On September 8, 2022, our beloved mother and grandmother, Avis Ruth Gray Sommer, left this life to begin her eternal life with our Lord at the age of 102 years, 7 months and 3 days. Avis, lovingly known as Memo to so many, was welcomed home by her husband of 72 years, mother and father, 6 brothers, 5 sisters and 2 sons-in-law.
Avis Ruth Gray Sommer was born in Ivanhoe, Texas on February 5, 1920 to Arra Elizabeth Stone Gray and Manley Perry Gray. She grew up on a farm being the 8th child of 13 children. She moved to Mathis, Texas to finish high school, where she lived with her sister and worked as a waitress in her sister’s restaurant and that is where she met the “love of her life.” Avis married Paul “Sonny” Sommer on November 11, 1938 at the age of 18 years old. They were blessed with 3 sons and 3 daughters.
To say that Avis loved her family would be an understatement. Her greatest joy came from being a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother. Memo’s home was her grandchildren’s “special place” providing them with so many precious memories. When her children began to grow up and move away, she found a new place to be part of children’s lives and began her career at the Karnes City Junior High as the librarian and retired after 20 years.
But at the heart of it all, Avis’ whole-being was rooted in the knowledge of Jesus Christ being her Lord and Savior. She was a Christian role model to her family and community. If she wasn’t at home, you would find her at the First Baptist Church in Karnes City with her church family, where she was a devoted member for 70+ years. She served as a Sunday School teacher for decades, was a member of the Homemakers Sunday School Class and the Rose Reeves Circle.
Avis leaves behind a legacy of beautiful memories that are cherished by her children: Jack Sommer (Laurel), Helen Whitten, Kit Sommer (Marjorie), Elaine Smith, Mary Ruth Perry (Brent) and Don Sommer (Sherry), 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 1 great great-grandchild, her sister, Frances Owens (age 98), and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, “Sonny,” sons-in-law, Jim Whitten and Duane Smith and 11 brothers and siters.
A visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Rhodes Funeral Home Chapel. The funeral service will begin at 1:00 p.m. also at the funeral home. Burial will follow at the Karnes City Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Rhodes Funeral Home