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John Sommer

John Sommer Of San Rafael, passed away on February 19th after a brief illness at the age of 86. John was born in Mannheim, Germany on May 9, 1927. The family moved to Italy where John attended school. It was necessary for them to make several moves in Italy to escape the bombings during World War II. John stayed behind in Italy as his family was able to move to Switzerland. Eventually, he was able to join the family and immigrated to the United States where they lived in New York. He served six years in the US Air Force and was stationed in Germany. Upon his return to civilian life, he worked as a traveling salesman for his parents' beaded accessories business. He then began work selling cookies for Bahlsen. He was transferred to San Francisco as sales manager of the company. Soon John began his own business of importing foods from Europe. He had that business for 30 years until retiring. John loved to travel and saw much of the world. He also enjoyed photography, swimming in the ocean, hiking, trekking and experiencing other cultures. John spoke five languages and was a member of The Commonwealth Club. He belonged to the Marin Yacht Club. His greatest pleasure was his boat, 2nd Story. He and his first mate Judy enjoyed outings over the years, and John captained on many blue water cruises. John is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Judy; his three stepsons Gary Koch (Lois) of Agoura Hills, Randy Koch of San Diego, Cliff Koch (Patty) of Fairfax; grandson Kevin Koch and granddaughter Rachel Koch of San Diego; step-grandsons Ryan Peck and Mathew Jones; sister Elizabeth Braham (Randolph) of New York; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Eileen and Mel Snidman of Los Angeles and several nephews and nieces. A private burial at sea will take place. A celebration of life for family and friends will be held on March 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM at The Clubhouse at Peacock Gap in San Rafael. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's memory to or The .

Published in Marin Independent Journal from Feb. 22 to Feb. 24, 2014
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