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Dr. Lowell Somers

Posted By Hall-Wynne On October 4, 2014 @ 11:35 am In Obituaries,Pittsboro | 21 Comments

Dr. Lowell Somers, 76, passed away late Wednesday night, October 1, 2014, at the William M. Dunlap Center for Caring, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Lowell was born in Los Angeles, California, son to the late Charles E. Somers and Vivian Laurel Van Wig. He honorably served in the United States Navy, serving as a Dental Technician which sparked his love of medicine. A high school dropout, he returned to school earning his MD degree. Lowell had a passion for Family Medicine, serving in rural areas and volunteering thousands of hours working for medically underserved patients. He held multiple drug patents and was a published author. He did early work with concussions and head injuries documenting the damage with PET scans. Lowell tried to retire to San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico and soon realized there was no real medical care available, so he and his wife built the only hospital in the area. Lowell said he was tired of watching people die because of the lack of medical services. Poor health forced him to return to the U.S. several years ago, where he settled in Pittsboro, NC.

He is survived by his wife, Caroline Thorsen; his daughters, Yvette Brandie and her husband, Scott Brown of Weed, California, Dr. Sherrie Lynn Somers, of Denver, Colorado, and Caroline Dacrie and her husband, Scott Nourse of Falls Church, Virginia; his stepson, Erik Thorsen and his wife, Rebecca of Long Beach, California; his stepdaughter, Jennifer Jackson and her husband Jonathan, of Cary, North Carolina; his brother, David Lynn Somers of Joshua Tree, California; along with eleven grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Lowell was preceded in death by his son, Charles Ellsworth Somers II.

A service to honor the memory of Lowell’s life will be conducted 11:00AM, Monday, October 6th, 2014 at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, 269 Manns Chapel Road, Pittsboro, North Carolina, by Pastor Jim Jones. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall following the committal service.

Donations may be made to Mt. Pleasant UMC to aid in the construction of the handicap ramp. He was a man of faith and loved his little church and his church family. He was grateful for the new ramp which made it easier for him to worship his Lord.









Condolences for the family of “Dr. Lowell Somers”

Condolence from Craig and Nancy Lane on October 4th, 2014 7:48 pm

Dr. Duke as I will call him was a most caring man always helping those in need of medical care. We first met him on New Years Day and he opened his home to my wife and I without hesitation. Over the course of time we became friends. I will forever remember the many conversations we had on every subject imaginable. He will missed, but the heavens will be blessed with his presence.

Craig and Nancy Lane

Condolence from Barbara on October 4th, 2014 8:13 pm

Caroline and family . We are so sorry for your loss . Thought and prayers are with
you during this most difficult time . Please know we are here for you whatever you
may need and anything we can do to be of help .
Love, Barbara and Johnny Thomason

Condolence from Loralee (Harper) Singman on October 4th, 2014 8:24 pm

Dear Caroline – You know how I feel about you, my dear dear cousin, and you know how I felt about Duke. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, best friend , lover and every other relationship that is so important to our lives. He could never have had a more wonderful person to spend his life with. I know his children treasure you and the way you took care of their beloved father. Duke and I had such fun as kids. The trouble we got into was not too too bad. All our cousins were terrific and fun loving and probably a little bit nuts. There sure were a lot of us. Family reunions were the best! Its hard to describe our younger life. It has passed so fast when we weren’t even looking. Hopefully I will see Duke again some day. That would be the best family reunion possible. Love always to you, Loralee

Condolence from Caroline Thorsen on October 7th, 2014 5:23 pm

He loved you so much. Your picture was in his memorial! Seemed fitting to me.

Condolence from Scott Brown on October 4th, 2014 8:58 pm

To say Duke was a complicated man would leave most of us nodding our heads in agreement, but he was so much more. He seemed happiest when surround by family (so he could sleep better), but that was Duke. I couldn’t help but think he liked having me around more than most of you, probably because he thought of me as a shield (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, good for you!). Duke was one in a million/accident waiting to happen, to ME! My hair always grew back and I learned to ask more and better questions. We love you Duke. Your being at peace, without pain, knowing ALL THE ANSWERS now, and feeling no more of this earthly pain, and with Our Lord Jesus, is just another reason for us to be envious of those who ascend prior to us.

