Douglas M. Somerville, 1938-2018

Douglas M. Somerville
Douglas M. Somerville, 1938-2018. Photo provided.

CHESTER, Vt. – Doug loved to tell stories, and now we get to tell the life story of a loving husband, devoted father, and trusted friend.

Doug died peacefully Nov. 27, 2018 at his home in Chester, Vt. In 2011, he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which he faced gallantly and with a dry humor.

Douglas McGowen Somerville was born May 4, 1938 in Ridgewood, N.J., the son of Irwin and Margaret Marx Somerville. After graduating from Ridgewood High School in 1956, he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1960 from Lehigh University, and joined the National Guard, where he was stationed in Fort Belvoir, Va. Doug then joined the Royal Insurance and worked in New York City for 25 years.

In 1962, Doug married his college sweetheart, Elizabeth (Betty) Haver. They lived in Ridgewood, N.J. with their three children Susan (Susie), Douglas (Scott), and Thomas (Tommy) who passed away at the age five. In 1986, Doug accepted a job with The Renaissance Group in Wellesley, Mass. and he and Betty moved to Concord, Mass. where they embraced the history of this charming town. He retired as senior vice president in 2006. Betty, Doug’s beloved wife of 31 years, died in 1993.

Doug married Victoria (Tory) Liersch Spater in 2006 in Concord, Mass. Both were widowed and had known each other for over 45 years. They split their time between Concord, Mass. and Chester, Vt., before settling in Chester in 2012.

Sports, particularly golf, tennis, and fishing, were favorite activities of Doug’s, as was spending time in Nantucket. Doug was an avid Boston sports fan who also liked to travel, whether to play golf in Scotland, trips to Bermuda, or fly fishing with the guys. He and Tory treasured their adventures with travels to Europe, China, and beyond. They spent five happy winters in Akumal, Mexico, far from frozen Vermont.

Doug is survived by his daughter Susie and her husband Jim Swindell of New Canaan, Conn.; his son Scott and wife Lynne of Darien, Conn.; and his adored grandchildren Liza, Peter, Walker Swindell and Doug and Mimi Somerville. Doug is also survived by his sister Ann Somerville Benedict and her husband Bruce of South Norwalk, Conn., his brother Irwin (Sandy) and his wife Cecilia of Coconut Grove, Fla., as well as 11 nieces and nephews. Doug is also survived by his wife Tory and her children Gordon and Christopher.

“My life had its good and its bad times, but the best times were those I spent with my family.”

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Dec. 9 at noon at The Old Parish Church, 144 Main Street in Weston. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the charity of your choice or to Neighborhood Connections, 5700 Mountain Marketplace, P.O. Box 207, Londonderry VT 05148 or www.neighborhoodconnectionsvt.org.

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