Services for Hazel Jeanette Sumner, 79, of Canton were held Thursday, July 11, 2019, at Eu-bank Funeral Home in Canton.
She passed away July 9, 2019, in Canton after a long illness. Born Aug. 2, 1939, in Wills Point to Ernest Gordon Whitaker and Ophelia Thompson Whitaker, her amazing life would lead her around the globe before bringing her full circle, back to her hometown of Canton.
Jeanette grew up in Canton and graduated from Canton High School in 1957. She married Bonny Louis Sumner April 30, 1955, at the age of 15.
She began her teaching career in Bethel teaching fourth, fifth and sixth grade in one classroom. She also taught sixth grade in Crandall.
During these years, she received her master’s degree in Library Science. She then moved on to the position of Learning Resource Director for Henderson County Jr. College in Athens where she worked for 11 years. While at Henderson County Junior College, she continued working toward her Doctorate Degree.
In the summer of 1976, she, Bonny and son, Reagan, moved to Isfahan, Iran, where Bonny took the position of Training Supervisor and, later, Project Manager, while she taught sixth grade at the American School of Isfahan for Expat employee children. It was an amazing time for them.
She took every opportunity to travel. At one point, she drove in a rental car, with Reagan, across Iran, through Turkey, and into Syria.
At the height of the Iran Crisis in 1979, they were some of the last to leave, escaping on one of the last planes to leave Tehran.
After a brief return to Canton, they moved to Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, working for the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO,) beginning another legacy.
Her son, Rodney, and family, would follow to Saudi Arabia in 1982, and, currently, granddaughter, Tiffany, and her family have made their home there.
In Saudi Arabia, Bonny was Superintendent of Metal Craft Training while she taught school before moving on to the position of Director of the ARAMCO Corporate Technical Library.
They returned to Canton in 1985 where they owned and operated several businesses. During their time abroad, she traveled extensively and had many experiences that others would never have thought to pursue.
She is survived by her son, Rodney Sumner and wife, Yvonne, of Lafayette, La; son, Reagan Sumner and wife, Dawn, of Canton; granddaughter, Tiffany Sumner Boggan and husband, Brandon, of Saudi Arabia; grandson, Ryan Sumner and wife, Maxine, of Canton; grandson, Randon Sumner and wife, Brittany, of Canton; and grandson, Reece Sumner. Great grandchildren include Gordon Boggan, Garin Boggan, Clara Jeanette Boggan, Ransom Sumner, Rowan Sumner, and Rainier Sumner. She is also survived by her sister, Judy Whitaker Davis, and nephew Kyle Davis.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Ophelia Whitaker; and husband, Bonny Sumner.
Entombment is at Haven of Memories in Canton.