Wilford Thomas ‘Buddy’ Summers
Wilford Thomas “Buddy” Summers was born Dec. 7, 1932 in Round Valley on the Arcularius Ranch and passed away quietly at his home in Bishop on Feb. 25, 2013 with his loved ones by his side. He was 80 years old. Buddy was a lifetime resident of the Owen’s Valley. He was the youngest of five children born to Marjorie and Tom Summers.
Buddy was a decedent of the Yosemite Band of the Miwok Tribe and of the Mono Lake Paiute. His family relocated from Round Valley to Bishop Indian Reservation when Buddy was nine years old, during the Land Exchange Process, where he was a proud member of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, serving on the Tribal Council and various committees throughout the course of his life.
Buddy came from a history of ranching and farming. In his early years, his father had contracts with ranchers up and down the Valley to process their hay. Buddy often mentioned that he loved the smell of freshly cut alfalfa along with the hard work. In his spare time, both as a child and as an adult and away from hard work, his life was spent outdoors where he was taught by his father and grandfather, the hunting and fishing traditions of his culture. Buddy loved to walk the mountains in the peaceful beauty of nature. He had a high regard for nature and for the animals, passing those customs down to his children who continue to carry forth those same traditions and values today.
Through the course of Buddy’s life, he worked at various jobs and was employed by the City of Bishop, Inyo County Road Department, Caltrans, The Power Company, Sierra Construction (Bob George) and his last employer was Tom Reid Construction, who he considered a close friend.
Buddy was a heavy equipment operator and was considered one of the best in the Valley. His skill at operating equipment was sought by every contractor in Bishop. Buddy served many years on the Labor Day Rodeo Association in the pit crew, and served as Grand Marshall over the Labor Day festivities in 1998.
He married his high school sweetheart Georgia Greenlee, fondly known as “Peaches,” in 1951 and they remained married until her death in 1997. Georgia was the love of his life.
Buddy was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Marjorie Summers; wife, Georgia; brother, Stan Summers, Sr.; sisters, Virginia Morales, Barbara Hess and Justine “Pid” Harrington; and granddaughter, Shannon Dumas.
He is survived by his longtime companion, Joyce Reed; son, Allen (Karen) Summers; daughters, Diane (Pat) Nelson and Shelly (Doug) Dumas; grandchildren, Jerry, Stephanie, Glenn and wife Shawnee, Nelson, Garrett, Travis, Vas-ia-li-kui, A.J. Summers and Danny Dumas; nine great-grandchildren; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to give special thanks to Natty Carrillo and her beautiful little daughter Natalie for her love, care and devotion to Buddy as his care provider and friend during the last years of his life.
Funeral service will be held at noon Saturday, March 2 at Brune Mortuary Chapel with Stan Summers officiating. Interment will be at Pioneer Cemetery.