Richard C. Burchell

Feb. 16, 1940 - Dec. 10, 2017
Richard C. Burchell, Feb. 16, 1940 - Dec. 10, 2017

A family house on Sammy’s Beach named Sail-Ho brought a young Richard C. Burchell to East Hampton in the mid-1960s. It was one of many ports of call for a man who over 50 years spent 14 years at sea aboard 25 ships. 

He spent about three years in East Hampton, working at Sam’s restaurant while here. 

Mr. Burchell, who was 77, died on Dec. 10 in Fernandina Beach, Fla., after being diagnosed with cancer two weeks earlier. 

Born on Feb. 16, 1940, in Portchester, N.Y., to Edgar and Marjorie Burchell, he grew up in nearby Mamaroneck, where his family had relocated, and he graduated from Bellows High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in marine education from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point in 1962, after which he embarked upon a 50-plus-year career at sea. Of the many places he visited, Cape Town, South Africa, was his favorite, his family said.

In 1969, he married Allison McGrath, but the marriage ended in divorce. Their son, Jonathan Edgar Burchell, died in a plane crash in 2003 in the Kenya outback while tracking, capturing, and collaring lions for research.

The older Mr. Burchell enjoyed fishing, boat restoration, sailing, and listening to jazz. He is survived by a sister, Janet Norcross, of Marblehead, Mass., two nieces, and a nephew. 

Mr. Burchell was cremated. The family plans to scatter his ashes at sea.

John N. Sumi, 94

John Nasira Sumi of Redondo Beach, Calif., died at Torrance Memorial Hospital in Torrance, Calif., on Dec. 18. He was 94 and had been in failing health for two months.

He met Angele Mahmouzian of Marseille, France, aboard the S.S. Constitution, which brought them both to the U.S. in 1959. They married on Aug. 29, 1959, living at first in Manhattan and then moving to East Hampton, where Mrs. Sumi’s brothers already had homes, in 1971 to raise their two sons. Mrs. Sumi survives.

He was born on Jan. 10, 1922, in Damascus, Syria, to the former Nazir Shankour and Abdul Jalil Sumi. He grew up in Damascus and went to high school there.

Here, Mr. Sumi had his own dental lab and also worked as a contractor, building houses. Mrs. Sumi was a housewife. In 1989, after their sons had graduated from college and moved to California, Mr. and Mrs. Sumi followed them there. Michel Sumi of Torrance said that the family still owns land here in East Hampton.

The family said that Mr. Sumi enjoyed playing with his grandchildren, traveling, gardening, and backgammon.

In addition to his wife and son Michel, another son, Roland Sumi of Redondo Beach, Calif., survives, as do three grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass was said on Dec. 22 at Green Hills Memorial Park Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., followed by burial in the cemetery there.