Carol Louise Orr Sommers

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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Carol Louise Orr Sommers was born on April 28, 1928, to Fannie Wilson Orr and Thomas Edgar Orr in Albertville, Alabama. She died peacefully, after a brief illness, on February 17,2023, in Birmingham. She lived a remarkably long and happy life with her beloved husband, Samuel Alexander Sommers, Jr., and their three children, Frances, Sam and Jeanette.

Carol attended public school in Albertville until high school, when in 1943, she entered Sullins Academy, Bristol, Virginia, graduating in 1946. She began her freshman year at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, now Hollins University, graduating in the Class of 1950. She served her class as Junior and Senior Class President and Chairman of the Frya Honorary Society.

In 1950, she returned to Alabama and began Law school at The University of Alabama, along with only a few other women students in her class. She was the Editor in Chief of the Alabama Law Review, during her senior year, graduating with a JD degree in 1953. After graduation, she became associated with the Birmingham law firm, Bradley Arant Rose & White, currently Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. She enjoyed her association with the firm in the real property division for two years, before her engagement, marriage, and her move to her husband’s home-town of Selma, Alabama, in 1955.

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Carol became actively involved in many areas of life in Selma, particularly church and civic work. She and her husband, Sam, were vitally interested in historic preservation. They worked tirelessly to ensure that buildings and entire areas in Selma and Cahaba were included in the National Register of Historic Places. They were lifelong members of the Alabama Historical Society. Carol pursued her life-long interest in art, painting with the Selma Art Guild. After being accepted into the Alabama Watercolor Society her works were exhibited locally and statewide. She and Sam were also very interested in music, encouraging their three children to take music lessons. They often travelled to Montgomery and Birmingham to hear musical concerts. Carol served on the Selma-Dallas County Library Board, the Cahaba Foundation and various other boards and committees. Carol and Sam had a wide and lively circle of friends who they enjoyed over many years.

Carol is survived by her three children: Frances Caroline Sommers Wheelock (George), Jeanette Louise Sommers Wade, (Robin), and Samuel Alexander Sommers, III. She has three grandchildren that were a great joy of her life: Elizabeth Frances Ferguson-Sommers, Hannah Carol Ferguson-Sommers, and Robin Adair Wade, IV. The family would like to thank the following caregivers for their love and devotion: Jackie Carey, Pat Bolden, America Gonzalez, Tasha Austin, and Susana Garrido. Her family would also like to thank Affinity Hospice for their attentive care of her, as well as Dr. Mike Murray. Also, we would like to thank Nettie Brown of Selma for her devotion and care of our mother for over twenty years. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 210 Lauderdale Street, Selma, AL 36701; Sturdivant Hall Museum, P.O. Box 1205 Selma, AL 36702; or the Cahaba Foundation, 707 Selma, AL 36701. A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held at St. Paul’s in Selma at a later date.