County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2020

County mourns loss of former 
Freeholder Clem Sommers

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders mourns the loss of former Monmouth County Freeholder and Oceanport Mayor, Clem Sommers, who passed away on Wednesday, April 15 at 91 years old.

“I had the pleasure of working with Clem on the Board of School Estimate for the Vocational Schools where he had a great vision, which I will continue to support,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “He was always there for advice and proved time and time again that he put the constituents he represented before himself. Clem’s devotion to the community and drive to get the job at hand completed will serve as the standard for future generations who hold public office in our great County. He will be remembered for a lifetime a public service in Monmouth County.”

During his tenure as a Monmouth County Freeholder, Sommers is credited for the construction of the Library Headquarters in Manalapan, Police Academy and Vocational School District Career Center in Freehold as well as extensions to the Correctional Institution in Freehold.

“Clem and I were close friends and shared a passion for both the Library System and Vocational School District, particularly M.A.S.T.,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “He was instrumental in allocating proper funding for the construction of the Monmouth County Library Headquarters and Vocational School District Career Center. I fondly remember the advice Clem always gave me before we parted ways: ‘Don’t forget to be happy and smile. Remember to be happy and smile.’”

“Each of us on the Freeholder Board genuinely looked up to Clem and sought out his guidance when we needed it most,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley. “Not only has his contributions in public office inspired me, but also his commitment to the Oceanport community, where he served as a first responder for the first aide squad and fire department.”

“I would like the take the opportunity to honor Clem Sommers for his lifetime of involvement and service in Monmouth County and Oceanport community,” said Freeholder Pat Impreveduto. “He was a true patriot, mentor and most importantly, friend and was affectionately called ‘Mr. Oceanport’ because of his profound impact in the municipality that will extend for decades to come.”

"Clem Sommers embodied all of the characteristics of a leader and worked tirelessly to make Monmouth County a great place to live, work and raise a family," said Freeholder Nick DiRocco.

Former Freeholder Clem Sommers served on the Monmouth County Vocational Board of Education for more than three decades. In recent years, the M.A.S.T. (Marine Academy of Science and Technology) National Honor Society acknowledged Sommers as an honorary member of the chapter.


Photo caption: The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders mourns the loss of former Freeholder and Oceanport Mayor, Clem Sommers, pictured second from the right. This photo was taken at the M.A.S.T. groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of reconstruction of the former Fort Hancock barracks to Naval Science Buildings held on June 12, 2019 at Sandy Hook.

Left to right: Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent Jennifer T. Nersesian, former Freeholder and current Assemblyman Gerry P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D., Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, former Freeholder and Oceanport Mayor Clem Sommers and Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone

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