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George Gerald "Jerry" Somers
was born October 30, 1926 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, to Harry M. Somers and
Minnie Bickel Somers, and died September 25, 2009 in Sugar Land, TX. The twelfth of
14 children, Jerry was raised on a dairy farm (Somers Dairy & Somerdale
Dairy) during the Great Depression. Salutatorian of his high school, he
attended Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania and, at 17 joined the Navy and became
a carrier pilot on The Lexington at the end of World War II.
stationed at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, TX, Jerry met and married
a local girl named Barbara "Babs" Pearce. They had two children
together, Sherry and Scott, before Babs tragically succumbed to polio on
Mother's Day, 1952. Through his mother-in-law, Jerry was introduced to Nancy
Jane Wise of Corpus Christi, TX, and they were married in September 1956.
Together they had three more children, Brent, Claire and Janet.
very active in First United Methodist Church, Corpus Christi, holding
practically every lay position in the church, including Sunday School Teacher,
Lay Preacher, District Lay Leader, Methodist Youth Fellowship Counselor, committeeman
and Scoutmaster. After retirement, and the end of his second marriage in 1992,
he finally took the plunge and became a local pastor in the United Methodist
Church. He served as Associate Pastor of St. Peter's by the Sea, Corpus
Christi; First United Methodist, Fredericksburg; and First United Methodist,
Kerrville. While in Fredericksburg, he met and married Beverly Ann Coppedge
Somers, also originally from Corpus Christi, and they lived in the Texas Hill
Country for over 10 years.
to the Methodist Church, Jerry was also active in Boy Scouts of America, Camp
Fire Girls, Reserve Officers Association, Salvation Army, Kiwanis Club and Walk
to Emmaus, He loved playing softball, basketball and tennis, and was a big
sports fan. He also enjoyed word games and telling jokes, and had a prodigious
memory for facts and history.
retirement from the ministry, and his second open heart surgery, Jerry moved in
2005 to The Terrace Retirement Home in Sugar Land, TX, where he quickly
immersed himself in the life and pulse of this community. In addition to
serving as "Resident President" and interim pastor, his previously
undetected gift as a soloist became a passion, and introduced him to Dolores
"Dodie" Clark, the church pianist. They found love unexpectedly and married June 14, 2009. On
the evening of his death, they had both drifted off to sleep, and he slipped
away while holding his beloved's hand.
Jerry Somers will
be remembered for his devotion to his family, his service as a Naval Aviator,
his hard work and willingness to pitch in wherever needed, his good humor and
bad jokes, his irrepressible personality, his love of country and his love of
survived by his wife, Dodie Clark Somers; three sisters, Shirley, Jean and
Harriet; a sister-in-law, Helen (Byron), his children, Sherry Willome (Tom),
Scott (Isa), Brent (Peesh), Claire Ortiz (Rick), and Janet Ely (Mark), as well
as 9 grandchildren: Jason (Christi), Sarah (Ross), Andy (Jackie), Jeff, Trey,
Avery, Jake, Emily and Austin; and a prospective great-grandson expected in
February to Jackie and Andy, as well as Dodie's three children Rusty, Candi and
Christi, and their families.
In lieu of
flowers, Jerry requested memorials be made to Susan G. Komen - Houston Affiliate
(in honor of Janet Somers Ely), the American Heart Association, and the Salvation
Decorations for Lt. Commander G. G. Somers:
Campaign Medal, World War II
African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII
Occupation Service Medal, WWII
of Recognition, Cold War Service 1946-1991
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