Lelah (Sumner) Estey Reed

Lelah (Sumner) Estey Reed

Lelah (Sumner) Estey Reed passed from this world on April 2nd, to join those loved ones who had passed before her.  She was born in Bristol, on March 2, 1931, to Dewey and Ruth (Hallock) Sumner, the youngest of six children.  Lee married Richard Estey on March 24, 1950, and together they raised their six children on the family farm in Bristol.  They were married for 46 years until Richard’s death in 1996. 

Lee’s early years were taken up with caring for their six children and the household.  She was active with the school PTA and Home Dem group when the family was younger.  As the last child entered school, Lee entered the work force in the records department at Porter Hospital.  She was there for about 16 years.  She also worked at Abram’s Department Store and Ben Franklin’s in Middlebury until her retirement.  As the children grew older, Richard and Lelah were able to take some time off from the farm to travel throughout the United States, visiting nearly all the states.  They also were able to take a trip to England in 1977.  She was a member of the United Church of Lincoln and sang in the choir.

Lelah later renewed a family friendship, and she and Charles W. Reed were married on April 29, 2000.  They made their home in West Addison where they enjoyed their time together and supported each other in their later years until Charlie’s death in 2017.

Lelah is survived by her children, Debra Cullen of New Jersey, Richard (Chris) Estey, Lori (Jim) Rivers, and Curt (Heather) Estey of Bristol, and Judy (Jim) Brown of Lincoln.  She is also survived by step-son, Michael (Marshlyn) Reed of Addison, son-in-law Bob Whitcomb of New York, brother Russell (Polly) Sumner of Bristol, grandchildren Sara (Brock) Quesnel of Orwell, Aaron (Lorisa) Rivers of Utah, Derek Estey of Bristol, Elijah Whitcomb of Tennessee, Megan (Ben) Butterfield of Hinesburg, Andrew (Carla) Whitcomb of New York, Matthew (Carolyn) Brown of Lincoln, Natalie (Nick) Angers of Washington, Alex (Beth) Estey of Colorado, Steve Whitcomb of Virginia, 18 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. 

She was predeceased by husbands Richard Estey and Charles Reed, infant daughter Cheryl Estey, daughter Karen (Bob) Whitcomb, brothers Lloyd Sumner and Leland (Sam) Sumner, sisters Alice Moseley Neal, and Dorothy O’Neal, and son-in-law Glen Cullen.

Lelah’s family would like to thank Kasie Bingham and Tim O’Toole for the care they gave our mother and grandmother the last few years and sharing their precious little children with her which she so enjoyed.  Also, our thanks to Dr. LaMancuso and the Addison County Home Health and Hospice nurses and therapists who nursed her back to health in her better times and lent their support in the end times.

A celebration of Lelah’s life will be held at 1:00 at the United Church of Lincoln on Saturday, April 9, 2022, with a gathering following at Burnham Hall.  Contributions in her memory may be made to the United Church of Lincoln, 23 Quaker Street, Lincoln, VT 05443, the West Addison Methodist Church in care of Grace Birchmore, Lake Street, Addison, VT 05491, or Addison County Home Health and Hospice, PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753. To send online condolences to her family please visit www.brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com

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Edward and Earlene Young
2 years ago

To all of Lee’s family, We are so sorry that you have lost Lee. We have many
happy memories of times spent with her and Charlie (Eddie’s brother-in-law),
There were all the fun times when they came for weekends at our camp at
Harvey’s Lake in VT. Other family members would gather. Often we, along
with others in the family, we would meet half-way for lunch with Lee and Charlie.
One of these times was when nieces, Frances and Kathy, took a vote of family
and others gathered in the restaurant to see if Lee and Charlie should get married.
The vote was unanimous!! We were blessed to have Lee and Charlie visit us at
at our home in Woodsville, NH. We were able show Lee “our town” and take
them to our Sr. Center. Lee was always so pleasant and cheerful and such a
“good sport”. She will be missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Eddie and Earlene Young

John & Lois Burbank
2 years ago

Lois and John Burbank are visiting Nathan in Nashville so none of us will be able to attend the celebration of Lelah’s life. Our contacts with her go way back to when she worked at Tomasi’s ice cream in the freeze locker building of the 1950s. She was a wonderful person and always so interested in what was going on in the church and family. May the Lord’s presence be with everyone during this time.
Love, in Christ.

The Chins
2 years ago

To Debra Cullen and family,

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your mother. We remember how much Debby looked forward to opportunities to visit family members in Vermont, and while we mourn with you, we are also grateful that she was able to make recent visits to see her Mom prior to her going to be with the Lord. We will pray for comfort for you and your family at this sad time.

Yours in Christ,
Glen and Jewel Chin

Carol Rouille
2 years ago

To my cousins, Aunt and Uncle Russ and Polly, this is Carol Rouille the daughter of Dorothy O’neal.
Your mom, sister was one of the most sweetest people I’ve known.
I loved seeing everyone gather together on that precious farm.
I still visit there 3 to 4 times a year
I was hoping to see her least twice but that wasn’t to be.
In my Heart I am a sumner, I always will be. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Love Carol

Valarie Patten
2 years ago

Sweet Aunt Lelah, you were the most kindest woman I have ever known.
I loved all of our family reunions, I couldn’t wait to go every year to see everyone.
I still go to see the farm with my mom Carol Rouille. In fact we just went there the day we font out you had passed, and to visit Aunt Polly and Uncle Ross.
The farm holds great memories for us all.
Aunt Lelah you will be missed dearly but never forgotten. You will be held in your hearts forever more. Love Val Patten ( Rouille )

Brown Mcclay Funeral Homes