Buckie Somers will be missed in Haywood

By Vicki Hyatt | Feb 16, 2017

Waynesville — When former Haywood resident Buckie Somers passed away last week, it left a deep hole in the hearts of two humanitarian organizations in the county.

Buckie and her husband, Jay, were long-time supporters of both Haywood Christian Ministry and Haywood Habitat for Humanity. Their volunteer hours, along with generous financial support, helped fuel the mission of each organization.

Though the Somers moved away in 2013, they continued supporting both organizations, and have directed memorials there.

Bill Upton, the past president of Haywood Christian Ministry, said everyone associated with Haywood Christian Ministry is saddened by the death of Buckie Somers.

“She and Jay have been long time supporters of the ministry, and we were pleased to be able to dedicate the ministry’s facilities at 150 Branner Ave. in Waynesville, “The Buckie and Jay Somers Crisis Center last year,” Upton said.

He quoted British novelist and lay theologian, C. S. Lewis, saying if he had known the Somers, he might have said this about them, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done, and those, to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.”

“The Somers are certainly faithful to obeying God’s will and yet, they have a devotion to do it their way,” he said. “Haywood Christian Ministry would not exist in its present state except for the faithfulness and devotion of Buckie and Jay Somers. Their consistent and prolific support of the Ministry has sometimes enabled us to just to get through a demanding month.”

If the ministry’s charitable golf tournament didn’t provide the necessary cash, the Somers, along with their friends the Braswells and the Sanderlins, stepped in to underwrite the tournament expenses.
“With their motivation and financial support, the golf tournament has grown consistently and now provides half the funding for our heating assistance program,” Upton said.

Until the Somers relocated to Massachusetts to be closer to their children, they split their residency, spending the summer months in Haywood.

“Even when they were not here in body, they were here in spirit and concern. Many times, over the years, Buckie would call and say, “I was thinking about the ministry today and I have put a little something in the mail. We hope it helps,” Upton said. “Indeed, it has helped!”

Buckie Somers will be remembered in many places by many people, Upton said.

“Haywood Christian Ministry is blessed and fortunate to have found her favor. Her name and her memory will forever be a part of the Ministry,” he added.

Jayme Sheppard, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, said the Somers devoted both time and financial resources to the effort.

Jay Somers is a past president of the organization, and the couple sponsored several Habitat homes, the most recent of which was the last home we built in Barefoot Ridge in Clyde.  The family moved into the home in January 2016.

"We are saddened to learn of Buckie's passing.  She and her husband, Jay, have shown so much love and generosity for our community through their service to Haywood Habitat,” Sheppard said. “Their sponsorship of homes for those in the Haywood Habitat program will impact families for generations. The world truly is a better place because of them."