June 17 1928 July 29 2019
Sumner’s Obituary York, ME – Sumner Winebaum, of York, Maine, a former advertising executive, Portsmouth businessman, philanthropist and sculptor passed away on July 29, 2019 at the age of 91. The son of Harry and Molly Winebaum, Sumner was born and raised in Portsmouth, NH and attended Portsmouth High School. He graduated from the University of Michigan with an A.B. degree in English. He started his career in New York City in advertising as a copywriter and account executive at Young and Rubicam where he helped create some of the earliest television commercials for clients such as Johnson and Johnson, General Foods, and General Electric. This was the industry’s “Mad Men” era, a time of great innovation and discovery for the new medium. In New York, he met and married Helen Auerbach, an accomplished television and stage actress, who became his beloved wife of 65 years until her recent passing in 2018. He moved to Europe in 1962 with Helen and their two sons, Sam and Jake where he opened Young and Rubicam’s offices in Milan and Paris serving as founding President of those offices. Always appreciative of art and history, having begun evening art classes at the Art Student League while in New York, the family explored European museums, archaeological sites, and the country-side every weekend. The family returned to New Hampshire in 1967. Sumner and Helen wanted to raise their sons in the Seacoast region where he had enjoyed his childhood. Sumner took the helm of the family’s Winebaum News periodicals and newspaper distribution business which represented major national and regional publications such as The Boston Globe, New York Times, Hearst Magazines, and TV Guide. Sumner grew the Portsmouth based business, started by his father Harry, into the largest in Northern New England prior to retiring in 1994. His son Sam joined him in the business making it a rare three generations business. He was a life-long athlete and former NH junior golf champion, an avid tennis player and cyclist, but it was skiing that was his greatest sports passion and one he pursued for over 60 years with a loyal group of ski buddies and his family at his favorite ski areas: Stowe, Alta and Jackson Hole. Sumner was fond of saying he had four careers, all of them benefiting from his creativity, persistence and always enthusiastic optimism. After his “retirement”, Sumner plunged back into his passions for sculpture and philanthropy, full time. He considered himself a writer who translated words into sculpture believing that each piece must have a story and moral value to go along with the beauty it encompasses. Four generations of his family sat long hours for sculpted busts, most several times including his four grandchildren Nathan, Jenna, Hannah, and Tess sometimes squirming as he sculpted and talked with them. These portraits, cast in bronze, are an enduring legacy of his work and memory. He earned critical acclaim and commercial success as a sculptor with completed commissions for Young and Rubicam, York Hospital, the Japanese American Society, Temple Israel, public parks in York, Maine, and for numerous individuals. He had many one-man shows at galleries and museums including a recent retrospective of his work at the Discover Portsmouth Center. His works are owned by the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, the University of Maine, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, the Currier Museum, the Carter Gallery at UNH, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and Fisher Scientific Corp. Sumner and Helen, a true team in all things, were always philanthropic and generous with their time and effective leaders on innumerable non-profit and civic boards and donors to countless local charities and organizations. Sumner was President of Theater by the Sea and the Greater Piscataqua Charitable Foundation and a board member of Strawberry Banke Museum, the Wentworth Coolidge Mansion, the Portsmouth Athenaeum, and Temple Israel among others. He is survived by his two sons, Sam Winebaum of Rye, NH and Jake Winebaum of Los Angeles, CA, their wives Dominique and Cindy, and four grandchildren, Nathan, Hannah, Jenna and Tess Winebaum. There will be a private funeral service. A public memorial service will be held at Temple Israel in Portsmouth N.H at 4:00PM on Sunday, August 18. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Seacoast Repertory Theater or Strawberry Banke’s Shapiro House. . Read More
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Sumner Winebaum June 17 1928 July 29 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Portsmouth, state: New Hampshire