Charles Samuel "Sam" Cummins, the founder of a well-known auto dealership in Paris, died Saturday. He was 87.
Mr. Cummins, a native of Bracken County who served with the Merchant Marines in the South Pacific during World War II, became a Chevrolet dealer in Brooksville in 1952, according to his son, Dan Cummins, and information from Moore & Parker Funeral Home in Brooksville. Mr. Cummins borrowed $5,000 to open the dealership and built it from scratch, said his son.
"Five thousand dollars was a world of money at that time," Dan Cummins said.
Mr. Cummins moved the dealership to Paris in 1956, where it remains under the operation of his grandsons, the third generation of the family to run the business.
Dan Cummins said he took over the dealership in the early 1970s but didn't put his name on it until 1997.
The catchy jingle for the dealership, in which a man sings, "I'd rather drive to Paris for a Dan Cummins deal," is a fixture on Lexington television.
In addition to his son, Mr. Cummins is survived by a daughter, Lu Ann Hanna of Tavares, Fla.; three grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a brother.
Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hinton-Turner Funeral Home in Paris. Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Brooksville Cemetery.