Mr. Herbert Lorenz “Herb” Sommerer, age 93, of Jefferson City, Mo. passed away Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at St. Joseph’s Bluffs.
He was born December 25, 1929, in Jefferson City, Mo., to Johann Sebastian “Jack” and Johanna Babette (Kaeppel) Sommerer. On July 27, 1956, he was united in marriage to Charlene Propst at her parent’s home in Honey Creek and to this union, two sons were born. They shared 62 years together before her passing in 2018.
Herb attended Trinity Lutheran grade school and graduated from Jefferson City High School. Furthering his education at the University of Missouri-Columbia, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics. Herb's commitment to service led him to the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict. From January 1951 until his honorable discharge in 1955, he played a vital role in the NSA, serving in a Security Squadron stationed at Andrews Air Force Base and Boling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.
Herb was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he was baptized and confirmed. He served on the Board of Elders, Board of Finance, Board of Trustees, and was treasurer of the congregation for 11 years. In addition, he served on various committees, and was head usher for several years. Herb played a pivotal role in establishing the Trinity Lutheran School Alumni Association. Additionally, he took on responsibilities as the Webelo leader during his sons' time in the Boy Scouts, further exemplifying his commitment to both church and community.
Throughout his professional journey, Herb dedicated his expertise to the Missouri Farm Bureau, where he held pivotal roles such as the Fiscal and Operations Director for the Farm Bureau Town and Country Insurance Co. In addition to this, he assumed the titles of Underwriting Director and Accounting Director for the Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.
Herb's influence extended beyond his day-to-day responsibilities. He played instrumental roles in various national conferences, serving as the Chairman of the National Farm Bureau Property and Casualty Accounting and Statistical Conference. Moreover, he took on the responsibilities of Chairmanship for the National Farm Bureau Life and Health Accounting and Statistical Conference, as well as the general Chairmanship of the Combined Property/Casualty and Life/Health Accounting and Statistical Conference. His commitment to professional development was underscored by additional designations, including CPCU, CLU, and FLMI.
Outside of his impactful contributions to Farm Bureau, Herb lent his talents to the community. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, he served as its treasurer. His dedication was recognized with two well-deserved "Volunteer of the Year" awards, a testament to his consistent commitment. Herb's altruism extended to donating 120 pints of blood to the Red Cross. For two decades, Herb volunteered as an ESL tutor at ABLE, imparting knowledge to students from diverse backgrounds, including Europe, Asia, Africa, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Further, he devoted his time to the Cole County Historical Society, contributing to the preservation of photographs and records and as the treasurer for the Old Munichburg Association.
Herb found joy in a variety of passions, including woodworking where he was known for his beautiful furniture and artwork, float trips, fishing, and the exhilarating freedom of riding motorcycles. His adventurous spirit took him across vast landscapes, traversing not only most of the U.S. but also venturing into the scenic expanses of Canada.
Beyond his love for exploration, Herb delved into the intricacies of genealogy. Together with his sister, he meticulously researched and compiled a comprehensive book on his paternal great-grandfather, Johann Michael Sommerer, whose roots extended back to the year 1463. Their collaborative efforts also resulted in a published work dedicated to Herb's mother, Johanna (Kaeppel) Sommerer, a woman of German descent, born in a land rich with history.
Survivors include his loving son, Alan Sommerer (Wentao Pan) of San Jose, Calf.; one grandson, Sam Sommerer of Arlington, Va.; two siblings, Margaret Katherine Goe of St. Charles, Mo. and James Sommerer (Betty) of Jefferson City, Mo; numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Charlene; one son, Bruce Sommerer; one brother, Raymond Sommerer and wife Gloria; and two sisters, Mary Hoelher and Dorothy Ann Eckert.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 18, 2023.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 18, 2023, in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend Samuel Powell officiating. Graveside services and interment with military honors will be held at Riverview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Trinity Lutheran Church
, 803 Swifts Highway, Jefferson City, MO 65109, or the Alzheimer’s Association
, 2609 E Broadway #119, Columbia, MO 65201.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary, 915 Madison St, Jefferson City, MO 65101.