Philip E. Sumner M.D. 1925 – 2022 BRUNSWICK – Dr. Philip E. Sumner, 97, of Orrs Island, Wellesley, Mass. and Manchester, Conn., died peacefully in his sleep Sept. 8, 2022, surrounded by family. Son of Philip H. and Katherine L. Sumner, graduate of Wellesley High ’43, attended MIT, University of Maine, University of Grenoble France, Harvard College ’49 (AB), Columbia University and Tufts Medical School ’55. Served for 30 months (at the ages of 18-20) in WWII in General Patton’s Third Army as machine gunner in the 26th (Yankee) Division, active combat on the front lines for nine months, including four major campaigns: Northern France, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge -relieved Bastogne), Rhineland and Central Europe, starting in Lorraine, France and ending in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. He attended University of Grenoble during post-war army of occupation. Board certified OB-GYN practiced 37 years, chief of Ob-Gyn Dept. Manchester, Conn. Memorial Hospital; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass.; professor University of Connecticut Medical School and Harvard Medical School. Introduced and championed the Lamaze Method of prepared childbirth, including husband participation. He revolutionized hospital-based childbirth by introducing America’s first “birthing room” using a single birthing bed for both labor and delivery, which is now standard throughout the country. President, Lamaze Association of America, published two books: “Birthing Rooms, Concept and Reality”; and “Shared Childbirth” and authored one autobiography, “Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs” as well as many medical articles, and lectured extensively domestically and abroad. He enjoyed the practice of medicine so much that he claimed he had never worked a day (or night) in his life. Recognized as America’s Outstanding Obstetrician 1983, member of A.M.A., A.C.O.G., Commander of 104th Infantry regiment Veterans Association, Commodore Orrs Bailey Yacht Club, EMT with Orrs Bailey Fire Dept., Chapel Committee member of All Saints Episcopal Church, Orrs Island. He also whistled twice with the Portland Symphony Orchestra at the request of the conductor. He loved his family of all generations and the magic of Briargate, Orrs Island and how the coast of Maine provided a setting for all kinds of family activities which bound us all together, regardless of age. He also enjoyed sailing, cruising, hiking, and playing bridge. He and Margi, his wife of 64 years, travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa, North, South and Central America. He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret, whom he married in 1953, and is survived by two sons, Philip Edward Jr. and Jeffrey Gordon, their wives Traci and Lisa; and four beautiful grandchildren, Nicole, Matthew, Michelle, and Danielle. A celebration of life will be planned in the future. Memories and condolences can be shared at . In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (

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