Richard Walter Summers

Richard Walter Summers of Atascadero passed away peacefully at home on Oct. 10. He was 86 years old.

Richard was born in Nampa, Idaho, to Claire and Charlotte Summers.

He served in the Army during the Korean War. Stationed in Washington, D.C., trained to instruct in leadership and hand-to-hand combat. Later, he was assigned to Arlington National Cemetery as an Assistant Chaplain.

In 1953 he began his singing career with his first TV network appearance. He was signed with CBS for 3 years to appear on many TV shows, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Garry Moore, and Arthur Godfrey.

He appeared as the leading soloist at the Lido in Paris for six years, he sang with the Paris opera and did operatic work in Germany. He appeared numerous times with the San Luis Obispo Symphony and the Mozart Festival. During the mid-90’s he sang with the Peninsula and Fremont Symphonies.

After moving to Atascadero from Los Angeles, he entered the real estate business in 1972 and was a broker to Summers Real Estate and Property Management with his wife, Sandra. Richard served on many Board of Directors, including 12 years as a State Director for the California Association of Realtors, San Luis Obispo, San Luis County Alcohol Board, Rotary Board of Directors in Atascadero and Templeton, and the San Luis Obispo Symphony Board of Directors for six years.

He was truly an artist of many parts of his life especially in music, painting, and service to his community through Rotary. Richard, through his Rotary Club in Atascadero, spearheaded the rebuilding of Atascadero Pavilion and the Lights around the Lake Project. He enjoyed working in the community with his music friends organizing fundraisers for community organizations.

Between 1996 and 2011 approximately 17 fundraisers concerts, several for Rotary, Quota, Women’s Shelter and the new Atascadero Library to name a few. Richard established the Richard Summers Foundation for Arts with the goal of helping to fund the arts in the schools and the local community.

Richard is survived by his wife Sandra; Ashley Summers, Busk (Susie) Summers, Darren Davis, and Paul Davis; grandchildren, Eric and Jeni Summers, Anastasia, Colton and Blaine Davis; and great-grandchildren, Stella Summers and Warren Davis.

There is no public service planned.


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