All of us lost a great friend this week. Not just some of us, but all of us. Even those of you reading this that did not know Dan Summer lost a great friend.
Dan died this week after a courageous battle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Dan was only in his mid-50s and leaves a wonderful wife, four sons and a beautiful daughter.
Dan came to Hall County more than 30 years ago, and quickly jumped into community life. He was a lawyer, and started his work here with the District Attorney’s Office. He immediately established himself as a brilliant legal mind and, though a native of the North, quickly adopted the south and our red clay hills and our people as his home.
He had a great sense of justice, and a true respect for the presumption of innocence. Later he established his reputation as a defense lawyer, and treated all of his clients, the judges who preside here, the courthouse staff who serve us, and fellow lawyers who practiced with and against him with a great degree of respect.
He knew the difference between right and wrong, but he also knew that all of us are capable of a little of both. He was eager to defend those accused of wrong and tried many cases on behalf of underdogs throughout North Georgia. He was also quick to understand when it was time to negotiate a resolution, take your punishment and move on. He was a champion and a trusted adviser to many people at their lowest point.
Dan was a true patriot, loved his country, and was hard to pin down politically. He was sometimes Democrat and sometimes Republican, but you always knew he had thought through the issue and could defend his position. We need more people like that. He loved his community and its people, all of them.
We are so lucky that Dan lived, loved, worked and played among us. We lost a great friend this week. All of us.