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Obituary: Albert Anthony Sommerfeld

Albert Anthony Sommerfeld of Greenvale, 93, passed away on April 20 after a long illness. He was born on June 3, 1920 in Brooklyn. He graduated from Jamaica High School in 1938 and attended Queens College. He left college to join the Navy in August 1941. While training in San Diego, he was fortunate to walk away from a plane crash. During World War II, he was a pilot with the famous “Jumpin’ Joe Clifton’s” Carrier Air Group 12 squadron, flying both the Dauntless and the Helldiver dive bombers.  He spent about a year in the Pacific theater on the USS Saratoga and participated in over 42 air strikes against enemy bases.


After returning to the United States structor at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida. He was later assigned to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn and remained on active duty until early 1946. Following the war, he continued his service in the Naval Reserves, retiring as a Commander in 1973. For his service he was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.


After leaving active duty in the Navy, he earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University), graduating magna cum laude in 1948. He married Doris Adele Johnson on May 22, 1949. 


He began working for the New York Telephone company in 1948, and retired as a district manager in 1981, shortly before the breakup of the Bell system.


He was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Glen Head where for many years he managed the usher corps. He also enjoyed participating in the Manhasset Men’s Club and attending performances of the New York City Opera with his wife Doris for many years.


He was an active volunteer, serving on the Village of Roslyn Harbor zoning board for several decades. He also helped raise funds for and participated in alumni activities at Brooklyn Polytechnic for many years.


He was preceded in death by his parents Albert Anton and Petronella Sommerfeld, and his sisters Marie Knipe and Harriet Hettick. He is survived by his wife, Doris A. Sommerfeld; his son Bill, daughter-in-law Renee, and granddaughter Anna; his daughter Meg and her husband Jay Matson and their daughters Abigail and Madeline; and his nephews Bruce Hettick, Leigh Hettick, Don Behnke, and their families. His nephew George Behnke predeceased him.