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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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June 10, 2023

5/23/2023 5:29:00 AM
Selma Sommers

Selma walked through the pearly gates of heaven and into the arms of her husband on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

She was born on May 15, 1929, to Gustav and Elise Remus, on a farm in Rhinelander where her lifetime love of horses began. Selma graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1947 and lived with friends in Milwaukee for a year or so before returning to Rhinelander. She married Wallace "Butch" Sommers in February of 1952. They celebrated 58 years of marriage before Butch's death in 2010, and together they raised six children.

Selma is survived by those children: Mike Sommers, Mona Smith (Randy Witt), Sandi Sommers (Chris Malsavage), Lisa (Art) Hilgendorf, Barb (Todd) Perigo and Tina (Kurt) Lis; eight grandchildren: Russ, Adam, Amy, Carrie, Steve, Rick, Lynn, and Todd Jr., and by 10 great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Katherine and Don Pecor, sister-in-law and walking partner, Delores "Tootie" Machel, and by many nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Butch, her parents, Gus and Elise Remus, her in-laws, Alfred, and Ruth Sommers, two sisters, Henny DeMeyer and Irma Langlois, and her son-in-law, Mike Phillips.

Selma had a varied working career, including jobs at the American Legion camp during her teen years, Blasik's Supper Club, Atlas Plywood (where she met her husband), Montgomery Ward, and Jorsch's Grocery Store. She retired as a lunch lady from Rhinelander High School where she was part of the "Dirty 7," a group of friends who often caused just a little bit of trouble.

Selma's family would like to thank Richard Clark, P.A., and the wonderful women of Aspirus Hospice Services, Chaplain Michele, Jen, Sara, Stephanie, and Judy, for their compassion and kindness. You are all truly amazing human beings, and we couldn't have made it through this difficult time without you.

Our Dad called her Susie, her sisters called her Selma, and her mother called her Sally, but to us, she was just "Mom," the strongest, bravest, kindest, most caring woman ever born.

At Selma's request, there will be no visitation or funeral service. A private graveside service will be held so her loved ones can say a final goodbye.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343.

Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

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