Wiscasset - William Alan Cumming passed away at his home in Wiscasset surrounded by family on June 9, 2018. He was born on July 14, 1934 in Presque Isle, Maine to John Anson and Emilie (Elliott) Cumming. He grew up around tractors and potato farms in Aroostook County and played baseball and basketball at Easton High School in addition to being president of the student council. He graduated from high school and attended the University of Maine at Orono, studying first engineering and then education, adding a graduate degree from the University of Maine as well. He spent two years in the United States Army as an engineer including time overseas in Germany.
After college and his service time in the armed forces he taught at the newly formed Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, Massachusetts, where he met Joan DiNardo. They were married in 1966 and moved to Maine where Mr. Cumming was a high school principal, first for four years at Ashland High and then for twenty-two years at Wiscasset High School. During this time he was chairman of the New England Schools and Colleges Accreditation Committee and also president of the State Principals Association.
Mr. Cumming did just about everything a man could do in the town of Wiscasset. In addition to his years as principal he was the adult education director, was on the board of the Wiscasset Public Library, served on the board of the Morris Farm, was the Grand Marshal of the Wiscasset Fourth of July Parade twice, and was a member of the Masons and the Fire Society. Through it all he was chopping wood, repairing countless cars, and playing catch with his children. After more than forty years in education he retired and was honored with the establishment of the William A. Cumming Leadership Award, given annually to the senior who best exemplifies qualities of positive leadership such as integrity, humility, sense of fairness, broad-mindedness, willingness to accept responsibility, and service to Wiscasset High School.
He passed on to his children his love of education, baseball, the Red Sox, and Scotland. He was proud of his Scottish heritage and traveled often to Scotland. His children cherish his many sayings and pass them along in their families and teaching, such as “Do Something Even If It’s Wrong,” “A Change is as Good as a Break,” and “Shake It Off.”
He is survived by his wife of fifty-two years, Joan, his children Cindy Lee (Daran), Duncan John (Hilary), Elliott Scott (Kingkaew), and Jeffrey Alan (Cristina), and his eleven grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Stuart and sisters Norma and Mary Lee.
There will be a Memorial Service at the First Congregational Church in Wiscasset on July 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the William A. Cumming Leadership Award Fund, c/o Camden National Bank, P.O. Box 409, Wiscasset, Maine, 04578.
To share your thoughts and condolences with the family, please visit www.desmondfuneralhomes.com
William A. Cumming Leadership Award Fund
C/O Camden National Bank,. P.O. Box 409, Wiscasset ME 04578