Robert Kay Cummings, 56, passed away suddenly on April 29, 2020, in West Jordan, Utah. He was born May 28, 1963, in Seattle, Washington, the youngest child of Clifford R. Cummings, Jr., and Anna S. Cummings. He grew up in Bellevue, WA, and graduated from Bellevue High School in 1981. He was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had an ironclad testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He served an 18-month mission for the Church in Dallas, Texas, and then attended Brigham Young University from which he graduated in 1992 with a degree in Political Science. He was a fierce and avid competitive ballroom dancer at BYU, who saw success both in individual competition and as a member of the BYU Ballroom Dance Company for 5 years. He helped the BYU BDC Standard Team win the British Formation Championship in 1989 and 1992, and taught both social dance and international standard dance classes at BYU.
Following graduation, Rob went to work in the computer software industry, which suited his thorough and meticulous nature. His 28-year career spanned WordPerfect, Microsoft, and several other tech companies large and small. At the time of passing, he was employed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer.
Rob did nothing halfway, and his many passions and interests were varied. Among them, he loved dancing, music, movies, and woodworking. He cherished spending time in his woodshop, and in making beautiful hand-turned wood pens. He especially enjoyed teaching and assisting friends and family members to make a pen of their own. He served as baseball umpire and swim team stroke & turn judge in support of his boys’ athletic pursuits and shared their interest in Pokémon and Magic: the Gathering, and computer and video games. But, more than their interests and sports, he loved his children and his family without reserve.
Rob was welcomed on the other side by his father, Clifford Ray Cummings, Jr., and a sister, Anna Marie, whom he never knew in this life. He is survived by his eternal companion of 32 years, Marie; sons, Eldon (Jessica) and Jason; granddaughter Carter Rae; mother Anna, brother Clifford Eldon (Gail), and sister Pamila (Steven); 13 nieces and nephews and their spouses, 6 great-nieces and nephews; extra brother Nick (Nancy) Bean; and countless dear friends, ward members, and coworkers.
In accordance with current social distancing guidelines, a public memorial will be held at a later date. Interment at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery alongside his maternal grandparents.
For those wishing to remember Rob, donations to the BYU Ballroom Dance Company Alumni Scholarship Fund in his name would be gratefully accepted as a fitting tribute by going to the link listed below under "in lieu of flowers..." This link is specifically for donations the Robert K. Cummings Scholarship, an endowed scholarship to be awarded to deserving students each year in honor of Rob and his long-time dedication to competing, performing, and touring with the BYU Ballroom Dance Company. As long as you use the link listed below, the donation will go to the scholarship in Rob's honor, but you may also check the “In memory/In honor of” box and enter “Rob Cummings” in the field. Even if this step is skipped, your donation will go to the correct place as long as the link in step 1 was used.
- Survived By
- Marie Cummings, Spouse
- Eldon Cummings, Son
- Jessica Cummings, Daughter-in-Law
- Carter Rae Cummings, Granddaughter
- Jason Cummings, Son
- Anna Cummings, Mother
- Cliff Cummings, Brother
- Pamila Keech, Sister
Life Story Info
Hey, dear Rob, I miss you. This is so crazy. You are such a delight with your humor and your presence, your conversation and your quirks. I loved being around you. You were a boon and a happiness when I was struggling, and you were, and still are, a presence for good. You never deviated, nor do you deviate still, from your devotion to the Lord or from your unquestionable testimony of His gospel.
We miss you over here on this side of the veil, and we love you. Our wonderful Rob, adieu.
Rob was the best dance partner EVER! He was the one that believed enough in a misfit, overweight girl and helped her work to becoming a confident, successful woman. I owe much of my success as a coach of Ballroom dance to the things I learned in the 8 years I spent as Rob Cummings dance partner! Thank you, Rob, for all you did for me! I will miss you greatly!
Rob Cummings was a big man, both in spirit and in girth. For Rob food was an addiction and a demon. He died at 57 —so young. I believe that he did recognize the gravity of his condition in his final weeks. He did overcome his phobia of needles to check himself into a hospital, but it was too late.
Don’t mistaken that Rob didn’t have a full life because he died so young:
• He travelled as part of the BYU ballroom dance team and saw the world.
• He overcame his dyslexia to acquire a degree. This is also a tribute to his wife Maria and mother Anna who read out loud his homework for years.
• He became a software tester, quite a good one. His dyslexia gave him a different perspective that allowed him to find bugs that other testers could not spot. The fact that he became a software tester despite his dyslexia is on the order of me becoming a color blind art critic.
• He had the love of a mother, a father, a beautiful wife, a brother and sister, two handsome sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandchild. Love is not given but earned. In love returned, he was wealthy: Few have earned so much in a lifetime.
He had a sense of humor and a facility for connecting to teens and kids.
• My daughter remembers Rob body-slamming WWE style her pooh bear. It was never the same thereafter.
• I remember how the little kids would beg him to do a cannonball. He would always oblige, to the pleasure of the little kids who would ride the waves screaming and to the dismay of the teen girls who had been quietly suntanning when barrels of chilly pool water fountained down upon their backs.
• He alone could do the grumpy kitty look that entertained young kids so much.
• He always demonstrated the “fat dog” yoga style at the end of each thanksgiving dinner, lying down on the carpet with his legs and feet in the air.
Rob loved movies. He loved sci fi. He particularly shared my love of super heroes. He was one of the few adults who I could talk intelligently with about them. He was one of the rare individuals who realized the ethical structure that kids inherit from superheroes.
Rob loved video games, perhaps too much. I noticed he had invested 2038 hours in one season of Diablo 3, that’s more than one man year. I tried to connect with him on Diablo 3 but I couldn’t keep up with him. Now I know part of that time is from an AI service that plays using Rob’s avatar when Rob is not there, but I will never play Diablo 3 for out there in the Diablo 3 world, Robs avatar is still fighting away—at least until the account runs out of money. I couldn’t stand to run into his Avatar on the playing field.
For those who tried and failed to help Rob save himself from his demons. I would recommend reading the book “A River Runs Through It” by Robert Maclean. It is an autobiographical story of a brother and a father trying to save the younger son/brother from self-imposed demons. The book is a must read for anyone who who has tried to help someone who won’t allow themselves to be saved.
I’m afraid I have to resort to poetry to express my grief about the loss of my brother-in-law and friend Rob; here are my thoughts as expressed by Francis William Bourdillon:
The night has a thousand eyes and the day but one;
yet the light of an entire world dies when the day is done.
The mind has a thousand eyes and the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies when love is done.
Rob was a genuinely kind guy. I met him when I was an intern and he was always willing to help me understand new things. I ended up sitting next to him at work for a couple of years after that. We had great conversations about everything from religion to computer games. I'm lucky to have a little piece of Rob in a beautiful wooden pen he turned on his lathe.
Although his passing comes too soon, the gospel of Jesus Christ offers a perspective of hope and softens death's sting. Thank you for your example Rob. Until we meet again.
Jun 19, 2019
Carter and Grandpa playing ❤️❤️❤️