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The District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office in Ft. Myers, Fla. confirmed Mr. Sommer’s death, but would not comment further, citing an ongoing investigation into the accident.
Local officials who worked with Mr. Sommer said they were saddened by his death.
Northfield Center Trustee Paul Buescher called Mr. Sommer “My friend,” in an email to township residents.
He told the News Leader that he first met Mr. Sommer when candidates for Township Trustee met in a coffee shop prior to the 2005 election.
“Once Brent and I got into office, I found him to be a really well-known and liked person throughout the community. He was a real people person. I miss working with him,” he said.
On hearing the news Mr. Sommer was moving to Florida, Buescher said he told himself, “Whatever he does down in Florida, he’s going to make a lot of friends ... Every time you go to talk to someone, they ask ‘How’s Brent ... what’s he up to?’”
Northfield Center Trustee Rich Reville, who said he last saw Mr. Sommer at a restaurant with his family in January, said he is very sorry for Mr. Sommer’s family for their loss.
Reville said he met Mr. Sommer many years ago through Mr. Sommer’s cleaning business and as a township worker in various capacities. Reville said he even helped Mr. Sommer with his election campaigns.
“I felt that he would do a good job because he had a real concern for the residents,” Reville said. “He has worked on a lot of things for the community.”
Jeff Cole, executive director of Cable 9 community television, said he first met Mr. Sommer in 1982, when his father Marvin Sommer represented Northfield Center on the community television board of directors.
“With as many people that I have met here over the years, there are few people I can say I’ve never heard a negative thing said about them — he was a super nice person,” Cole said.
Laura Sparano, CEO of the Nordonia Hills Chamber of Commerce, said she first met Mr. Sommer while working on the former Tourist Bureau and Information Center, which had been located for many years on the corner of routes 8 and 82 in Macedonia.
“He was a very nice guy,” she said.
John Campbell, chairman of the Northfield Center Zoning Commission, also said Mr. Sommer was a “nice guy.”
“And I think he was an honest guy. I really enjoyed my experience working with him,” he said.
The family said members of the public should consult www.caringbridge.org and search for Brent Sommer for information regarding arrangements.
Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433