Obituary for Allen Herschel “Hersch” Cummings

Written on July 22, 2021

Allen Herschel “Hersch” Cummings, 69, passed away at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima surrounded by his loving family on July 19th, 2021.  The birth of this strikingly extraordinary man was on August 28th, 1951 at San Antonio Hospital, Kenton Ohio.  His parents were the late Richard and Maxine (Cox) Cummings.  During his years at North Union High School, the quick witted, creative, and multi talented Hersch was drawn to art & music. After graduating high school in 1969, he attended the Ohio State University in Columbus.   On January 6th, 1972 Hersch had his first date with a beautiful young girl named Phyllis Sallee from Kenton.  Phyllis would be quick to tell you that she knew after one date that she would never let this remarkable man go, and she never did. Hersch married Phyllis (Sallee) Cummings on September 4th, 1972, and she survives in Lima, OH.  After working at Durez Oxychem for 3 decades, Hersch retired from there, and for his next career, per his request, he wanted to work in the hardware department at Walmart, and they were glad to have him. Every time he went there to grab a tool or part for the newest project my mother had him working on, nothing was ever in the right place he would say.  He concluded that if he was the lead stock person of that department, he could make a little extra money while also ensuring things would be there when he needed them himself, and that other handy do-it-yourselfers that shopped there would also appreciate it.  The people did, and just like everything else my father did, he excelled at that for 10 years. As meticulous as he was creative, with a severe case of being a perfectionist thrown in meant that dad didn’t leave his department until it looked “grand opening” ready.  I will be the first to admit that I am more than a little biased about my father. I have yet to ever meet someone that had the integrity of my father.  Honest almost to a fault. If my dad told you he was going to do something, you knew it was taken care of. There was no contract or even a handshake necessary. Dad’s word was all that was needed. Of all the things my father was good at which include being a remarkable husband, brother, son, father in law, grandpa, friend, uncle, carpenter, mechanic, builder and player of musical instruments, crossword puzzle solver, toilet, dry wall, ceiling tile, and hot water tank installer, landscaper, algebra problem solver, Jeopardy answer getter, and 1,000 other things like the Jack of All Trades that he was, you know what his true super power was?  Being an amazing father.  A standout TRUE story that my 5th grade classmates at Westview Elementary can attest to is that during my fifth grade year, I was having a tough time wanting to go to school. For several weeks I missed more days than I was present. I would come up with every fake illness under the sun to stay home. I somehow concluded school was a scary place to be. That scam worked for a few weeks, then one Thursday morning my dad said “we are going to school today.” He wasn’t kidding, he really meant we. He didn’t stay for a few minutes or an hour, oh no. My dad pulled up a chair beside me, and he was a 5th grader that day. He participated in class, lunch, recess, gym, and we even had a pizza party that afternoon, and we even got him to wear the silly hat. He didn’t spend his day off at school to make me feel bad, he did it out of love to show me that being at school was a good thing, and there was nothing to be scared of. At the time, I was a short, scrawny runt, and my dad, 6 ft tall, had been lifting weights for several years and was starting to resemble Macho Man Savage at that time. Several of the kids said “that’s your dad? he’s cool.” They weren’t wrong, but here’s the thing about my father. He wasn’t there to be cool.He didn’t care what school officials thought about his presence there that day. He didn’t care what  other parents may have thought, nor was it a story that he would ever tell his friends. He was there because from the minute he met my mother, and from the minute I was born, he only ever wanted what was best for us, and would make us happy. That’s what a real man does, and make no mistake;  Allen Herschel Cummings was a real man. And FYI: from 6th grade through 12th grade, I hardly ever missed a day of school. Thanks dad.  There is not enough ink in the printing press for me to express in words how much I loved and will miss my father. Volumes of books could be written on how much this man means to those of us who were lucky enough to know him. Our whole family appreciates your prayers, thoughts, and condolences, and we will love hearing your favorite Hersch stories in the days ahead.  I write this as I sit in my father’s music room. All the guitars, keyboards, amplifiers, Cd’s, records, music books, and all other music related items are all in their proper place, and spotlessly clean just like he kept everything. This room gives me comfort. It gives me hope. It reminds me that even though my father is no longer here in the physical sense, I will always have him in my heart. The only thing that is out of place in this room is a pair of concert tickets for an upcoming concert that we were going to see in October that dad was so looking forward to. He always kept our upcoming concert tickets tucked away  in a safe place until the special date, but right now, they sit beside me. I’m trying to be careful not to stain them with tears, as I wouldn’t dare go to this concert without my dad, and no amount of money could ever buy these tickets from me. I will hang onto these tickets knowing the time we would have had. The loss of my father does not simply create a scenario of “hard shoes to fill.” These are impossible shoes to fill. If at the end of my life, I can say that I was half the man that Allen Herschel Cummings was, then I would consider that a successful life. I sincerely hope that each and every one of you have been lucky enough to have or have had someone like this in your life. Someone who cared about you, loved you no matter what, and only ever wanted what was best for you in life. I know I did, and I miss him already. Thank you for everything dad. This is just goodbye for now, not forever.  Surviving are Hersch’s wife Phyllis Cummings of Lima, son Scott (Kylie) Cummings of Lima, granddaughter Makenna Cummmings, and grandson Jace Cummings both from Lima. Sisters Christy (Stuart) Gray of Richwood, OH. Rhonda (Bill) Butterfield of Kenton. Bonus brother & sisters Marvin (Judy) Sallee of Kenton, Betty Fay of Kenton, Step-mother Marlene Cummings of Mt.Victory, numerous nieces & nephews, special friends Jeff (Sylvia) Mueck of Mansfield, OH, and of course Hersch’s beloved tri-color Border Collie “Biff.” Hersch was preceded in death by his parents Richard & Maxine Cummings, his sister Elane (Rowe) Buroker, his brother Mark Cummings, and bonus brother Gerald Fay.  There will be a graveside service and celebration of life dinner in a few weeks closer to what would have been Hersch’s 70th bday for the family.  Schindewolf-Stout-Crates Funeral Home has helped the family with arrangements.  Online condolences can be expressed to the family by visiting stoutcrates.com.


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