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Jacob Sommers, 63, died at home in Truth or Consequences, NM on January 18, 2017 after an illness that brought him through many peaks and dark valleys over the last year. Expected to die within a few days of being released from hospital last April, Jacob astonished friends and family by making a miraculous recovery, but sadly, the cancer that appeared to have been held at bay slowly returned and finally overtook him.

Born in Queens, New York, raised in New Jersey, Jacob’s great passion in life was his music. A singer/songwriter who taught himself how to play piano, he and his musical partner of recent years, Jessie Jane Brooks, performed frequently in the gazebo at the Market in Truth or Consequences, doing covers, and sometimes some of Jacob’s original songs. For those who loved him, it was a great gift to see him on stage again when we thought he wasn’t even going to be with us anymore. It was easy to believe this reprieve would last, but sadly, his 2016 performances at the Market would be the last of his life.  Jacob made his living mainly as a house painter, one of the most meticulous and sought-after painters in T or C. Many friends and acquaintances entrusted him with the care of their animals when they were away. He could also be depended upon to do an assortment of odd jobs in an uncommon spirit of service, particularly where his friends were involved.  

Jacob and his first wife, Debra Manning, were married in the 70s and had one son together, Adam Sommers. One of the great blessings of Jacob’s final days was a visit from Adam, who came from Wisconsin where he lives with his wife, Angie, and children, Ember and Benson. Adam tuned into his Dad’s needs and fulfilled them with grace, sensitivity, respect. The love between them was obvious and undeniable. Jacob would pass away the day after Adam returned home to Wisconsin.

Jacob’s second wife, Cheryl Ray, a Canadian snowbird and the subject of many of his most poignant love songs, met in the waning days of 2011. They were married on the Spring Equinox of 2016. A celebration of his life will be held on the 2017 Spring Equinox, on what would have been Jacob and Cheryl’s first anniversary.

Many friends and family members rallied around Jacob in the final year of his life, offering food, massage, music, healing herbs, books, and love. These  include his sisters, Pam Metting and Sandy Sommers, Catherine Mackenzie, Olin West, Dimid Hayes, Mike Donlan, Roy Lohr, George Evanson, Doug “Ten” Rose, Jessie Jane Brooks, and many others too numerous to mention.  

As a hospice patient, Jacob received compassionate and capable care from the staff of Ambercare, particularly his nurse, Rhea Ann Hazen, with whom he established a loving bond of friendship. “I managed to make him laugh at least once every visit,” she says. “He was my butterfly.“

