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314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
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Edward Arthur "Ed" Cummings

Born: Sun., Jun. 29, 1941
Died: Fri., Sep. 25, 2020


Private Committal


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Stevensville  -  Ed passed from this life to the next, quietly and instantly, on his beloved ranch on September 25, 2020. He died at age 79 of natural causes related to a heart condition. He was born in Anaconda, Montana on June 29, 1941 to Edward J. Cummings and Charlotte Ely Cummings. He attended St. Peter's grade school and graduated from Anaconda High School as an honor student and class president. He was an outstanding football athlete and attended Stanford University on an athletic scholarship. Because of his success on the football field, he received numerous awards, earning first team All America honors as a fullback in 1962. In 2005, he was inducted into the Stanford Football Hall of Fame. After graduating from Stanford, he completed a graduate degree in Sociology from Columbia University. While in New York, he played professional football briefly for the New York Giants, then a year for the New York Jets. He finished his professional football career spending 2 years with the Denver Broncos. He had married his college sweetheart, Mary Balch, and they moved to Missoula, Montana where he earned a law degree from the University of Montana. Ed and Mary had two beautiful daughters, Kelle and Holly. He practiced law as a personal injury attorney until 1986 when he changed career paths and purchased a cattle ranch between Kootenai Creek and Bass Creek near Stevensville. He had long dreamed of having a ranch of his own, having spent summers on his uncle's ranch in eastern Montana. In 1973, he married Carole Stoenner and they had 3 sons, Joe, Chris, and Michael, and one daughter, Megan. He loved the land and the challenges of ranch life, but also felt a strong responsibility to support his church and community. He was a catechism tutor, confirmation teacher, and member of the Cemetery Board at St. Mary's Catholic Church. He was so fond of his church family and rarely missed the Coffee Hour after Mass. He served on the Stevensville School Board and the Ravalli County Planning Board. Ed was a fierce supporter of youth and had a soft heart for any one he felt was an outsider or an underdog. ·' As much as he enjoyed the attention he received from his football career, he wanted more to be remembered for providing first jobs for the youth in the area as ranch workers. Over the years, he had hired over 75 young people including all of his children and most of his grandchildren. His advice to youth, in any endeavor, was to stop and "THINK" and when things became difficult and challenging..." JUST KEEP WORKING." Having meaningful work was most important to Ed, but he also loved to read and was very fond of poetry, especially Robert Service and Robert Frost. His children remember his many memorized recitations of the Highwayman and the Cremation of Sam McGee. He was preceded in death by his parents and daughter Megan. He is survived by his wife, Carole, his daughter Kelle Bradshaw (Stuart; grandchildren: Levi, Athena, Cameron, Zoe and Isaac; great grandchildren Aurora and Jonah), daughter Holly Carnes (grandchildren Sam and Andi), son, Joe (Tammi; grandchildren Mackenzie, Charlotte, Kirk and Annabelle), son Chris and his wife Sarah, son Michael (Jerika; grandchildren Quinn and Wyatt) He leaves his family the memories of his strong will, his strong faith, his amazing work ethic, his unique perspective on all matters, and his many efforts to do what he believed was right and fair. There will be a private Burial Rite on Friday, October 2, followed by a family gathering at the ranch. Because of Covid restrictions, it is not possible to have a traditional public funeral. To honor Ed's life, the family would welcome written memories mailed to 237 Schearbrook Lane, Stevensville, MT 59870. Memorials may be made to Pantry Partners, 3614 ALC Way, Stevensville, MT 59870. "Just think! Some night the stars will gleam upon a cold, gray stone, And trace a name with silver beam, And lo, it will be your own. That night is speeding on to greet Your epitaphic rhyme. Your life is but a little beat Within the heart of time. A little gain, a little pain, A laugh, lest you may moan. A little blame, a little fame, A star gleam on a stone". ---Robert Service.

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Condolence Booklet

Mike and Angela Hudgins
   Posted Tue September 29, 2020
Joe and family,
We are sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. Know you are in our thoughts during this difficult time.
~Mike and Angela

Topper and Cathy Tracy
   Posted Tue September 29, 2020
Oh my Carole so sorry and shocked to hear of
Ed’s passing . What a blessed man to have been able to live his life to the fullest.
Our prayers for Ed, you and your family
Topper and Cathy

David & Judy (Palakovich) Blaz
   Posted Tue September 29, 2020
I knew Ed when I was younger as my dad Joe Palakovich was a partner at Eddy's Bar with Ed Sr. Our condolences to his family.

Nancy Lowell
   Posted Tue September 29, 2020
Sending love and sympathy to all of you during this difficult time. I will be thinking of you and please know that I was so proud to call Ed my good friend!

Paulette Ferguson
   Posted Thu October 01, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of Ed's passing. He was a great mentor to me after graduating from law school. He was always ready and willing to answer questions, allow me to attend depositions and co-counsel with me.

Tana Doyle
   Posted Fri October 02, 2020
Dear Carole and Family,

I am so sorry to hear of Ed's passing. Ed was a kind man and I feel fortunate I had the opportunity to meet him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sincerely,
Tana Doyle

Ben everett
   Posted Sat October 03, 2020
I first met Ed at a school board meeting in Anaconda where he appeared to speak in favor of retaining Chuck Williams as the high school football coach. As a high school senior at the time I also spoke in favor of Mr. Williams. After graduating from law school I saw Ed many times and We even had a case in which we were on opposite sides. Ed treated everyone with respect and was always a gentleman . Ed was a credit to the legal profession and had integrity. Rest In Peace.

Carol's Woolsey Mielje
   Posted Sat October 03, 2020
What sadness I felt when I read of Ed's passing. I assume he was doing what he loved.
Over the years and in several situations he gave me tidbits of advice I always remember.
Fly with the eagles my friend.



Jeff Patterson
   Posted Mon October 05, 2020
Carol and family,

I just learned of Ed’s passing this evening after dinner. Please know I am thinking of you all. I often think of working with Ed, the opportunity he gave me, and the family fun we had traveling together. Even with our occasional disputes and chest pounding confrontations, we always seem to remain friends. Ed often came and got me to walk around town with him during lunch or just random times when he was needing someone to vent with. It always made me feel good when we returned to the office and he would thank me for being his friend.

Today I was working on my barn, and for some reason I couldn’t get Ed out of my mind. He was not a passing thought. It was more like he was here with me for hours. When I finished up for the day, I told Darlene that I thought I would give him a call in a day or so to see how he was doing. I was shocked to receive a text this evening asking me if I knew he passed. He is a special kind of guy and will always be part of my life.

Darlene and I send you all hugs and our love.

Jim Connors
   Posted Tue October 06, 2020
My condolences to Ed's family. Ed will always be remembered as a friend and Anaconda High School classmate. R.I.P.

Kathy Dufresne
   Posted Sat October 10, 2020
We have so many pleasant memories of our chance visits with Ed from the Stevi Cafe to community events. We appreciate the time he gave to Stevensville Schools, too! It has been our pleasure to not only know and work with Ed but we also enjoyed teaching and workihg with the Cummings kids in school. We are thankful that Ed shared Carol with us while we were building our home -- such a wonderful family!! Our hearts hurt with all of yours. We send good hugs, good thoughts and prayers to the Cummings family. Kathy and Dale Dufresne

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