Obituary of Robert F. Cummings
Mr. Robert F. Cummings, 86, of New Hartford, passed away on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 in the comfort of the home he lived in and tended to for over 50 years. He was with family and surrounded by love at the time of his passing. Robert was born in Utica, on June 18, 1934, the son of Harry and Helen (Fehlner) Cummings. He grew up in West Utica. He enjoyed riding through his old neighborhood and telling stories about each of his childhood friends as he passed their houses. He spent a considerable amount of time in his youth working as a lifeguard at Addison Miller pool and broke several records in competitive swimming and diving. He was a graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School and served his country in the United States Air Force. On September 2, 1961, Robert married the love of his life, Paula Lourdes Waterman at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica. He was a devoted husband for 49 years until Paula’s death in 2010. For many years, until his retirement, Robert was employed with the Aerospace Division at General Electric Company in Utica, with stints at Grumman and NASA. “Bob” to those who knew him, was a simple man of few words. When he spoke his words were golden and they were gospel. Family decisions were rarely made without the aid of a graph, a pie chart or some sort of mathematical equation. He enjoyed a warm beer and was a master of sarcasm, a talent he may or may not have learned from his wife. Outside of his career, he was a scout leader, a rock hunter, a gardener, a drummer, a backyard swimming instructor (and critic), a handyman, and a respected mentor. Mr. Cummings is survived by his son, Eric Cummings, who helped care for him and made it possible for him to remain in his home as his health declined; two daughters, Elise Cummings and her fiancé Allen Belmont and his daughters, Alexandria and Kaitlynn; and, Christina Cummings and her fiancé Aaron Barber and his son, Caleb Barber; two grandchildren, Aidyn Lourdes Barber and Gage Followill Barber with whom he shared a secret handshake; Scott Monahan who he considered his son; one brother, Harry Cummings and his wife, Betty; brother-in-law, Neil Waterman and sisters-in-law, Peg Waterman and Mary Milioto, as well as several nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his “girl” Alicia McNiel, who earned his trust while caring for his beloved wife Paula, who helped care for him for over ten years and who he considered part of the family. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private funeral will be held. Robert will be laid to rest next to his wife in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Whitesboro. Donations may be made to Feed Our Vets, New York Mills Pantry, PO Box 1, New York Mills, NY, 13417 (https://feedourvets.org/utica-pantry) or to the New York Mills Fire Department, 1 Maple Street, New York Mills, NY, 13417.To plant a tree in memory of Robert Cummings, please visit Tribute Store
Feed Our Vets, New York Mills Pantry, PO Box 1, New York Mills, NY, 13417 (https://feedourvets.org/utica-pantry) or to the New York Mills Fire Department, 1 Maple Street, New York Mills, NY, 13417.