Alvin Joseph Sommer, age 87, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Friday, February 12, 2016 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton where he had resided for the past seven years.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 AM, on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Larry Regynski officiating. Inurnment will be at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton with military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791 and the SD Army National Guard. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Tuesday, February 16, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a rosary at 6:45 PM, followed by a vigil service at 7:00 PM.
Alvin was born July 9, 1928, at Ree Heights, SD to Lawrence and Helen (Schaefer) Sommer. He graduated from Miller High School in 1948 and began a 25 year career with the Bureau of Reclamation and Corp of Engineers. During these years, he was employed at the Pactola Dam in Rapid City, SD; helped survey the transmission lines coming from Gavins Point Dam; worked on the San Luis Dam at Los Banos, CA, the Big Bend Dam at Chamberlain, SD and the Chatfield Dam at Englewood, CO. Alvin was also attached to NASA during the construction of the ABM missile site at Cavalier, ND. He retired from the government at the completion of this project. When Alvin retired, he moved his family to Yankton. He worked for two years at the Human Services Center and then for 13 years in the City Engineers Office in Yankton. Alvin served in the United States Army from 1950 to 1953. He fought in several campaigns in Korea including the Iron Triangle. He then went to Hoechst, Germany, where he was assigned to the 7th Army Combat Engineers. While there, his troop was sent to the Netherlands to help with a devastating flood. His troop was awarded a citation from Queen Juliana. Alvin married Laurel Halling on August 8, 1955 at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Huron, SD. They were blessed with four children: Craig, Gary, Allene and Glenn. Alvin was a man of great faith and a very patient and kind person. He was not one to criticize others. His home and family were his pride and joy.
Alvin is survived by his wife of 60 years, Laurel of Yankton; two sons, Craig (Cheryl) Sommer of Yankton and Gary Sommer of Houston, TX; daughter, Allene Sommer (Mark Hausmann) of Yankton; six grandchildren: Jennifer (Derek) Thompson of Ft. Collins, CO, Jack, Brady and Sabrina Sommer of Houston, Alex Heglin of Yankton and Max Eide of Yankton; a great grandson, Kohen Thompson; brother, David (Darlene) Sommer of Lakewood, CO; three sisters, Jenise Marshall of San Manuel, AZ, Adeline Cotton of Yankton and Audrey Campbell of Miller, SD; sister-in-law, Faye Sommer of Sioux Falls; and brothers-in-law, David McNamara of Sioux Falls and James (Debra) Halling of Ft. Pierre, SD.
Alvin was preceded in death by his parents; son, Glenn in 1976; two sisters, Mary Herman and Judy McNamara; brother, Ray Sommer; and brothers-in-law, Kenneth Marshall, DeWayne Herman and Ronald Campbell.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
Craig, we wish to offer our sympathy in the loss of your father. Although we did not know him, we know that he raised a fine, civic-minded son. It is always difficult to lose a parent no matter how old we are when we must say goodbye to them. We hope that you are comforted by the love of your family and the many great memories you will share about your father.
Jacob & Sandy Hoffner
Allene & family -
So sorry to see your father passed away. Cherish the memories! You are all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
Jodi, Brad and Nathan List
Very Sorry to hear of Als passing. I worked with him at the City of Yankton and always found him to be a very willing and caring person and a joy to be arround.
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