Donald Merton Sommars was born Jan. 24, 1916, the youngest of seven children, to Frances and Harriet “Hattie” (Cummings) Sommars in Verndale, Minn. He attended Verndale High School, graduating as Valedictorian with the Class of 1933. Following graduation he worked in a California airplane factory building P-51s. He was called home to the farm when his father died.
Donald and Lillian Eckert were united in marriage Feb. 23, 1942 in Sebeka. They raised their family on their farm south of Verndale. Don was a lifelong innovator and one of the first in the area to use irrigation. He also had the highest producing herd of Guernsey cows in the state of Minnesota. He loved the outdoors, spending time tending his rose garden, and hunting each fall with extended family. He was a director on the West Central Telephone Board for 36 years, served as a 4-H leader, and sold cars for over 10 years. He and Lillian loved to dance, with a fondness for square dancing, and they enjoyed hours and hours of playing cards with family and friends. By 1976, they sold the farm, keeping a small acreage to build their home and raise commercial asparagus. Due to Lillian’s health, the couple moved into Verndale in 1990, then on to Cambridge for assisted living near family members.
Don was preceded in death by his parents Frances and Harriet; he was the last living sibling to brothers Amos, Harold, Walter, and Frank Sommars, and sisters Doris Richardson and Bessie Biever.
He is survived by his loving wife Lillian; sons Wayne (Jane) of Cambridge, and Dennis (Robin) of South Haven; seven grandchildren Tony (Becky) Sommars, Kristen (Michael) Ruetten, Carrie (Michael) Maruska, Randon Sommars, Melinda (Randall) Fennert, Manda Sommars, and Cassandra (Nathan) Marks; nine great-grandchildren & one great-great-grandchild.
Funeral services were held March 30, 2013 at the United Methodist Church in Verndale with Pastor Jill Pawlowski presiding. Honorary pallbearer was Randon Sommars. Serving as pallbearers were Marvin Runyan, Jim Runyan, Ralph Stone, David Orlando, Len Seglar and Tony Sommars. Burial was in Greenlawn Cemetery in Verndale.
Arrangements are with the Schuller Family Funeral Homes in Wadena.