Raymond Sommer, aged ninety-two, our hero and our rock, stepped into the presence of the Lord on June 6, 2023. Ray was born on May 1, 1931, in South Bend and lived his entire life in the South Bend area. He was one of nine children and was the son of the late John and Blanche Sommer. Ray married Shirley Vargyas on November 5, 1955, at Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church and spent a wonderful sixty-seven and a half years together.
Ray graduated from Central High School in 1950. He served as a corporal in the army from 1952-1954 during the Korean War Conflict. After the war, Ray worked at Bertrand Products for thirty-six years and later worked part time for Veldmans Service Center for numerous years. As a young father, he was involved in Little League and Boy Scouts. Later, Ray became involved in innumerable organizations within the community while being a life long member of Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church. He was a member of: VFW Post 9820, American Legion Post 357, Sacred Heart/Rosary & St Ann Society, Knights of Columbus Council 5570, Polonaise Club, Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Assembly 242 including Color Guard, Holy Name Society (President), and the Lay Apostolate of Divine Mercy. Ray also: attended classes at Forever Learning Institute, volunteered at the St Vincent de Paul Society, met for weekly adoration as part of the Medjugoje Prayer Group for decades, took Holy Communion to the home bound for over twenty years as a Eucharistic Minister, and was an acolyte for Sunday Mass.
Ray and his wife Shirley loved to travel and for over twenty years they made countless pilgrimages to Europe to include frequent medical aid trips to Bosnia. Ray was a dedicated ND football fan and ushered at games for twenty-three years. He enjoyed: golfing, fishing, bowling and gardening. Ray was an all around handyman and eagerly helped anyone in need.
Ray is survived by his lovely wife, Shirley and his children: Michael (Teri - died 9-30-18) Sommer of Kokomo, IN; Ellen Sommer of South Bend; and Mary (Dave) Riser of Clemmons, NC. His siblings: Leonard (Dorothy died: 7-18-19) of South Bend; Ronald (Evelyn) Sommer of Fort Wayne, IN; and Barbara Sommer of Mishawaka. His grandchildren: Jennifer Sommer of Kokomo, IN; Adam (Leslie) Sommer of Bloomington, IN; Christina (John) Knosp of Kokomo, IN; Daniel (Jaqueline) Sommer of Kokomo, IN; Melissa Ann Wilson (born:10-30-78 and died:11-9-78); Michele Wilson Moreno (Died 11-3-19); Kevin (Cassie) Fautz of Mishawaka; Zachary (Ali) Riser of Clemmons, NC; Patrick Riser of Clemmons, NC; Andrew Riser of Clemmons, NC; Elizabeth Riser of Durham, NC and Joseph Riser of Houston, TX. Ray is also survived by sixteen great grandchildren.
Ray was a man of extraordinary faith who carried out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy to all. His gift of time to his family and friends was a priority in his life. He never said no to a game of catch with his kids. Ray’s actions always reflected Christ’s love to all and his character and morals were most upstanding. He was most humble. His strong work ethic carried him for over ninety-one years and he would run circles around people half his age. Ray loved the outdoors; he took great joy in tinkering in the yard and maintaining an impeccable garden. But, most of all, Ray enjoyed the gift of life. He relished time spent with all and had countless laughs along the way.
Ray’s family would like to thank all the family and friends who offered their love and support as well as the staff from Center for Hospice Care for all their help.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00am Monday, June 12, 2023 in Our Lady of Hungary Church. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Viewing will take place from 2-6 Sunday in the Zahoran Funeral Home, 1826 Kemble Avenue where a rosary will be recited at 3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ray’s memory to Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church or School. To leave an online condolence, visit our website http://www.zahoran.com or our facebook page Zahoran Funeral Home.
Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your Master’s joy.
Our Lady of Hungary Church
731 W. Calvert Street, South Bend IN 46613
Our Lady of Hungary School
735 W. Calvert Street, South Bend IN 46613