Somerville, J. Deane

Somerville, J. Deane passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at his home in Marion, MA, at the age of 94. 

His greatest source of happiness and pride was his nearly 60-year marriage to Janice Hesse, and the family they created together. They met in 1949 while both were vacationing with their families on Cape Cod. Deane adored his “bride” and doted on her until her death in 2009. They spent their years laughing, traveling, and dancing every chance they got. 

As newlyweds, Jan and Deane settled in Wellesley where they started their family and built lifelong friendships. Deane is survived by his three children Jay, Linda, and Kurt Somerville, their spouses Kathy Somerville and Kendra Chencus Somerville, as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was a wonderful brother to Nan Blowney, brother-in-law to the late Evelyn and Arthur Coughlan, and uncle to his numerous nieces and nephews. 

Jan and Deane were both happiest by the water and especially loved hosting family and friends at their home in Marion, MA where they began spending summers in 1959 and moved permanently in 1990. Deane loved sailing, golf, family gatherings, and putting on old clothes to tackle endless house chores. He enjoyed teaching his grandchildren to sail, raise the flag, and drive a car long before their feet could reach the pedals. He will be remembered for his easy smile, care and respect for others, and light footwork on the dance floor.

Never one to sit idle, Deane made the most of every moment. He was born to the late Rae and Martha Somerville and spent his childhood in Quincy, MA. He attended Boston University at night while working during the day at the insurance firm OBrion, Russell & Co. He spent his entire 53-year career there, starting in the mailroom and rising to become Senior Managing Partner of the firm. Deane stayed on as Chairman of the Board when the company was sold to Alexander & Alexander of Massachusetts, Inc. Throughout his life, Deane gave generously of his time, serving on numerous boards, clubs, and charitable organizations.

A memorial gathering will be held at The Kittansett Club at 11 Point Road, Marion, MA on Friday, August 23, 2019 at a time to be announced. More information can be found on the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home website ( In lieu of flowers, donations in Deane’s memory may be made to two charities that were important to him: The Sippican Lands Trust, P.O. Box 848, Marion MA 02738 or The Home for Little Wanderers, 10 Guest Street Boston, MA 02135.

Leave A Comment...