Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, and New York State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre recently attended a street-renaming ceremony in honor of the late Johnny Cummings. Johnny and his older brother Arthur were the original owners of the Shell gas station on the corner of Mount & Wyandanch Avenue in Wyandanch.
Cummings moved to Greenlawn, NY in 1963 with his wife Dorothy Sullivan and four children. He started his career as a mechanic at a Chevrolet dealership, but had a deep desire to one day open his own business. In 1967, he joined forces with his brother and opened up the Shell gas station in Wyandanch; he would go on to own five additional Shell service stations in Brentwood, Wyandanch, Lindenhurst, Bay Shore, and Queens.
Cummings was a strong proponent of education and entrepreneurship, and after providing for the successful education of his four children, he scaled back his business ventures and settled on the purchase of the Mount Avenue station from Shell Oil. From this gas station, which he would late expand to include a store and a food take-out station, he headquartered his efforts to assist the surrounding community. In addition to his service as a deacon in many Long Island churches, he assisted with local programs for children, the needy, and seniors, and received countless awards and accolades from civic, government, religious, and private institutions for his humanitarian efforts and philanthropic endeavors.
Cummings enjoyed traveling, bowling, golfing, and family time, and everyone who knew him would talk about how much he loved his community. On April 6th, 2016, the Babylon Town Board passed Resolution No. 267, authorizing the changing of the name of the intersection of Mount Avenue and Wyandanch Avenue to “Johnny Cummings Sr. Memorial Corner.”
Supervisor Schaffer, Deputy Supervisor Martinez, and Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre are seen pictured with family members of Johnny Cummings Sr., including children John Cummings Jr., Marie Cummings, Johnasina Cummings, and Diahann Cummings.