Condolence from Britt and Roberta Norwood on October 4th, 2014 9:16 pm

Duke made a joyful noise to the Lord his whole life. We are glad to have known him for the last few years of his life. We are keeping him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Condolence from Ralph Mauzy on October 4th, 2014 9:56 pm

Duke, Thanks for sharing your wisdom and kindness with many. We will miss you dearly. You definitely were outstanding in many ways and shared so much. Rest in peace until we meet again. You are already missed, Ralph

Condolence from Jesus and Juliet Vega on October 4th, 2014 11:20 pm

Ah the memories of Duke in San Felipe Baja Mexico, his beautiful boat park in our harbor, always remember boating and the school of dolphins that race the boat and our first trip to visit the Whales on the Pacific Ocean side, yes these are the memories of Duke and not mention the first hospital that was built in San Felipe. Carolyn hope that in the weeks and months ahead your grief will lessen

Condolence from nancy taylor on October 5th, 2014 11:53 am

I have great memories of Duke in San Felipe, Mexico. What a generous, giving individual. The construction of the first hospital there was such a blessing. He was unique – and that what set him apart from most of people. A true gentleman, and my how intelligent! He has now turned the last page of the last Chapter here on earth. He is opening the next Chapter, enjoying eternal peace. Carolyn my heart and prayers go out to you and your mother

Condolence from nancy taylor on October 5th, 2014 12:00 pm

I have great memories of Duke in San Felipe, Mexico. What a generous, giving individual! The construction of the first hospital there was such a blessing. He was unique – and that was what set him apart from most of the people. A true gentleman, and my how intelligent! He has now turned the last page of the last Chapter here on earth. He is opening the next Chapter, enjoying eternal peace. Caroline, my heart and prayers go out to you and your mother.

Condolence from David Somers on October 5th, 2014 1:21 pm

Dear Brother, you are gone. Words can’t express my feelings of loss. Tears is all I have.

Condolence from Belinda Eastman and George Jackson on October 5th, 2014 3:42 pm

We remember Duke and Caroline so well in our little San Felipe village. They were both well respected, giving and helpful members of our community. Duke was the Dr. we could go to at any time, day or night. One evening I brought a young boy to their house in town. After a cycle spill on the beach he had wandered into Pete’s Camp Cantina – he was concussed and didn’t know who he was. Duke was home asleep but got up to take care of him. We could always count on Duke (even when he was just a little bit cranky) and especially because he was an English speaking Doctor we could turn to in our American community here at that time. And taking his boat to Gonzaga Bay for fishing when Pat Butler bought El Dorado. And of course the Hospital. Caroline, our prayers are with you and thank you for being part of our lives and memories.

Condolence from Jennifer Jackson on October 5th, 2014 8:59 pm

Papa Duke always knew how to have fun! One things for sure – there were never many dull moments growing up! Mom- you might not know this but he made sure we (the youngest kids) knew how to launch bottle rockets throught the sunroof! LoL

He also spent his life serving those less fortunate. Growing-up, I remember many nightly discussions about serving others. Duke also spent his own personal funds to pay for life saving medical care for some of his patients. He was a country doctor who knew that saving lives was far more important than any bottom line!

Through his medicine, his research and his extremely unconventional thinking he made the world a better place!

Papa Duke -“Siempre descance en paz!

Condolence from Tavo Garcia on October 6th, 2014 8:35 am

Duke was a kind and thoughtful man, our condolencess to the family-

Condolence from Bill Thomas on October 6th, 2014 8:28 pm

Dear Caroline,
So sad for your loss. So sad for the loss of a wonderful human being.
I met Duke when he was 18 and we were dental technicians at Naval Station Long Beach. He took me to Highland Park on weekends to be with his family–parents, brother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I Spent many happy hours among them.
We kept in touch throughout his truly eventful life and I always felt I got the better of the bargain.
He was the most generous spirit I ever met, happily giving anything he had to others. I shall never forget the kindness Duke and Caroline showered on my aged parents while he was treating my mother’s crippling rheumatoid arthritis.
During our 50 year friendship we sailed together, fished together, drank together, laughed and cried together, and prayed together. He was certainly a person worth knowing–and I loved him.
I know he’s happy to be home with his lord and savior.

