PERIOD OF MOURNING ( SHIVA)
Obituary of Donald Harold Sommers
DONALD HAROLD SOMMERS
JULY 15, 1922 - JUNE 2, 2019
Our beloved “Papa Don,” Donald Harold Sommers, passed away June 2, 2019. He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Miriam (Mimi) Chuckrow Sommers, and survived by his sister, Estelle Dwore of Niskayuna; his children Andrew, Peter and Caroline Sommers; daughter in law Susan Sommers; son in law Marcelo Barujel; nephew Bob Dwore of Saratoga Springs, NY.; and his grandchildren Daryl and Sam Sommers of Colorado and Dino and Luna Barujel of New York City.
Donald was born July 15, 1922 in Albany. He grew up on N. Allen St., with his big sister Estelle and his parents Charlie and Freda, who operated a grocery store and later a liquor store on the ground floor.
In high school Don developed a passion: movies. He got a job delivering “circulars” for the Madison Theater. Getting paid in free tickets, he would attend double-features every weekend. From this experience he developed a passion for movies of the 30s and 40s.
He graduated from Milne in 1941 and went on to Union College, where he attended as many home football games as he could. In 2017 he connected with his old buddy Teddy Rosen. The story was covered by the news. Don was thrilled to connect with his old friend.
WWII got in the way of Dad’s education. He enlisted in 1942 and was inducted into the Army June 5, 1943. He headed to Ft. McClellan, AL and then onto an infantry unit in France. He was released from the Army as a Corporal on 2/10/46 at 11:52am. He never forgot those numbers. Nor did he forget hitchhiking back home to Albany from Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania.
WWII was the most romanticized period of his life. He lived for the music, the movies, the culture and the stars. He was un-stumpable when it came to any trivia from that era.
Under the G.I. Bill he graduated from Union College in 1947 and went on to Albany Law School, finishing in about 25 months, graduating with the Class of ‘49. At 96 he was one of the longest-practicing attorneys in the Capital Region, working every day for a few hours until the past year. He still made court appearances until recently. With his winning personality and sharp sense of humor, he was popular and loved by everyone he came into contact with. He had a stellar reputation as an attorney and represented many families - for generations. Donald built a successful law practice and was honored when Andrew joined his practice in 1983.
In August 1954 he met his beloved Mimi in Saratoga, at the racetrack. She had just finished her freshman year at Cornell. A year later she left school and they got married November 6, 1955 in what would have been her junior year. They had six happy decades together.
He loved Mimi and took wonderful care of her when she got sick. He was quick to adapt to taking care of himself and never gave up his will to live after she left us.
He will be dearly missed.
Services at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Road in Albany on Thursday June 6, 2019 at 11:00am. Interment will follow in the Temple Israel Cemetery in Guilderland, New York. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Donald in a special way may make a memorial contribution to a charity of your choice. The period of mourning will be obsereved at the Sommers residence, 35 Milner Avenue in Albany on Thursday from 6-9pm and on Friday from 12 noon to 4pm