Sommerville, Robert Bob Franklin

TALLEYVILLE–Robert Bob Franklin Sommerville, age 81, passed away after a long illness, May 31, 2019 (obituary written by Bob). Born in Central Barren, IN, Oct 17, 1937, he was the fifth of six children of the late Kirk Edward and Edith Kost Sommerville. Following their divorce in 1941, Bob lived with his mother & siblings in Palmyra, IN, until 1948. The family then moved to Louisville, KY, where he graduated as valedictorian from both Valley High School (1955) and the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville (1960). Afterwards, he worked for Monsanto Chemical Co., Texas City, TX until 1961, when he moved to Wilmington, DE to work for Sun Oil Co., Phila., PA (retiring in 1991).

Bob was married (19601973, her death from leukemia) to Patricia Patsy Ann Peak of Valley Station, KY. They had four children (all born in DE): Douglas Robert Sommerville (Sarah), Forest Hill, MD; Steven Ray Sommerville (d. 1977, accidental fall, Crater Lake, OR); James Edward Sommerville (Laura), Wilmington, DE; and Rebecca Ann ODonnell (Ted), Rockville, MD. He is also survived by 2 adorable granddaughters, Colleen Patricia & Nicole Claire ODonnell, as well as numerous cousins, nephews & nieces.

In 1975, Bob met Martha Fitzpatrick and was immediately smitten; they were a loving couple until his death. Martha has a son (Matt Stawicki (Cathy), Wilmington, DE). Cathy has a son (Kevin Wilkins, San Diego, CA).

Bob is also survived by brothers, Herman Alexander Sommerville (Cheryl), New Albany, IN, and Earl Allen Sommerville (Verdi), Marietta, GA. He was predeceased by brothers, George William Sommerville (Nancy), Louisville, KY and Richard Fogle Sommerville (Edna), West Warwick, RI, and sister, Thelma Adams (Jim), Valley Station, KY. He was also predeceased by step-father, Haggai Murphy.

Bob was a staunch fan of the U of Kentucky mens basketball; enjoyed gardening and in his younger days traveling across the US & Canada. He was a big fan of the Bee Gees, and was a world-renowned record collector of their cover versions, collecting 6500 cover versions of songs written by the group.

Bob and his family would like to thank his many doctors (David Estock, Lindsay Slater, Pamela Simpson, & James Hopkins (Wilmington, DE); & David Ellis (Bryn Mawr, PA)), as well as the nurses at Fresenius Kidney Care of DE and all at Seasons Hospice of DE who were very loving. They gave him the strength to face the many medical struggles of his later years (type 1 diabetes, kidney cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, renal failure & Parkinsons disease). Special thanks to Ms. Patricia Freeman, whom befriended him while they both underwent dialysis treatment at Fresnius and to Ms. Maria Hoban for her special companionship during the past year.

A visitation for family & friends will be held from 11 AM to 1 PM, Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE. Immediately following will be a memorial service at the Home, and then a grave side service at Silverbrook Cemetery, 3300 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington, DE.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Bobs memory to the American Diabetes Association or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Lastly, Bob would want everyone to be kind to each other. For online condolences visit:

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by 2fish