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15/06/2016

Diane Sommer; was a designer of nightwear

A Funeral Mass will be held Friday, June 17, for Diane Augustine Dagit Sommer, 81, of Wayne, a mother and clothing designer, who died Friday, May 20, of cancer at her home.

She was the daughter of the late Philadelphia architect Albert F. Dagit, who designed Catholic churches and schools, as well as the library and a residence hall at Chestnut Hill College.

A former resident of Ardmore, Mrs. Sommer graduated from Lower Merion High School, where she was a varsity lacrosse player and a member of the cheerleading squad. She majored in Spanish at Rosemont College. While there, Mrs. Sommer played tennis and taught English as a volunteer to disadvantaged young people in Philadelphia.

After graduating from Rosemont, Mrs. Sommer had one career in advertising and a second in clothing design.

She joined the Philadelphia advertising agency N.W. Ayer & Son, where she met G. Treacy Sommer. The two married in 1958 and were together for 58 years.

By 1970, the couple had four children. She embraced motherhood, and spent the next several years leading the PTA at St. Margaret School in Narberth.

In 1973, Mrs. Sommer had a fifth child and also had returned to school. She studied design at the Philadelphia Fashion Institute, laying the foundation for her second career at Middendorf Enterprises on Filbert Street as a designer and master-pattern maker of women's nightwear.

"She could make anything from a slip cover to a tiny outfit for a Barbie doll," her family said in a remembrance. "She made a lot of our clothes."

Mrs. Sommer was lively, creative, and generous. She enjoyed dancing, gardening, painting, and playing bridge and tennis. She was a member of the Merion Cricket Club and Glenhardie Country Club.

"A fierce competitor on the court or at the bridge table, she always demanded your best," her family said.

She liked to laugh and tell stories, and was always able to come up with a fun word, rhyme, or jingle at the drop of a hat. "Diane could light up a room with her joie de vivre and had a sparkle in her eye that would disarm the disagreeable or embolden the meek in spirit," her family said.

Besides her husband, she is survived by sons G. Treacy Jr. and Sean H.; daughters Josephine, Leonide DelGatto, and Dandurand S. Conway; 10 grandchildren; a brother; and three sisters.

A visitation starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday will be followed by a 10 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Isaac Jogues Parish, 50 W. Walker Rd., Wayne. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to Casa del Carmen Family Service Center, 4400 N. Reese St., Philadelphia 19140. The center provides social services to members of the Latino community.Read more at:evening gowns | cocktail dresses online

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