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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

Obituary: Charles H. Sommerkamp

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Sommerkamp Sr., Charles H.

Charles Humbird Sommerkamp, of Prince Frederick, MD, and formerly of Beltsville, MD, passed away peacefully on April 21, 2017. He was born September 3, 1928, in Cumberland, MD, to the late John Humbird and Anna Padgett Sommerkamp.

“Hummie” was baptized at United Brethren Church on Fourth and Race Street (Christ United Methodist) by Pastor J.O. Oliver. He attended Virginia Avenue Grammar School, Johnson Heights School, and Fort Hill High School (class of 1947). During high school, Hummie served as vice president of his class. He resided at 4 New Hampshire Avenue (Maple Side) throughout most of his school-age years.

Hummie entered the B & O Railroad apprenticeship program as a pipe fitter apprentice after graduation. He then transferred from the B & O program to the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company Apprenticeship School, Newport News, VA, as a pipefitter apprentice in June 1948.

Hummie was drafted into the Army on January 3, 1951, and posted at Fort Hood, TX, for basic training. He was assigned to the 2nd Ground Division, 3rd Armored Field Battalion, and served in the Army occupation in Germany until discharged on January 1, 1953.

He enrolled and entered Frostburg State College and matriculated to the University of Maryland in September 1954. He graduated in June 1957 with a BS Degree in Industrial Education. While attending the University of Maryland, he worked for Christoffer Ornamental Doors as a draftsman.

Upon graduation from the University of Maryland, he was employed by Michael Baker Highway Engineering. He was assigned to circumferential highway projects and contributed to the design of local interstates such as I-495, I-95, I-70, etc. In 1959, he joined Honeywell Inc. and was hired as a technical writer where he was involved with electronic recording equipment technical manuals.

In 1962, he was hired by the Navel Ordinance Laboratory (Naval Surface Weapons Command) as a technical writer. He was chief editor for naval manuals used for maintenance, troubleshooting, operation, and repair of electronic systems for various naval weapons, such as torpedoes and missiles. He retired on June 1, 1984.

Hummie was involved in the following organizations; Masons—Silver Spring Lodge #215, Scottish Rite of Free Masons, Valley of Baltimore, Orient of Maryland,; the American Legion, Post #0136, Greenbelt, MD, from December 1969; and Alcoholics Anonymous, with which he was proud of his sobriety from January 1, 1988.

Beloved husband of the late Teresa Sommerkamp; father of Charles (Nelly) Sommerkamp, Jr., Mary Ann (Richard) Boyle, and John (Adina) Sommerkamp; grandfather of 9; great-grandfather of 1; also survived by one sister, Oneita Marion Sommerkamp Dohrman; and many close friends.

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