or YMCA of Stark County, 1201 30th St. NW, Suite 200, Canton, OH 44709.  Condolences may be sent to the family at:

Gordon (330) 456-4766


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