Frank Sommer was born in St. Helena, CA to Karoline and Frank Sommer. They moved to Napa in the 1930’s and the family worked on their farm in the area of what is now Phillips Elementary School and Russell and Sommer Streets. Frank attended Shurtleff School and Napa High School, graduating in 1943. Frank served in the U.S. Army in 1944-1945 in Europe; he was proud of his Infantry service. Frank lost a leg in France in 1945 and received the Purple Heart.
After a lengthy rehabilitation in the U.S., Frank found his niche in orthopedics, fabricating and fitting braces and prosthetics for Kaiser Permanente patients. He worked at several Kaiser Hospitals including Vallejo, Hayward, and Oakland, retiring in 1992.
Frank married Harriet Frey in 1969. Together they spent many summers at their trailer at Spanish Flat Resort at Lake Berryessa. Although Frank had a prosthetic leg, there was almost nothing he could not do. Whether he was water skiing, working on his v-drive boat, mixing and pouring concrete and other home projects, we never thought of Frank as “handicapped.” Frank enjoyed being busy and had an incredible work ethic. He was happiest gardening and working in his shop, and the last several years he became an avid reader.
Frank was predeceased by his parents, his brother Bill Sommer, and his son Jeff Frey. He is survived by his sister Marie Lofgren, wife Harriet, daughter Deanna Sommer (Karrie Beach), son Mike Frey (Rena), grandchildren Nash, Ben, Kelly, and Tommy, five great grand children, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Viewmont Villa and Napa Valley Senior Living for their wonderful care for Frank for the last two months.
At Frank’s request, there will be no services. A private burial will take place at a later date with family. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Napa County Animal Shelter, 942 Hartle Court, Napa, CA 94559 and Continuum Hospice and Palliative Care, 5401 Old Redwood Highway, Petaluma, CA 94954.
1925 - 2019
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.