Condolence from irene cogley on October 7th, 2014 1:08 am

Our condolences to Caroline and family.
I had been working at the Hospital for severall years and I know all your efforts to built and keep the Hospital open
Thank you Doctor for all you did for San Felipe, unfortunately now the Hospital
is closed. Very sorry about it.
RIP Doctor Somers

Condolence from Jerry Monell & Miss Maui on October 7th, 2014 10:27 am

Well Caroline, can remember walking down your Marisol driveway way back when….. San Felipe was tranquil, the Duke-ster was pontificating about just about everything- so Uncle Howard and I took a
“look/see” and met you and the Doctor. What an enjoyment no more hotel Hacienda ! price was right
anyway, you guys invited us in, treated us like royalty and then the debates began with “the doc”
Wow we could spend hours (which we did once we were off the beach and enjoying the great original fish
tacos, so sorry Rubio- you pirated the idea…..
Thus began our three-to-four times a yr trips the the great Somers’ hospitality, which gravitated south along “gringo gulch” surf-side- so instead of just a beach house the Duke built in three xtra bedrooms for us all to enjoy, and what enjoyment we had (even had his wish /std-up urinal)
Moving right along, he didn’t stop there- with the good Doctor’s generosity a town clinic was created AND built, equiped and staffed as any quality facility would expect….. except this was Mexico need we know more
Hey, those years were some of all of our best memories, sparkled by the kindness and generosity of both Duke and Caroline talking about GIVING back, Duke gave back IN SPADES God bless you Duke
and we all know you will be very very rewarded ! ‘nuf said Jerry and the Three Amigos for vida !

Condolence from Dana Marie Neagle-Ramirez on October 7th, 2014 8:17 pm

I thank the Lord for Duke Somers life. For the generous spirit God placed in him. You and Duke were like my parents when I briefly lived in San Felipe. Taking care of me and my family. If it was not for the two of you, Eduardo and I might not have married. You took us to church, you threw my wedding shower. You protected us and guided us in a way only caring loving parents can do. Thank you for sharing your life, your home and your business with us. Because of the impact you have made on us, we are better people today!

Condolence from Cristo Rey Barbontin on October 8th, 2014 11:39 pm

Carolina; I have recently learned the sad news of the death of her husband, receive my condolences for loss sensitive. Deeply appreciate all the support in Saint James Infirmary Hospital in San Felipe. her husband was devoted to the naval, right now I also belong to the armed forces of Mexico as a nurse in the navy. Finally, I hope to find a resignacin prompt.

Condolence from Luann (Harper) Savage (Loralee’s sister) on October 9th, 2014 10:09 pm

WOW Dukie . . . I’ve been trying to read all the loving things people are writing about you to Jan but my throat is so choked up it’s difficult to speak. I had to stop reading & start writing: What a dear sweet guy you were. I remember how cute you were as my older (5 years) cousin living down the street from us on Avenue 52 in Highland Park. Eventually, you moved to Clearlake & then I followed up there as well. That’s where I got the first glimpse of your amazing generosity. I never saw anything like it. I was one of those who got to stay at your home off & on until I decided to go ahead & move up there to Lake County. Then I saw it in spades! You were always trying to cure everybody of everything! Mostly of arthritis I saw! Lake County just didn’t get it. The people who needed you DID get it. You helped so many … including my mom & your mom (sisters). You were a treasure then & you took your treasure-self wherever you went. I even visited you a few times in San Felipe & witnessed your love to the people there. You always had a heart for the people around you … especially people who needed, but couldn’t afford, medical help. You searched for those people, or you attracted them to you. At any rate, they found you & you were there eagerly to help them. Right now, I’m actually feeling excited for you Duke, that you are receiving your Blessed Reward. You are in Heaven living in a beautiful mansion, no more aches or pains & having some terrific family reunion with Jesus, our parents & other aunts & uncles & cousins. All this talk is making me homesick so I’ll just end here saying, “I’m looking forward to seeing you again not so far away. You are where we all long to be!”

And Caroline, you are the BEST thing that ever happened to Duke. He Loved you deeply & you served him well. I knew you were a special treasure the first time I met you as his nurse practitioner in Kelseyville.

Condolence from Nina Malek on October 17th, 2014 4:55 pm

I had such horrible sinus problems when I retired and could not even breath, and we were lucky enough to find Duke & Caroline Somers. They always say God moves in mysterious ways, not only did Duke direct me to the correct E.N.T. Doctor for a procedure they don’t even do anymore, (to dangerous) but they had my husband Bob & I stay at their home in Indio CA so i could be close to the surgeon for the first week or so and not have to commute to San Felipe and back. They were both so wonderful to us and still remain friends, how lucky were we to have found them both, they are two of the most special people I have ever known and who deserve all the best there it. All my love Nina

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