Obituary of Robert T. Sommers
We are saddened to share the news of the passing of Robert T. Sommers of Blackwood, NJ, formerly of Magnolia. Bob passed away, suddenly, on September 1, 2018, with his children at his side. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 51 years, Kay, with whom he shared five devoted children: Mary (Bob) Ross, Patricia (Jim) Furniss, Linda Sommers, Mark (Heather) Sommers and Allison Sommers (Travis Pearson). Proud grandfather, a.k.a. 'Poppy", to Ryan (Julia), Kyle, and Kelly Ross, Taryn (Bobby), Jimmy (Jenna), Drew (Christy), and Lauren Furniss, Aiden and Erin Sommers and Jack and Kathryn Pearson. Great grandfather to JG3 and Liam (and delightfully anticipating the arrival of Gianna).
Bob was born to Polish parents, Sophie and Leo Sommers, in Bayonne NJ on April 11, 1939. He would later move with his family to Camden, NJ and then, briefly, to Stratford. One of 5 children, his siblings are: his loyal sister Dorothy and dear brothers Sonny, Donald and Edward.
From his education to his career, Bob was self-made and self-reliant. Strong in mind, body and commitment, he set out to join the US Air Force, where he was both a navigator and an instructor. While enlisted, he attended Western Kentucky University pursuing a degree in mathematics.
Upon completing his military service, Bob returned to NJ earning a degree in mathematics from La Salle and a Master's in Statistics from St. Joe's. While advancing in his HR career, Bob earned the opportunity to obtain his MBA from Wharton School of Business. He completed his education and went on to enjoy a rewarding career in management with Provident National Bank (later PNC) and ACI, each in Philadelphia.
Bob met the love of his life Kay on a blind date. They married on November 7, 1964 at St, Peter's Church in Merchantville, NJ. They raised their family in Magnolia, NJ where they attended St, Gregory's R.C. Church. For several years, Bob coached and was very active with the local Magnolia Rams football league. He worked very hard and took his team(s) to some notorious victories. These are times/years in which Bob has always looked back fondly.
Upon his, initial, early retirement from the Bank, (and his children grown), Bob devoted a large amount of his free time to restoring antique cars. Buying and restoring was his hobby and a few of his pride and joys were his 1957 Chevy and his 2 Corvette Convertibles (1962 and 1967). Cars always made Bob happy!
Bob was a loyal man. His faithfulness to the Lord and to the important people in his life could be seen in the way he steadfastly and so generously gave. Bob enjoyed endless hours of watching his grandchildren play ball, doing after school pick ups and helping with homework. In a life that had evolved into watching his family grow through the weddings, christenings, holidays, and now wakes and funerals that mark the arc of life, Bob could always be counted on to be there.
Bob relished three things during his life: his faith, his family and football; his visible affection overcoming his usual reserve. Bob's unflagging support for his wife's health and personal care at the end of her life, is an everlasting gift of love which he bestowed.
Bob had, an often quiet, dignity, respecting himself the way he respected others. As he faced his final days, battling cancer, he maintained his optimism. When asked how he was doing, he gave the same answer he gave every day, "I'm fine," he would say.
And so, it is with tremendous sadness that we say farewell, to Robert, to Bob, to Dad, and to Poppy. You did good. You did real good. We will miss you always and are better people for having known you.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his viewing and visitation Saturday 10AM - 11:30AM at EUGENE J. ZALE FUNERAL HOME, INC. 712 N. White Horse Pike, Stratford, NJ 0804. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated immediately afterwards at 12:30PM at Holy Child Parish - St Teresa Church, Runnemede. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers and donations, the family asks that you support a cause near and dear to your heart. Bob would like that.
EUGENE J. ZALE FUNERAL HOME, INC.
712 N WHITE HORSE PIKE
STRATFORD, NEW JERSEY 08084
PHONE: (856) 783-5100
MANAGER RONALD E. ZALE - N.J. LIC. NO. 3570