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February 2nd, 2010

2 February

As hubby and I were heading home from lunch, it occurred to me that today is my grandfather's birthday. 126 years ago, my maternal grandfather was born in the small town of Northport, Alabama. Benjamin Dyer Sumner was the seventh of nine children born to Benjamin Cornelius "Neal" Sumner and his wife Rebecca Evelyn Phifer. Ben was already 66 years old and retired by the time I was born to his youngest daughter, and was the only grandfather that I knew.

My grandfather worked with his hands—he was a carpenter and built several homes in Tuscaloosa and Northport. One house he built was my mother's childhood home at 316 Caplewood Terrace in Tuscaloosa. I remember that he had lost the first joint of the index finger on one hand (I think the right hand) in an accident at work.

I believe that his faith and church were very important to him. He was elected a Deacon at Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa and later elected a Life Deacon. My mother believed that he was the first, or one of the first Life Deacons at Calvary Baptist.

Ben Sumner passes his name down to our older son.