He is survived by two daughters, Sherron Mills and her husband Stephen of Athens; Jackie Brown and her husband Mike of Calhoun; two brothers, Alan Summerville of Marietta, C.W. Summerville of Oscoda, Mich. and five nieces; grandchildren, Erin Brown, Michael Brown, Lindsey Brown, Kristen Gibson and her husband Phillip, Ashley Lester and her husband Peter, and Tara Walker; one great granddaughter, Natalie Mills Gibson.
Funeral services were conducted at 1 p.m., Thursday, December 27 at the First Baptist Church with Dr. Tommy McDearis, Blacksburg Virginia Baptist Church, Reverend John Harris; and Dr. Ken Bodiford, Director of Bands, Jacksonville State University Southerners and Marching Ballerinas officiating. Burial was in Chandler Cemetery.
The family received friends from 5-8 p.m., Wednesday at First Baptist Church. Active pallbearers were former students, Michael Clark, Hank Dobson, Tom Moore, Neil McCloud, Robert Owens, and Jack Amberson. Ross David Smith who served as special escort. Honorary pallbearers and escort were former Calhoun High School Band Members, former and active members of the Jacksonville State University Southerners.
Harold earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Jacksonville State University and was a charter member of the Southerners and Marching Ballerina Band. He proudly served at Band President. He was the original “20 J” tuba player in the Southerners. He earned his Master’s Degree in music from the University of Alabama in 1962. In 1963, Harold “Stretch” Summerville became the band director at Calhoun High School and introduced a revolutionary half-time presentation that featured a non-stop precision show and drill that set the stage for the Color Presentation and the flashing batons of the colorful and exciting majorettes. The Yellow Jacket Band’s new routine was so different to that of other competitors that even rival schools gave the Yellow Jackets rousing ovations. It was during this time that the band acquired a new introduction. The Reverend Claude McBride of Belmont Baptist Church felt that an award winning band deserved an introduction that expressed the admiration of the school and community. Soon, the announcer’s cry that signaled the start of another exciting half-time show was ” Presenting the Pride of Georgia’s Northland, the Calhoun High School Marching Band”. In 1987, Mr. Summerville retired and former student Michael Clark became the new director. Under his leadership, the band has continued the standard of excellence established many years ago, and today the Calhoun High School Marching Band remains the “ Pride of Georgia’s Northland”.
After his retirement, Mr. Summerville continued to pursue his love of working with young people. In 1989, he began a new hobby in the roll of Santa. In 1992, his hobby turned into a delightful career when he began working with Cherry Hill Photo as a professional Santa. He had the opportunity to travel to several different areas, bringing happiness to many. He appeared in a Toby Keith video, “Santa, I’m right here”; and also, worked with Montel Williams as Santa for the cast and crew party.
Thomas Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.