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Joe Chatten Sumner III

    Joe Chat Sumner III, pioneer Wilbarger County resident and philanthropist, passed away Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 at his home.   He was born Nov. 3, 1932 in Wilbarger County and lived his entire life in Vernon, Texas except for the time he attended and graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
   He was the son of the late Joseph Chatten Sumner, II and Mary Anderson Sumner, members of pioneer Wilbarger County families.  His father died in 1948, and his mother died in 1995.
   Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church where he has been a lifelong member, with the Rev. Tom Long and the Rev. Dave Treat officiating. Interment will be held at Eastview Cemetery under the direction of Sullivan Funeral Home.
   Joe Chat was a graduate of Vernon High School and SMU.  After graduating from SMU, he returned to Vernon to continue the family’s ranching, oil and business interests from his downtown office in Vernon.   He has served on the boards of Waggoner National Bank, Vernon College Foundation, and the Sumner-Colley Lumber Company.  A highly successful entrepreneur, Joe Chat was an avid supporter of the Red River Valley Museum, local churches, area schools and Vernon College, where he has endowed scholarships in his name as well as his mother, Mary Anderson Sumner.  He was an active member of the Rotary Club. He was well known for his interest and knowledge in all sports, especially SMU and the Dallas Cowboys.
   Joe Chat is survived by cousins, Dan Bond and Frederic Wallingford of Vernon, Elizabeth Minor, Richmond, Virginia; Chuck Blanton and Frances Boswell of Houston, Danny Blanton of Austin, Gail Cusack of Lakeway.
   He was pre-deceased by cousins, Emily Hanna Bintliff and Kathy Blanton McDermott of Houston.
   Serving as pallbearers will be: Stephen Brantley, Mike Moore, Dusty Johnston, Joe Rogers, Cecil Short, Wilson Friberg, Kelly Couch and Jeff Daniels.  Serving as honorary pallbearers will be officers and directors of the Waggoner National Bank.
   The family suggests that memorials be made to the Joe Chat Sumner Athletic Scholarship Fund at Vernon College, First United Methodist Church or a favorite charity.
   Online condolences may be made to the family at

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