Jeanne Cummins, age 93, died peacefully in her sleep with the TV blaring at her home of more than 60 years on the West Side of Columbus on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
She was born in Glouster to Clifford and Rose (Bulah) Thompson as Ethel Mae and was the youngest of three children. At a young age, her family moved to Columbus and lived on the Hilltop. Jeanne showed tremendous talent for singing and performing in front of an audience when she was five years old. In 1943, she graduated from West High School and shortly after changed her name to Jeanne Bennett and joined the Bernie Cummins Orchestra. She traveled the country during the big band era and met the love of her life, Walter Cummins, the lead male vocalist in the band. They were married on May 13, 1946 at the Columbus St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Soon after, Walter and Jeanne left the band and settled down in Columbus where they lived together for 44 years and raised their six children.
She continued to sing and perform professionally into her late 70s with local big bands and was a television personality on such shows as “The Happy Face Show”, “The Coffee Club”, “The Green Thumb” and appeared as Suzy Snowflake with Santa.
She was inducted into the West High School Hall of Fame and the Columbus Senior Musicians Hall of Fame. But if you asked her, her most important accomplishment was being a mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Walter, brothers Wilbur and Walter and grandson Walter M. She is survived by her six children, Christine (Tom) Murphy, W. Marty (Jan) Cummins, Cathleen (Bob) Callahan, Michael (Mollie) Cummins, Colleen (John) Held, and Maureen “Mimi” (Harvey) Anderson; 21 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, nephews Rick, Steve, Rocky, niece Patty and longtime friend Rose Murnane.
Visiting hours will be at JERRY SPEARS FUNERAL HOME, 2693 W Broad St., on Friday, January 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, January 12th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Stephen the Martyr Church. Interment to follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Father Vince Nguyen who helped prepare her for heaven, caregivers Kathy, her “angels” from Visiting Angels Bonnie, Sharon and Marcia, Ohio Health Hospice and Passport. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pregnancy Decision Health Center and Ohio Health Hospice.