Jacob Sommers
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  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
    The staff of Kirikos Family Funeral Home, Inc. will keep you and your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to assist you in your time of need.
    ~ Kirikos Family Funeral Home
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    Cheryl-I am so thankful that you and Jacob married and that you were able to be with my brother to support him over this last year. It was amazing when we visited how many wonderful caring friends he had made in T or C. Praying for you in this difficult time. Pam and Dave
    ~ Pam Metting   Canandaigua, NY
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    Jacob, I felt you hovering in the Universe these last few days. May you be blessed with peace. Say hi to Julio for me. Love always, Raquel
    ~ Raquel Wiltbank-Mateo   Truth or Consequen
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    Jacob performed music for my birthday many years ago. I have that beautiful memory. Blessed be.
    ~ Karen Thompson   Williamsburg, NM
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    Jacob performed music for my birthday many years ago. I have that beautiful memory. Blessed be.
    ~ Karen Thompson   Williamsburg, NM
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    I will always have very fond memories of Jacob. His music was lovely. I saw him at many locations, including on local PBS TV. Jacob helped me many times with my home over many years. He did masterful work painting and laying patio bricks. He helped me create artistry in my kitchen. I'll be ever grateful to Jacob.
    ~ Rebecca Speakes   Truth or Consequences, NM
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    Well done, Jacob. So well done. We shall miss you. Love, Haru
    ~ Haru Spruce   Truth or Consequences, NM
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    Your kind, loving and creative spirit will remain with us. So many memories and lasting creations will live on.
    ~ Steve & Jane Darland   Monticello, NM
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    Dear friend. So grateful to have known you, played music with you and shared in some life experiences with you. I will always treasure those memories.
    ~ Aspen Doan-Isenhour   Massilon, OH
  • Saturday, January 21, 2017
    I would add this important information, pertinent to our village. . . Jacob had the lead role in "The Nerd", a Community Theatre production. Later, he and Jan Born had the only roles in a production about nine eleven, called "The Guys", a well attended and moving play about a fire captain, who couldn't write the eulogies for his fallen firemen. So he called on a writer. As the two work out the eulogies, their experience of the tragedy also is told. He also played a key part in a well attended melodrama, "The Golden Fleecing", directed by Jan Born. His foray into the theatre may have covered only four or five years, but he was known for his excellent memory and his flawless performances.
  • Saturday, January 21, 2017
    Jacob was the most talented actor I ever met. He never missed a cue. He always knew his lines, right from the beginning. He was also the "go to" guy for any painting on any building, no matter what. Love him, and miss him!
    ~ Jan Born   T or C, NM
  • Saturday, January 21, 2017
    I will mis you my sweet brother. I am sure you are singing with the the angels and mom. I will always remember your sweet smile, the little glint in your eye, the gentleness of your spirit. I will miss playing games with you and our long talks. Thanks to the large circle of friends that my sister and I met whiloe in NM. We felt the warmth of your love that surrounded him and were priviledged to meet all of you. Love you. RIP.
    ~ Sandy Sommers   Canandaigua, NY
  • Saturday, January 21, 2017
    So many memories Jacob. Your love will be with us always. Thank you Cheryl for your loving support in Jacob's time of need. I am so happy he was able to spend time with Adam before his passing. Rest in the white light of love and protection. Love always, Deb
    ~ Debra Manning   Silver City, NM
  • Saturday, January 21, 2017 dear loyal friend.....I will miss your company. HAPPY TRAILS LOVE c
    ~ catherine mackenzie   T or C, NM
  • Saturday, January 21, 2017
    Cherishing the memory of our years together. The bond of friendship will never die. Thank you for your love!
    ~ Donna Monroe   Truth or Consequences, NM
  • Monday, January 23, 2017
    I was always warmed to my heart from your gentle smile, Jacob. Fly with the angels. You will be missed.
    ~ Teina Wells   T or C, NM
  • Sunday, January 29, 2017
    Thank you for the lifetime of wisdom and unconditional love, my very dear brother. I will miss you, but you will never be very far away, of that I am certain.
    ~ Jim Tolisano   Willow, NY
  • Saturday, February 11, 2017
    My message here may be late in coming, but it is not because of a lack of caring. I deeply grieve your loss, my dear friend and music partner. I met Jacob one warm June Art Hop evening on the street, playing drum with Ben. Also met my friend, Maryse the same evening as we were dancing and began to vocalize together to the drumming. That summer was the summer of the Friday night drum cirlce in T or C where several people would gather and play and sing together. From those beginnings our friendship developed and we supported each others individual music there and at open mics at Passion Pie. We began to play at Farmer's Market with Big Steve, who has also left our earthly realm. Gradually, we began to play music together, learning one anothers songs, adding new songs and harmonies. We truly had a wonderful time playing music together and the past summer was a very special time as we rehearsed and performed together. I will always remember these sweet times - the last time we performed at Farmer's Market, when you looked at me, smiled and said "I love playing music with you, Jessie Jane". I so loved playing music with you, too, Jacob. Your sweet spirit, your sweet voice and your music will always be with me. You will always be there when I hear songs that you played, songs that we played together, and whenever I sing and play, you will be right there with me. I was happy to have you as a dear friend and share the special bond we had. It was a privilege to share time with your son Adam in playing music for and with you before your passing. I know you crossed over with music in your heart. May your spirit sing on through eternity, my dear friend. Love you forever and always, Jessie Jane
    ~ Jessie Jane Brooks   Truth or Consequences, NM
  • Friday, February 17, 2017
    You were the Music man, Thank you for your SONG...
    ~ Ann Sage   T or C, NM
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017
    It's been over 30 years since Jacob and I corresponded. We met at a creative writing class at New Paltz college. We shared our stories and poems. We hiked in the beautiful mountains nearby. He told me, "My mother would like you. You have a lot in common. Love of nature, birds, wildflowers, crafts, girl scouts..." He moved back to Canandaigua, around the time his mother was ill. I made a small gift for her and sent it with a card. Jacob wrote that it cheered her to receive them. He was a sensitive, poetic writer. I still have a couple of letters and poems from him. Over the years I thought of him as someone I'd always be glad to see again. Today I decided to look for him. and found him here with all the lovely thoughts written by his friends and family. I'm sad that he is gone but am happy to see this perfect photo of him. I also see that he shared his sweetness with everyone in his world.
    ~ Kathryn Paulsen   New Paltz, NY