James David Van Beveren Sumption, 89, Alexandria

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James David Van Beveren Sumption was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 13, 1925 to Richard and Mary (Horrell) Van Beveren. His family moved to Minnesota and lived in the Minneota area where Jim attended school. Before finishing high school, he answered the call of duty and joined the US Navy. He served from January 7, 1944 to February 19, 1946 when he was honorably discharged. Jim spent much of his deployment on a submarine in the South Pacific, and later was awarded the Purple Heart for his service. He then returned to Minneota and completed high school, graduating with Beverly Swanson, his high school sweetheart. On August 14, 1946, he and Beverly were married at Hope Lutheran Church in Minneota. The couple moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Jim attended Augustana College, where he was all conference in basketball and ran track. After graduation, he and Bev moved to St. Paul and Jim attended Luther Seminary. With a growing family, he worked weekends and evenings in construction and was still able to graduate in three years. He accepted his first call to a two-point parish in Kenneth, Minnesota.

Jim served a number of churches across the state, including parishes in Crookston, New Ulm, rural Starbuck, Grove City and Boyd before retiring in 1978. In June of 2015, he was recognized by the ELCA for 60 years of ministry.  He is remembered as one of those rare individuals who could reach out to all, regardless of social or cultural differences.

Jim loved the outdoors and led many youth groups on canoeing and camping trips to northern Minnesota. He thoroughly enjoyed his ministry, especially his work with youth and families. He developed his own curriculum for confirmation which inspired many to use the Bible as an important source of study and meditation.

He was a hunter, fisherman, nature photographer and bird watcher. He loved learning about the ways of God’s creatures and spent much time reading, studying the scriptures and writing. Based on personal experiences with family, he compiled a book entitled, “Devotional Letters to Grandchildren.”  Printing from his computer, he gave away hundreds of copies to friends, relatives and strangers.

Jim enjoyed sports of all kinds and spent many hours watching young people play basketball, football, wrestle and run, encouraging them from his spot on the sidelines. In the 1960s, he became an avid photographer at sporting events and eventually set up his own darkroom at home. The black and white prints he developed were given to the young athletes.

Jim is remembered as a wise, gentle and caring man of God, ministering to those around him until his journey on earth was complete.   Just a week before his death he baptized Kloe Reich, his great-grandchild.  He passed away peacefully at home on July 3, 2015.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers: William Sumption and Robert Sumption; one sister, Marilyn Zellmer and a daughter, Leah Marie Sumption.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Beverly of Glenwood; two sons: David (Angelina) Sumption of Playa Del Rey, California and Mark (Sally) Sumption of  Tomahawk, Wisconsin; four daughters: Linda Sumption of Portales, New Mexico; Faith (Paul) Anderson of Starbuck; Judy Sumption of Glenwood and Janis Sumption (Scott Tostenson) of Benson. Jim is also survived by three sisters, Pearl (Kenn) Anderson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Ruby McFadden of Poplar Bluff, Missouri and Mary Lee (Larry) Olson of Zumbrota, Minnesota. Ten grandchildren survive along with 14 great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, July 11, at 11 a.m. at St. Johns Lutheran Church northwest of Starbuck. Pastor Michael Hanson will officiate at the service and Pastor Matt Anderson will officiate at the inurnment service at Indherred Lutheran Cemetery, rural Starbuck.  Arrangements are with the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood.

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