December 23, 1935 – November 10, 2017
James Cummings, who earned All-High status as a two-way player on his Grover Cleveland High School football team, died Friday in DeGraff Memorial Hospital after a year and half battle with prostate cancer. He was 81.
A Buffalo native, Cummings interrupted his high school education to join the U.S. Marine Corps in 1953, where he served for two years before returning to Buffalo and completing his education at Grover, where played on both the offensive and defensive lines. In 1996, a community group formed an All-High Hall of Fame to honor athletes who had earned that distinction and inducted Mr. Cummings.
After attending the University of Buffalo for a couple of years following high school, he began a career in sales and marketing with Collier's Encyclopedia that took him from Buffalo to Detroit to Pittsburgh and other cities as both a sales manager and national trainer. It was in Detroit that he and the former Rosetta Brown, also a Buffalo native, married in 1960.
He and his wife spent their final five years together in Cincinnati, where he worked for ADT Security. After she died on Dec. 14, 2016, he returned to Buffalo.
Mr. Cummings is survived by his daughter, Kim Cummings; his brothers, Leroy, Richard and Dennis; his sisters, Audrey Clark, Gloria Carter, and Linda Jackson; and a grandson.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Thomas T. Edwards Funeral Home, 995 Genesee St.