Robert Davis Somes Sr. (07/31/1918 - 07/18/2011)

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SOMES, Robert Davis Sr.

Passed peacefully on July 20th 2011 of natural causes next to his dear wife Christine. Mom and dad married in 1939. On the day they were to be married, mom had her appendix removed. Times were tough and dad was hired in Granite, OR working on a gold dredge so they got married in the hospital and she met him in Oregon a month later. They were married for over 72 years. KXLY did a TV spot on their long loving life together. We five children never witnessed strife between them as they were too busy kissing and hugging to fight.

Bob was born in Cashmere, WA on July 31st, 1918, the only child to Seymour and Bernice Richburg Somes who died in childbirth. He was raised by his aunt, Maude Somes, for the first three years because his dad was in the Army. His dad later married Bessie Calvert. Dad grew up in the Yakima Valley and finished high school in Ellensburg, WA in 1937. He attended Eastern Oregon Teacher's College 1937 to 1938 on a football scholarship. Later he attended a business college in Yakima.
Dad took Civilian Pilot Training in 1944 in Olympia and Sunnyside, WA. In 1945 he was drafted into the Navy. Boot camp was at Farragut, Idaho. He served as Company Athletic Director in Bainbridge, MD, then later, as Athletic Director at the Naval prison on Mare Island, CA.
Dad had a fertile mind for current events to the very end. He had solutions for everything from the gas crisis to the safety of our troops in Iraq. His latest request was to send a letter he wrote to President Obama with a possible answer to the national debt.
He was the inventor of the 'Little Giant' sand blaster, a drinking fountain that 'snapped' onto any sink faucet, and shoes that walked on water (not for the faint of heart).
He was a master woodworker, woodcarver, and artist using slate rock and old metal farm implements as his medium.
Dad was on a bowling league until he was 85. He was a parishioner at St. Peters Catholic Church.
We had our family reunion the weekend before his death. He spoke to his grandchildren individually about how he would see them in heaven if they keep God in their lives. He was as well and fit as we had seen him in a while with a great appetite and vigor.
Robert is survived by his wife Christine; daughter Patricia (Bill Cenis) of Plains, Montana; son Robert Davis Somes Jr (Becky) of Spokane; son David Somes (Colleen) of Othello, WA; daughter Bernadette (Byron Bumpass) of Spokane; and daughter Ann (Sam Salem) of Spokane. He was preceded in death by his daughter MaryAnn who died at birth.
He had 19 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren with two more on the way.
Daddy was always right and we love him.
Family memorial pending.
Memorial donations may be sent to: Feed the Children (www., United Pompe Association (, or Multiple Sclerosis Spokane (

Published in Spokesman-Review from July 24 to July 25, 2011