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Sumner Woodward (1930-2022)

Sumner Woodward died peacefully at Woodcrest Village on November 24, 2022 in New London, New Hampshire at the age of 92. He was born in New London, New Hampshire to Wesley and Beth (Swett) Woodward.

Sumner graduated from New London High School in 1948. He attended Norwich University and received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 1952 in Biology. At UNH Sumner served as president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was selected for membership to Senior Skulls, a group of ten men recognized for their leadership on campus.

After graduating from college, Sumner joined the United States Army. Upon graduating from Officer Candidate School, Sumner married Joan Fairbanks from Boscawen, New Hampshire in 1954; just before shipping to Frankfurt, Germany, where he served as a First Lieutenant with the 4th Infantry Division.

In 1955, Sumner returned to New London, New Hampshire to join his father running the family building business, Wesley B. Woodward and Son. For 45 years Summer built over 1000 homes, many of them with partner Jim Moreland. Sumner and Jim’s successful business partnership earned them New Hampshire Builder of the Year Award in 1982.

When he wasn’t building homes, Sumner devoted his time and talents to serve the town and people of New London. He held a variety of ongoing roles within the community during his lifetime, including serving as: a deacon at the New London First Baptist Church, president and a life-time director of the New London Outing Club, director of Sugar River Savings Bank and New London Trust Company, president of King Ridge, executive board member of Presidential Oaks, and an executive board member of the Boys Club.

Sumner also coached baseball for 50 years; was a Christian education teacher, served on building committees for the Tracy Memorial Library and Kearsarge Regional High School, was a board member for the Wilmot Community Center, member of the New London Historical Society, member of Heidelberg Lodge #92 IOOF, and oversaw the building of the Red Barn. In 1989, Sumner and Jo went into partnership with Sheer and McCrystal, creating Whipple House, which is now Woodcrest Village, owned and operated by the Brenner family. Summer’s last building project was the development of Deerwood, Wilmot NH where he and Jo lived for over a decade before returning to New London in 2017.

As a result of his life-long service, Sumner was fortunate to be recognized by the community for his service. He was awarded the Boys Club’s William Marbury Beall Award and together with his wife, Jo, received the Third-of-a-Century Award.

Sumner is predeceased by his parents Wesley and Beth, his sister Sylvia, his Uncle Waldo and Aunt Lucy Woodward, and son Kent.

Sumner’s surviving family members include his wife of 68 years, Jo; his brother John (Glennis); four children, Kim of New York City, Kate (Chris) of Westford, MA, Trent (Emily) of Grantham, NH, and Meg of Paris, France; and five grandchildren, Steele of New York City, Carter of Seattle, WA. Morgan of Sendai, Japan, Braley of New York City, and Connor of New Haven, CT.

A funeral is scheduled for December 10, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in New London, New Hampshire. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Sumner’s life.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Kent Woodward Memorial Fund at the New London Outing Club, PO Box 1856, New London, NH 03257


Memorial ServiceSaturday, December 10, 2022 1:00 PM The First Baptist Church 461 Main Street New London, NH 03257


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