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313 Center St.
Phone: 419-281-2566, 1-800-430-2566
Fax: 419-281-4411
David Sommers

David Paul Sommers I

Thursday, February 24th, 1938 - Sunday, November 3rd, 2019
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Was born on February 24, 1938 in Akron, OH and passed on November 3, 2019 at home beside his dear wife Judy in Tucson, AZ.

David was born on February 24, 1938 in Akron, Ohio to John W. Sommers and Axline Yerks Sommers. He was the 15th of 18 children and was a 1957 graduate from Northwestern High School in West Salem, OH. He was very proud and honored that he was the 1st of 18 children to graduate from High School.

David married Judy Raider on August 12, 1959 at the First Christian Church in Sullivan, Ohio. David re-proposed on Christmas of 2018, and after 60 years of marriage they renewed their vows on his birthday, February 24, 2019. He leaves his dear wife behind.

David worked from a young age helping his father doing all sorts of jobs, like roofing, masonry, and carpentry. He went on to build pole barns and then started working at Myers Pump which led him to become manager of several convenience stores over the years until retirement. He always said, "I’m a Jack of all things, but master of none."

He was blessed to be the father of a daughter, Donna Gay Bledsoe Glatfelter; and a son, David Paul Sommers II (married to Gabriella Serri); the grandfather of seven: David Paul III, John, and Michael Sommers; Samantha, Brice, and Brandon Avery; and Ryan Bledsoe. He also leaves behind his sister-in-law, Janice Raider, and numerous nieces and nephews.

His family was his number 1 priority and love. A close second would be his love of his animals, especially Monique, Bandit, Lady, Prince, Sassy, Lucky, and Cujo.

David was preceded in death by his parents John and Axline Sommers; sisters Emma McIntyre, Betty Guttenburg, Harriet Scot, Margaret (Peggy) Brown, Freda Prater, Clara Coy, Bertha Helman, Marguerite Mary Louise Amstutz, Nellie Workman, Kathryn Robertson, and his unnamed twin sister who died at birth; and plus three brothers, Roy Cook, Dale Cook, and John R. Sommers. Surviving siblings are Wesley D. Sommers, James H. Sommers, and Joy Draper (Gary) Campbell.

David loved sports! In High School he was on the Huskie basketball team. When he worked at Myers Pump he was part of a traveling softball team. He bowled with his brothers who called themselves, “The Sommers Bowling Team”. Over the years he mastered golf and played on several teams. In retirement he continued to golf just for fun with family and friends. He was also an avid Ohio State Buckeye and NY Yankee's fan, very seldom missing any televised games.

During his younger years David belonged to West Salem EUB (now United Methodist) Church, where he sang in the choir and was involved in youth activities.

Later on, when his own children were young, David was active with the Boys Scouts, serving in several administrative capacities.

David loved garage sales, looking for antiques or anything else he thought was a steal. He was THE master bargainer. He also loved landscaping and home repair, which became a small business for him. Much later in life, David also joined his daughter Donna, granddaughter Samantha, and sister-in-law Jan in the fun, but hard work, of caring for their many horses. He was famous for his homemade baked beans, potato candy, and popcorn - they were the best!

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. “We love you to the moon and back infinity times infinity and beyond.”

Funeral services will be held, Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home with the Reverend Dr. J. Gary Campbell officiating. Interment will follow in the Ashland County Memorial Park. A meal and time of fellowship will be in the Legacy Room of the funeral home after the committal service. Friends may call one hour prior to the service from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the funeral home.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date in Tucson, AZ.

For those who may not be able to attend, online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at

Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the arrangements.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home
    313 Center Street
    Ashland, Ohio 44805
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Services

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 2:00pm
    Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home
    313 Center Street
    Ashland, Ohio 44805
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Reverend Dr. J. Gary Campbell
  • Interment

