Dr. Susan Robinson Summers, 70, died January 14, 2023, surrounded by her loving family following a hard-fought battle with brain cancer. Born in Zion, IL, she moved to Lake City with her family when she was 7 years old and lived here the rest of her life, contributing greatly to the community she loved so much.
Susan graduated from Columbia High School as a National Merit Scholar in 1970. In lieu of her senior year, she attended the University of D'Jon in France in an immersive foreign study program. She then went on to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology from Florida State University, along with her membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Her junior year in college she spent in London, supplementing her studies by traveling throughout Europe. She then earned a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Florida.
Following her graduation, she accepted a position as a counselor for the Columbia County Mental Health Center until her children came along. She then worked for her family's local business, Summers Chevrolet, and subsequently for Lake City Community College helping to organize the school's extension programs. That experience led her to the realization that she wanted to spend her life as an educator.
She later earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Florida, publishing several scholarly articles on the subject of college finances. Her doctoral dissertation analyzed the effects of the Florida lottery on education finances in Florida. Susan accepted employment as a Dean at Jacksonville University where she created and operated the College of Lifelong Learning. She finished her career in K-12 education in Columbia and Hamilton County school systems. She was National Board Certified, and enjoyed teaching Language Arts and Enrichment, and implementing the SAIL Program at Richardson Middle School. She then moved from teaching to administration.
Susan was an accomplished seamstress and needleworker and also active in many local civic organizations: she was a charter member of Lake City’s Altrusa chapter, a forty-year member of the Edward Rutledge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served on boards for the First United Methodist Church, United Way, Lake Shore Hospital Authority, CARC, and Meridian Health Care.
She was preceded in death by her parents Dr. John James and Hazel Floyd Robinson and her brother Robert E. Robinson. Survivors include her husband of 46 years, Gordon Summers, and their three children, Sam Summers (Kelly) of Tampa, Catherine Dew (Christopher) of Sanford and Daniel Summers of Lake City. Sam has one daughter, Charlotte Powell Summers, who brought great delight to Susan as she coped with her illness. Susan also is survived by 4 siblings: Herman “Buddy” Robinson and Mary Catherine Robinson McBride (Don), both of St. Petersburg; James Robinson (Dr. Marjorie Lewis) of Jacksonville; and Dr. Nancy Robinson of Houston.
A funeral service will be held at First United Methodist Church on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall.