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Evelyn Dugan Sommers

February 24, 1945 ~ August 25, 2017 (age 72)
Evelyn Dugan Sommers, a longtime resident of Bethesda, passed away August 25, 2017. Evelyn was a kind, caring, independent person who championed the rights of women and liberal values. She was much loved by her family and her many friends. Born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas, Evelyn was proud of the values instilled in her by her parents, Lillian and William Dugan: honesty, integrity, the importance of hard work, and respect for all people. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and later a Masters of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. While at The University of Texas, Evelyn met and fell in love with her life partner and devoted husband, John Paul Sommers. She and John shared many interests, including a love for animals (especially their cats), long nature walks, bird watching, travel, and the arts (especially art museums, classical music, and the opera). Evelyn found her calling when she joined the District of Columbia Nurses Association as Executive Director in 1980. She led the Association until her retirement in 2002. She took great pride in the Association's accomplishments in improving the working conditions for nurses and for all working women. After her retirement, Evelyn became a devoted volunteer for the YWCA - National Capital Area and fully embraced the YWCA mantra of "Eliminating Racism/Empowering Women". She served the YWCA in many leadership capacities, including President, Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors, with her involvement ending only due to her recent illness. Her other affiliations and volunteer activities included Mid-County United Food Bank, Democratic Precinct Chair, Homeless Project Advisory Board and Voluntary Action Center. On one impactful trip, Evelyn and her husband John fell in love with the continent of Africa and the country of Kenya. After learning from their tour guide and friend that the construction of a school would have the greatest positive impact on his tiny village of South Kinangop, Kenya, they supported the construction of the St. Bernard Secondary School and have continued to support the school in years since-imparting a lasting impact on many children in the village. Evelyn was shaped by role models of strong independent women in her family, the foremost being her mother, who led the family through tough times after the disability retirement of Evelyn's father. Evelyn's friends know her as a stalwart and faithful friend and caregiver who supported and helped them through difficult times and also shared in their joys and celebrated their accomplishments. Evelyn has been a wonderful, attentive and caring aunt to numerous nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, Lillian and William Dugan; her brother, James William Kent, and his wife Thelma; and by her sisters-in-law, Andrianna Dugan and Mary Margaret Sommers. She is survived by John Sommers, her loving husband of 50 years; her brother, Jack Dugan, of Dallas, TX; brothers-in-law, Fred Sommers and his wife Erica of Toronto, Canada, Martin Sommers of Dallas, TX, and James Sommers and his wife Chrissy of Hingham, MA; and by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and their offspring. Evelyn's nieces, nephews and their spouses are: Sherry Kent Burgeson and her husband Jim of Austin, TX; Jim Kent of Coleman, TX; Cristina Dugan Schmidt and her husband Eric of Denver, CO; Derek Sommers of Toronto, Canada; Claire Sommers of Randolph, MA; Kate Sommers Herdejurgen and her husband Seann of Colorado Springs, CO; and Emma, Richard and Mark Sommers of Hingham, MA. A memorial service celebrating Evelyn's life will be held at Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville, MD on August 31 at 1:30 PM, with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a donation to the YWCA - National Capital Area or to a charity of your choice. Please contact Evelyn's husband, John Sommers, at if you would like to make a donation to St. Bernard Secondary School in South Kinangop, Kenya.

Memorial Service

AUG 31. 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Glenview Mansion
603 Edmonston Drive
Rockvile, MD, 20851
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