BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Richard J. Sommers, 71, of Bridgeport, died Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Born Sept. 28, 1944, in Bridgeport, he was the son of Joseph and Helen Sommers. He grew up and was educated in Fairfield, graduating with an associate's degree from the Connecticut School of Electronics.
During the first half of his career, he applied his extensive knowledge of electronics, chemistry and physics toward advancements in the field of optics. After working as a troubleshooter and manager of the Optical Coating Laboratory at Fish-Schurman Corporation of New York, he spent 18 years at Innotech Corporation in Trumbull as laboratory manager. Among his achievements, he made the optical filter system that sent the first color television pictures from the moon on the Apollo Mission. At Fish-Schurman, he was responsible for the manufacturing of laser coatings, dichroics, special conductive transparent films and custom coatings.
After Innotech closed, Sommers changed careers to start his own home improvement company, Sommers Services.
He always will be remembered for his eager curiosity and love of learning. He also had a very spiritual side and through his faith he supported others as a prayer group leader in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal at St. Thomas Church in Fairfield for 30 years. Within this prayer group, he also had a Visitation Ministry going to Southport Manor in Fairfield and Sylvan Manor in Bridgeport. For the last seven years, he was active in the St. Laurence Prayer Group in Shelton.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane Sommers; two daughters, Tina M. Sommers and Linda M. Sommers; his brother Joseph Sommers of Shelton; and his sister Elizabeth Busch of Glenburn, Maine.
He was predeceased by his sister Marion Sommers Roche of Woodstock, Vt.
The family thanks all those who have shown their support for Sommers and his family during his battle with ALS.
Friends are invited to attend a wake from 3-7 p.m. Sunday at Larson's Funeral Home, 2496 North Ave., Bridgeport. The funeral service will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. James Church, Stratford. Burial will take place in Lawncroft Cemetery in Fairfield.
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