J Robert “Bob” Hummer, 74, of Manheim, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, January 29, 2018 at Moravian Manor, Lititz following an eight-month battle with cancer. Born in Lancaster, he was the son of the late Earl S. and Anna K. Cassel Hummer. Bob owned and operated Hummer Turfgrass Systems, Inc. and Sporting Valley Turf Farms, Inc., Manheim. He was a 1962 graduate of Manheim Central High School and earned his Associate Degree in Turfgrass Management from Penn State University. Bob served in the Pennsylvania National Guard as an air defense automatic weapons crewman, and was a member of numerous turfgrass, sod farming, and golf course industry councils and associations. His interests included golfing, skiing and auto racing. He held a private pilot’s license for a decade, and was certified in scuba diving earlier in life. He loved to spend time with his family and friends and adored his grandchildren. Above all else, Bob will be remembered for his extreme generosity and propensity to put the interests of others before his own.
Bob’s true passion in life was his businesses and the advancement of the turfgrass sciences. Bob was a pioneer in the turfgrass industry, starting Sporting Valley with a small field on his parent’s farm 49 years ago, followed by the creation of Hummer Turfgrass Systems three years later to specialize in natural grass sports fields design and construction. His firm has built, renovated, or maintained nearly every high-profile sports field in the region, including Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, numerous NFL and MLB venues, the Little League World Series, and locally, for the Lancaster Barnstormers. Over his many years in business, Bob contributed his time and energy to local and national groups and associations that supported research and education in sod and sports field management including American Sod Producers Association, Turfgrass Producers International, Sports Turf Managers Association, Keystone Athletic Field Managers Association, Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council, Cultivated Sod Association and Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association. He was awarded the KAFMO (Keystone Athletic Field Managers Organization) Founders Award in 2015. Bob also served as host to several of the Turfgrass Producers International summer field days where growers from all over the world visited Lancaster, PA and he was able to showcase his turf farms. He remained active in the business until his passing.
Surviving are three sons, Anton R. husband of Amy Hummer, Jonathan B. husband of Patty Hummer both of Manheim, Christopher A. Hummer financé of Natalya Arjantseva of Sterling, Virginia, six grandchildren, Savannah, Thomas, Nicholas, Benjamin, Delaney and Marley, three brothers, William C., E. Eugene and Glenn C. Hummer and four sisters, Ann L. Graybill, Mary Jane Balmer, Nancy C. Waltz and Carol J. Hummer. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Megan A. Hummer and a brother, Charles L. Hummer.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Bob’s memorial service at Manheim Brethren In Christ Church, 54 North Penryn Road, Manheim on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM. Friends may visit with the family at the Buch Funeral Home, 21 Market Square, Manheim on Friday evening from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM and again at the church on Saturday morning from 10:00 AM until the time of service. Interment will be private in East Fairview Brethren Cemetery, Rapho Township. The family has established a memorial fund that will benefit the study and advancement of turfgrass sciences by providing student scholarships and graduate project funding at the Center for Turfgrass Science of Pennsylvania State University. In lieu of flowers, those desiring may contribute in Bob’s memory online at https://www.gofundme.com/bobhummer or checks can be mailed to Gone Too Soon Memorial Foundation, 2405 Junction Road, Manheim, PA 17545.