Dr. Joyce Randolph Sumner passed away on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1926, Joyce Sumner was raised by her parents, Pearl and Gould Randolph. As she prepared to enter college, she was torn between becoming a clothing designer or a doctor. Because she hated sewing, she decided to go into medicine (choosing anesthesia over surgery for obvious reasons). At Kansas University, she did well in her studies, except for one particularly disastrous chemistry experiment: she was supposed to end up with a white powder but ended up with a horrid black goo. Marion 'Rod' Sumner had been watching her and, no doubt noting her distress, prepared a double batch of the powder and walked over to introduce himself, holding out his gift. They married in 1950.

Dr. Joyce Randolph Sumner
Dr. Joyce Randolph Sumner passed away on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1926, Joyce Sumner was raised by her parents, Pearl and Gould Randolph. As she prepared to enter college, she was torn between becoming a clothing designer or a doctor. Because she hated sewing, she decided to go into medicine (choosing anesthesia over surgery for obvious reasons). At Kansas University, she did well in her studies, except for one particularly disastrous chemistry experiment: she was supposed to end up with a white powder but ended up with a horrid black goo. Marion 'Rod' Sumner had been watching her and, no doubt noting her distress, prepared a double batch of the powder and walked over to introduce himself, holding out his gift. They married in 1950.
She was only one of two women in their graduating class at medical school. Both Rod and Joyce spent their residencies at the Cleveland Clinic from 1952 to 1957, and served as surgeons in the American USPHS in Point Barrow, Alaska, and on the Navajo reservation in Arizona between 1954 and 1956, then moved to Hutchinson in 1957 to begin their medical practices. She continued to be a pioneer in her profession, rising to become the Secretary of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the first woman to hold this position. Perhaps influenced by her design studies, she eschewed the plain green and blue 'scrubs' and had her own created in bright, colorful patterns. A novelty at the time, it caught on, and today one can find scrubs in myriad colors and prints.
Joyce earned her pilot's license and loved flying, especially solo, and treasured her certificate, encased in glass with a swatch of her slip as instructors requested. Hard to fathom that request occurring today! She was most proud of her legacy of starting an art show for members of the ASA that continues today. She was a life-long painter and studied under some of the nation's finest artists, including Andrew Wyeth. She did a painting of a stagecoach that had a medical valise on it saying 'Doc Adams,' and somehow it came to the attention of Milburn Stone of Gunsmoke fame, who purchased it.
Joyce Sumner is survived by her three children, and her four grandchildren whom she adored, and who helped care for her in her final years.
A time of remembering Joyce's life will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2018, at the Hutchinson Art Center, 405 N. Washington Street, Hutchinson. Friends may sign the book from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Elliott Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hutchinson Art Center, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501.