December 9, 1958 – March 20, 2020
Born in: Indianapolis, IN
Resided in: Indianapolis, IN
Donald Eugene Summers was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 9, 1958, to parents David Daniel Summers and Nettie Jean Summers. He graduated from Northwest High School in 1977 and enlisted in the United States Air Force upon commencement. After a four-year tour of duty in Germany, Donald was stationed at Beale Air Force Base (California) where he met, and married, Shondra Coleman in 1983. To this union were born two sons, Brandon Christopher Summers and Dexter Alexander Summers.
Donald served in the United States Air Force for 17 years. He worked in logistics and as a recruiter, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant. In 1994, Donald was honorably discharged. His military service included tours of duty at Sembach Air Force Base (Germany), Beale Air Force Base (California), Ahlhorn Air Force Base (Germany), Nellis Air Force Base (Nevada) and Castle Air Force Base (California). After his departure from the military, he embarked on a career in high-end retail, working for Saks Fifth Avenue for over 10 years.
Donald was a sports enthusiast and enjoyed watching golf, basketball, and track & field. He was a talented drummer who played in church through early adulthood. His love for music, especially jazz and R&B, was exhibited by his extensive collection of records, CDs and live concert recordings. Donald was a loving and engaged father who was active in the lives of his sons. He was always present at their basketball games, track meets and orchestra concerts. Donald was a believer and faithful member of Mountaintop Faith Ministries in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Donald is survived by his sons, Brandon Summers and Dexter Summers (Dorothy); granddaughter, Ella Summers; mother, Nettie Keller; siblings: James Briscoe (Debra), Carolyn Briscoe Maxey Bellamy, Jerry Briscoe, David Summers (Diana), Viola Summers McGrone Todd (Richard), Jacquetta Summers and George Summers; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Memories of my dad
by Brandon Summers
April 2, 2020
I really wish I could be here today, but as we all know, our country is currently experiencing a serious health crisis. Thank you so much to all who are here and to everyone who has shared their condolences. It means the world to me. For Donald, my brother and I meant the world to him.
From what I’ve been told by family members, Donald didn’t have the best role model growing up when it came to dads. When my mom and dad divorced in 1994, he left Las Vegas for a while. That time away could have been a decade or even forever; but something inside of Donald drove him to be in the lives of his sons; and because of his decision to stick around, I have years of memories and experiences that can’t be taken away– moments that can’t be erased. I’d like to share a few and I promise I won’t keep you long.
Donald was the embodiment of cool. And what’s cooler than working at a high-end retail store on the Las Vegas Strip? His closet was full of Armani suits, fly shoes, and designer shirts. He had a top-of-the-line TV and stereo system (with way too many remotes); and tons of movies that my mom wouldn’t let us watch. Whenever there was a basketball game on, he would pickup a large pizza and a couple of grape sodas. Me and my brother Dexter would sit next to him and enjoy our time together. Without fail, my dad was knocked out by halftime but would wake up somewhere in the middle of the 3d quarter. Those were the days.
He loved music, especially jazz and R&B. And that’s where I get a lot of my musical sensibilities from. In his car, he would play Babyface, Pat Metheny, The Rippingtons, Fourplay, Wayman Tisdale, and all things Michael Jackson. And I still have most of his music collection. Donald was also a solid drummer and would always find an excuse to take us to Guitar Center where he would practice his chops. I don’t think I’d be a halfway-decent musician if music wasn’t already in my blood. My dad was my biggest fan when I started playing violin on the streets of Las Vegas– even though my mom was less than enthused. He was just proud that I was his son.
When it came to sporting events, especially track & field, my dad was always there with his camera. But on a few occasions, he got so nervous and excited that he forgot to record the race. And I’ll never forget that he cried every time (yes, every time) my brother and I went away to college. At the airport, he would give us a long hug with tears in his eyes. I’m sure he recognized that we would be back during school breaks, but he was overcome with emotion; and probably reminded that being in our lives was the best decision he ever made. I never had to wonder who he was.
Thank you Dad.