Summers Family History

The history of the Summers family in picture and stories.

Aug 112014

During WWII, civilians signed up to monitor all military aircraft flying overhead and would telephone in Flash messages to central operations so that the Army Air Force’s Ground Observer Corps would know if an attack was happening or not. My Grandmother apparently had taken the course and was a part of the operation. She would have been living in Fresno at the time.

Aircraft Warning Service

Membership card

Aircraft Warning Service

Lola and Shirley Summers

Aircraft Warning Service

Course Completion


 Posted by at 9:55 pm
Jul 222013

After the memorial service for Betty, we met at Vic and Marsha’s home in Aptos where Marsha had prepared a wonderful dinner for us. Since we are renting out the La Selva Beach house, we didn’t have a local place to host the out of towners, and Vic and Marsha were kind enough to host us and even serve us dessert. It was so nice to see Craig and Glenn, I wish they could have stayed for dinner. Here are a few photos that I took that afternoon.

But first, here is the poster I made of some of the photos I’ve scanned. We had a copy on display at the church. Hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and check out this video I made based on the poster.

See Betty

Betty M (Summers) Rhodes

This is the poem that Jim wrote for the the memorial program.

5 a.m. May 19

now in the predawn quiet
with stars dissolved at last
dull sky –surrendered spirit–
in solace overcast

no light to frame a shadow
no birdcall echoes forth
such calm and silent meadow
–tomorrow at its birth–

before the memories gather
toward what pain or joy there borne
first a pause, yet pause much faster
than a loving heart’s last turn

soon comes the waking chorus
–this serenity will pass–
but the day will set before us
every blessing that it has



Rod Beard


Jim Rhodes

Tim, Elaine, Ruth, Kevin and Lauren

Tim, Elaine, Ruth, Kevin and Lauren


Virginia Beard


Barbara Rhodes


Don Rhodes


Lynn Rhodes


We’re getting old

Barbara and Vic

Barbara and Vic

Jean, Jim, Ron and Barbara

Jean, Jim, Ron and Barbara


Jim and Ron Rhodes

Craig and Jim

Craig and Jim

Marani's Home

Marani’s Home


Don Rhodes


Kevin is entertaining

 Posted by at 2:48 pm  Tagged with:
May 242013
Betty Summers 1948

Betty Summers 1948

Betty Rhodes 2011

Betty at Oak Tree Villa

Betty Rhodes
A resident of La Selva Beach for fifty years, passed away quietly in the predawn hours of May 19. Her family had been at her bedside since a stroke felled her one week earlier. She was 92 years old.
Betty was born on December 24, 1920 in Fresno, Ca, to Lola and Shirley Summers, their third and final child. Father Shirley, who worked for Shell Oil, soon moved the family to the East Bay town of Byron, where Betty would grow up and eventually graduate from high school in Brentwood in 1938.
Returning to Fresno to study at the State University, she was in the first class of women there to be trained in aeronautics drafting and design. During World War II she was employed by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in San Diego, becoming a valued member of the Engineering Department in making layouts. At the conclusion of the war, Betty found employment in the Radiation Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. She worked and socialized with two future Nobel Prize winning scientists, Glenn Seaborg and Luis Alvarez.
Betty had always been good at sports, particularly softball, bowling and golf. While visiting her parents (recently retired to Watsonville), she was out at the Pajaro Valley Golf Club when her threesome welcomed a single player (a very single Les Rhodes of Aptos) to join them.
Les and Betty were married on June 24, 1951. Continuing on with their golf, they would at times be members of Pajaro Valley, Pasatiempo, and Aptos Seascape. A medalist in many tournaments, Betty won the Watsonville City Championship in 1953.
In 1954 the Rhodeses started their family, and when their third child was born in 1960 they moved to La Selva Beach. Betty was an elementary school room mother and Cub Scout den mother, taught a cooking class for 4-H and Sunday School at La Selva Beach Community Church. She served as Deacon at the Church, was a member of the Women’s Guild, and for many years worked at the polls on election day.
When her children were older she went back to the salt mines, working in Administrations and Records at Cabrillo College for seventeen years. Though no longer golfing much, she kept up her other great hobby of playing bridge. She was also an avid reader. As a teenager, she had read Gone With the Wind in one day when kept home from school (appropriately enough) because of Scarlet Fever. In later years she mostly read mysteries, and would frequently solve a TV whodunnit before the last commercial break.
She had given up her career for marriage and family, and that level of sacrifice was her constant nature. She never put a demand of her own before anyone else’s desires. Her simple sweetness, her big brown eyes radiating warmth, and her genuine smile made her many quick and lasting friendships.
When Les suffered a stroke in 2000, Betty took care of him for his final three years. Two years later, when her older brother fell and could no longer live on his own, she took him in and looked after him. Finally, in 2010, suffering from heart arrhythmia and arthritic knees, Betty moved to Oak Tree Villa in Scotts Valley where she made new friends, many fortunately employed there as skilled caretakers.
Her husband Les passed away in 2003 and her brother Jack Summers succumbed in 2010. Her oldest brother, Shirley F. Summers, was killed in WWII. She is survived by daughter Barbara Rhodes of San Jose, son Ron Rhodes, daughter-in-law Elaine McGregor and grandchildren Kevin Rhodes and Lauren Rhodes of Sunnyvale, and son Jim Rhodes of Santa Cruz.
A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 at La Selva Beach Community Church.

 Posted by at 9:02 am  Tagged with:
Aug 042010

My Grandfather, at his recognition ceremony. I think he has an almost Mona Lisa smile here. We called him Poppy.


Shirley S. Summers 50 year Master Mason

Shirley S. Summers 50 year Master Mason

Through this door was Poppy’s workshop.

Tank House

Tank House with tank

Poppy's Workshop

Poppy's Workshop

Soon after this photo was, vandals “broke in” and made off with many of the tools.