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 | 3:00pm
    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 3:00pm
    Ashland County Memorial Park
    1058 US 250 North
    Ashland, OH 44805
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Posted at 03:46pm
Michael Sommers
I've been staring at a blank white computer monitor for the past twenty minutes. This isn't the first time this happens these days. I have thought long about what I could say here, trying to muster up something and yet, only now I feel like I can say anything of substance. I also feel – in a way – less qualified to say anything compared to most people here right now hearing what I wrote. I do recognize that that's not true though because we all have different experiences and mine with Grandpa David isn't inferior or superior to anyone else's, it's just different and irreplaceable.
I, unfortunately, didn't have much of a relationship with Grandpa. I have only seen him in person a handful of times and most of our conversations were through skype and tended to be somewhat shallow in nature. A “how are things?” or “What's new there?” but never going past that usually. The fact that these conversations might be a bit shallow does not mean I don't cherish them. I could always tell that, deep down, he cared a lot about me, my brothers, my mom and my dad, even when they'd constantly butt heads over something (which is, in its own way, a form of caring. We don't argue over things we don't care about).
Another thing I can say is that he always tried to be supportive of my endeavors, whether it was my music or my high school and university work. When I was younger and just learning how to play the guitar, he was always there on Sundays on Skype asking about it, when I formed my first band, he was there to ask about it, when I started producing, he was there asking and trying to understand what that even meant.
A lot of what I remember has to do with him, in a way or another, being present during the things I did. Partially because most of my existence is broadcasted publicly online but he was always there with some comment, even when it was just wishing me a good day.
I do regret not being there as much as I could. I know it sounds silly and most people could give me an excuse as to why I sometimes wasn't there on call or I wouldn't answer a message of his until hours later even though I live with my phone in my hand but I felt too busy with school or music or friends to answer. I always thought “I'll just answer when I finish this thing I'm doing” even though, when I was done with whatever I was worried with at the time, he was away or asleep and he tended to just start the conversation over the next time he went online.

The day I received the message that he died, I was working with a few people I was producing and as soon as I glanced my phone, even though I could comprehend the words that were in the message, my brain couldn't fully understand; almost as if I just witnessed something I thought was impossible. I knew that the moment would come and I knew it was fairly close but we never imagine where we are and what we're doing when we find out something like this. Most of my night after that as soon as I finished the work I was paid for was talking about him with people that didn't even know him. I started talking about my trip to the states in 2006 (wow. I haven't been there in over 13 years), their trip here the year before and other things, good and bad.
I had an unread message from him when I found out about his death. It was a link he shared with a joke. I will remember him by the last actual words he said to me a few weeks before while being on a call. To me, his last words are “Love ya” and, even though I don't believe that last words are very important, it seems fitting that these were his to me.

I'd like to send my love and affection and condolences to anyone in this room. Our family might not be perfect, in fact we're far from it. We are humans and humans are flawed creatures. Something I can give my family credit for is that they are supportive and will always help each other when the time actually comes where it's needed. We are closer than we think we are or will admit.
I guess my final thoughts here are that we all have things we will remember from David and a lot we've learned from him. He does live through us just like we will live through others.




Posted at 03:45pm
For those who don t know me, I am John Sommers, the grandson of David and I want to say a few words in memory of my grandfather. I have formed it in a letter to him.
Dear grandfather,
I am writing to you grandfather and all the Family from a place far away in Italy.
I will start by saying how tremendously sorry I am that I can t be here near you, and secondly I would like to thank everyone who is here.
Unfortunately circumstances did not allow us to see each other every day but I always knew that you were there for me. I have for sure learned a lot from you. You have planted in me many good things
I always take your excellent work ethic with me wherever I go. I have always told all my friend how manly and tough you where and that I needed to reach your level of work ethic.
I am always going to try to do the right thing and make you proud.
At the moment I am close graduating from university and I am president of a section of “international students and culture”, and certainly this has improved the life of many people.
Every year you sent us lots of presents for our birthdays and Christmas.
I loved every Christmas when you would call pretending to be Santa.
Thank you for existing and thank you for inspiring me.
I'll miss your perspective and gentle humor. I'll miss the surprising depth and scope of your knowledge. I'll miss the warmth you extended to everyone you met.
You have lived well, achieved several successes, often laughed and always loved.
Before you go, I want you to know that your memory and the legacy you left behind will continue on. Even though we may not be able to talk to you and hug you, we know that you will always be watching over us.
Love you,
John Sommers



Posted at 03:45pm
David Paul Sommers III
I still can’t believe I will never see my Grandpa David again, but I do know he will always be with me. He has taught me a lot and even given me his name, and these things will always be with me too. He showed me how to work in the best way and most precise way possible, and to take pride in such work.
I have too many cherished memories with Grandpa to write them all down, and that’s a confirmation of how great he was. I helped him on a lot of projects over the years when I would visit, like when we built the storage room or built a patio in Michigan.
I’m very fond of the time we went shooting rifles from the barn, but it was probably too cold even for the deer to roam around, so we ended up putting a target and having fun anyways.
He definitely had his grumpy moments, but I mostly remember how he could be a funny nagger at times. Always ready with a vocal pinch. And he never missed an opportunity to inquire about my love life with girls! I just wish he could have met one of my girlfriends!
I wish he could have seen more of me even here in Sardinia, because I remember how much he enjoyed his Summer here, especially when we went to the beach and swam around.
You have left a mark on this Earth and have made it a better place. Thank you for everything. You are deeply missed.


