Edward McCormick Somers, age 86, died Sunday, June 12, 2011 at his home after a 12 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was a resident of Valatie. He was born October 21, 1924 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of the late Congressman Andrew Lawrence Somers and Ruth Edna (McCormick) Somers.
Ed served in the U.S. Navy as a seaman second class. He worked for many years in the insurance business and then was employed in the NYS Assembly for 20 years. Among the positions he held were supervisor of the production department, assembly photographer, research assistant to the majority and staff director of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation and later staff director of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions. He retired from the assembly in 1979 and became the director of Medical and Governmental Affairs of the American Lung Association of NYS Inc. Ed later worked as legislative representative of the Public Utility Law Project of NY and retired from that position in 1989.
Ed and his family resided in Nassau, N.Y., for 38 years before moving to Valatie. He was the former chairman of the Rensselaer County Conservative Party, the Nassau Town Planning Board and the Nassau Village Zoning Board of Appeals.
Ed had many interests and had memberships in various organizations including the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the National Audubon Society and the Federation of NYS Bird Clubs Inc. He helped organize and was elected the first president of the Albany County Audubon Society from 1969-1974. He also helped organize and was elected first vice president of the Mohawk-Hudson Wheelmen in 1969. He was a former member of the U.S. Power Squadron, the Amateur Radio Relay League (N2ROS), the Mohawk Valley Art and Wood Carvers Association and spent some time volunteering at the Berkshire Scenic Railway in Lenox, Mass., as a conductor.
Ed was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and was a past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus. Ed enjoyed being with his family and telling stories about his life, including his favorite job as cowboy and trick rider at the G Bar S Ranch in Great Barrington, Mass.
Although the patriarch of our family has gone on before us, the memories of his presence, strength and fortitude will give us courage to live our lives to the fullest until we meet again. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Nancy (Hurd) Somers; and his children, Edwina (Richard) Queen, Silverdale, Wash.; Susan Somers, Nassau; Edward M. Somers Jr., San Pablo, Calif.; Clytie (Kurt) Nurnberg, East Nassau, N.Y.; Clinton (Carol) Somers, East Nassau; April Wolfe, Niverville, N.Y.; Maria (Thomas) Hebert, Sterling, Va.; daughter-in-law Sheri Somers, Coronado, Calif., and Angela Somers, Nassau. He is also survived by a sister E. Valerie Somers of Waterford, N.Y.; a brother Andrew L. Somers Jr. of Fitchburg, Wis., and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and members of his extended family. Ed was predeceased by his first wife Maria (Giallongo) Somers; his son Andrew L. Somers II; his brother Arthur S. Somers; his sisters, Andree Ross and Ruth E. Somers; his son-in-law Allan Smith and a daughter-in-law Marilyn Johnson. Funeral services will be at St. Mary’s Church in Nassau on Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m. where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the church on Friday, June 17 from 4-7 p.m. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Those wishing to remember Ed in a special way may make contributions to the Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene, 47 Liberty St., Catskill, NY 12414, The Kinderhook Memorial Library, P.O. Box 293, Kinderhook, NY 12106 or The Nassau Free Library, P.O. Box 436, Nassau, NY 12123. Online condolences may be offered at mooneyfuneralhome.com