Robert Sommerville, Jr. or “Bud” as many family members called him, passed away the morning of March 2, 2013. Robert was born in Pasadena, California, on November 25, 1917, the oldest son of Robert and Harriet Sommerville. Always ready with a story or a joke, Bob grew up in Pasadena attending Longfellow Elementary, Wilson Junior High, Pasadena High School and Pasadena Junior College, where he played football. Bob went on to work in the circulation department and later the advertising departments of the Pasadena Star News in 1937, and when war broke out he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air Corps in March of 1942.
Bob’s Navy service included active duty at the Naval Air Station in Long Beach and cadet flight school in Corpus Christi, Texas. After graduation and commissioning he served as a flight instructor in Corpus Christi until he received orders for operational training and was assigned as Senior Aviator aboard the USS Providence, CL 82, the flagship of the Mediterranean command. In that theatre he saw time in Palermo, Sicily; Naples, Italy; Athens, Greece; and Marseille, France. Bob stayed in the Naval Reserve for ten years after his discharge in April of 1946.
After active duty Bob joined the US Navy Dept. as Inspector of Materiel based in Los Angeles and was later recruited by Librascope in Shipboard Engineering and subsequently Litton Industries as part of their Guidance & Control Systems in Quality Program Control. He also attended the California Horological Institute and UCLA. Bob met Dorothy Ruth Benthin, of Hayti, South Dakota and they married in 1952, and in a few years the couple moved to La Canada, CA, to raise their family. They enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage before Dorothy passed in June of 2012.
In 1970 he started his own home maintenance business in La Canada which he continued until retirement. Bob was an avid golfer, a volunteer at Descanso Gardens (Abutilon plant propagation and Train Conductor) and an active member in the La Canada Congregational Church, singing in the choir to present day. He was also a Manager and a coach for many years in the La Canada Junior Baseball Association.
Bob is survived by his daughter Jean (David) of La Canada, son Jim (Amy) of San Diego, beloved granddaughter Jessica (also of La Canada) and sister Myrtle Snider of Pasadena. Bob was predeceased by his wife Dorothy, sisters Harriet Marshall, Dorothy Frye, Elma Allender, and brother, Eugene Sommerville.
Services will be held at the La Canada Congregational Church (formerly Church of the Lighted Window) on May 11th at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations in his name to the La Canada Congregational Church.