Cyril Sumner was born on August 31, 1883 to Charles R. and Julia L. (Parsons) Sumner in Gilbertsville, N.Y. Having been raised in Rochester, he attended public schools and from an early time became involved with the Homeopathic Hospital. As the son and grandson of prominent homeopathic physicians he witnessed the development of the Homeopathic Hospital. The hospital newsletter, the “Hospital Leaflet”, describes an early fundraising drive where a five year old Cyril donated $5.00 to the cause. This would be the beginning of a life long commitment to the Homeopathic/Genesee Hospital.
Dr. Sumner graduated from Yale in 1906 and later from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1911. He returned to Rochester and began his general practice along side his father before joining the medical staff of the Rochester Homeopathic Hospital as an assistant surgeon in 1914.
Dr. Sumner was appointed the Director of the Surgical Department in 1919 and would head the department for the next twenty-three years until 1942. During that period he would rise from a junior physician to be one of the most respected members of the medical staff.
Dr. Cyril Sumner lost his year long battle from diverticulitis of the colon on February 7, 1944. The memorial presented by the Medical Staff on the event of his death remembered the doctor:
He had looked upon life seriously. He followed his profession with meticulous exactitude and it gave him his greatest satisfaction. His home and family were his greatest joy. He served the Genesee Hospital long and well. His passing leaves us poorer, yet, richer as we contemplate how he served.