Bob Summerrise Jr. RIP – A Seattle Music Scene Legend


Bob Summerrise Jr.

January 26, 1925 – November 12, 2010

Sadly, on November 12th Bob Summerrise Jr. passed away.  He was a giant part of the Seattle music scene back in the day, owning an influential record store called Summerrise Records (stocking many of those 45s now heard on LITA’s Wheedle’s Groove Seattle’s Finest in Funk & Soul 1965-75 comp and a big supporter of the local soul scene).  He was also a disc jockey on Seattle soul station KYAC. Our thoughts are go out to his family.

From the Summerrise Family:

On Friday November 12th we lost the patriarch of our family and an icon in the Seattle radio & music scene.  Bob Summerrise, affectionately known as “Brother Bob” passed away peacefully at Valley General hospital in Renton.  He was born in Chicago on January 26, 1925 of the union of Robert Summerrise Sr. and Gertrude Shields.  Brother Bob moved to the Seattle area in the early 40’s where he began a successful career as a broadcaster on numerous radio stations including, but not limited to; KTAC, KQDE, KAYO, KZAM & KYAC. Truly a Northwest pioneer in the field, he was one of the first African-American on-air personalities and the first with an engineering license.

He married his wife Hellyne on March 5, 1954 and together they raised 3 children while operating Summerises’ World of Music record shop on Seattle’s historic Jackson Street.  Bob & Hellyne were passionate community activists who worked tirelessly to improve the plight of the underprivileged.  They formed non-profit organizations such as “The I Can Dream Foundation” & “The Children’s House” Montessori School to help spearhead those efforts.

Brother Bob is survived by his daughter, Marsha Miles, sons, Robert III(Robin) and Gregory Summerrise; grandchildren, Nikki, Celita, Dylin, Robin Renee, Robert IV, Franceska, Jai Jai and Toussaint; great-grandchildren, Damon, Jazzlin, Jaya & Toussaint; nieces, Fai Mathews, Marguerite Richard and Shawn Richard-Davis plus many, many more beloved family members and dear friends.  Father, brother, uncle and grandpa to all, “Papa” will be sorely missed in the lives and hearts of all he touched.

We will celebrate Bob’s life at a service to be held Saturday December 4th at 3PM at:

New Beginnings Christian Fellowship
19300 108th Avenue Southeast
Renton, WA 98055
(425) 282-6220

The family requests that in lieu of gifts and flowers, memorials in his name be sent to:

The I Can Dream Foundation
22611 163rd Ave E
Graham, WA 98338