Posted at 03:44pm
Gabriella Sommers
My father in law, David, was always nice to me. He used to call me “Gabby”, which I first thought was strange, and then I came to like, as a sort of nick-name and I wasn’t used to having nick-names.
I remember him telling people that his son was marrying a “real Italian” girl with a sort of pride, although I am not so sure that he had the same feeling when we decided to move to Italy.
He was a loving grandfather and father-in-law. When he sent presents oversea there was always something for me too.
Another memory that I have, very clear, is when we went to visit, after my son Michael’s life threatening operation and how happy he was to introduce his little grandson to his congregation in church.
Then there was his visit to us in Sardinia. He had to put on a lot of sunscreen because he was afraid of getting burned, so much that I think he was the only person that went home without a suntan after a month vacation at the beach! In spite of what he said later in time, I think he loved the Italian sea and swimming with his grandkids. I am sure he had a very good time; he loved snorkeling.
I think now he is at peace and will watch over our family.



Posted at 03:43pm
David Paul Sommers II
On a day such as this a person really doesn’t know what to say. You are all here to celebrate the life of my father, so I think I would like to talk about him, and our relationship together.
One thing nobody can deny is that he was a hard working man. My whole life I’ve known him to have multiple projects of building and fixing things going on. He taught me a lot about construction. He often said that he only knew a fraction of what his father knew about construction and I would have to say the same in that I only know a fraction of what my father knew. He would work until he was too tired to work, rest, and then work some more.
When visiting with my family I wanted him and my mother to join us on day trips and sports events. Unfortunately this was not something my father liked doing. I even tried getting him out to see his Yankees in Baltimore, Dallas and Detroit. As many of you must know, my father was a huge Yankee fan, but even the Yankees couldn’t get him to the stadium. His work ethic had to be one of his strongest points in my opinion. He taught my sister and me the same. We both worked from a very early age and I don’t regret it at all.
Sometimes we were able to work together, the whole family, for example the Lawson’s store. There was work to do for everybody. My father could go into the freezer and work for an hour with just a shirt on.
I remember the time he helped me with my pinewood derby cars for cub scouts. My car was the fastest and best in design really all due to him.
He supported me when I played football. He would come to the games and bring cowbells so that they could be heard on the field.
He was always ready to help a stranger and this is something I have certainly taken from him. I can remember his mother, my grandma, and she was the same as well.
I hope that this explains a little bit about our relationship. I loved him and always will, but we are two very different people. One thing he and I had in common is that we speak our mind regardless as to what somebody might think. Quite often this involved politics. Sometimes it annoyed people very much, perhaps some here today. I want you all to know that is okay. I hold no hard feelings.
For sports my dad liked the Yankees and I the Dodgers, him the Knicks and I the Lakers which often gave us something to discuss. One thing we had in common was our love for The Ohio State Buckeyes. It was one thing we could always agree on.

In the final years we grew steadily apart due to my move to Italy. He blamed me for not being able to spend more time with his grandchildren. One thing he didn’t seem to consider was that my family was spread all across the USA, with aunts and uncles in Ohio, Kentucky and Arizona and he and mom in Idaho. As a young couple we needed help looking after our young child and there didn’t seem to be a place we could move to where we would find this help in the USA, but all of my wife’s family was together in one town.
I have built up a good life in Italy and wish he could have been proud and happy for me. I often tried to get him to visit and was willing to pay for his trip, but there was always something to do or fix instead. The latest was this past summer. He had just come back from visiting Ohio for a month, but claimed he had too much to do to visit my family and me. I am so sorry for this, because if he had come, he would have had a fantastic summer. He loved it the last time he visited.
To conclude I can only say that he will be missed by me and my entire family. I will miss his laugh on the phone or skype when he thinks he is saying something to get under your skin. It was great visiting each week on Sunday to talk about Ohio State, the Lakers or even his Yankees and I wish it was still going on. He will be laid to rest next to my grandparents and I know they will be looking down from Heaven with smiles as we continue on with our lives. Thank you all for being here.


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