His wife, Ruth, noted that:
“Joe was an avid reader who enjoyed historical and cultural writings but Chemical Abstract and Chemical Engineering Journals enriched his professional and creative mind. In retirement the challenge was to decode computer programs and tinker with discontinued components. Often he spent time in the university libraries doing literature searches that his peers appreciated.”
As stated earlier, Joe could conjure clever experimental apparatus that would not pass the requirements of the AIA in home design but was functional. His application on one occasion was a piece of a broomstick with two pieces of wood to hold rabbit ears to receive TV signals from the north, south, east, and west, a sight to be seen, and which was displayed in the living room with four switches to pick signals.
Truly a person who could focus on the heart of a topic! His philosophy was “give me the facts and spare me the details.” In spite of his efficient manner, he was sensitive and attentive to others, even the youngest child.
Joe dressed modestly, and his material demands were minimal. It was quite a sight to see him shoehorning his 6’8’’ frame into a Ford Escort. He raised a family of three sons, two of them engineers, and the third in medical records. His daughter is a physician. Early engineering activities often entertained five grandchildren with fond memories. Two great-grandchildren did not have the time to know him. His wives Elizabeth and Phyllis preceded him in death. Joe Kummer died in retirement in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on June 27, 1997.