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The Sommerville Legacy at Kettering

Machine Shop faculty in 1942The Sommerville Legacy:

The Sommerville story at Kettering GMI started with another brother/sister pair, Angela and Will’s mother and her brother. Janice Finley’s brother Gary was the only one of Clarence Finley’s eight children to pursue engineering and attend GMI. Gary encouraged his sister, who studied nursing at the Hurley School of Nursing, to tag along to one of the famous GMI/Hurley dances. “She reluctantly went, without her glasses, and when a song came up that had the girls ask the guys to dance she walked up to my dad. He was the first guy she could make out with her blurred vision and the rest was history,” said Angela Sommerville.

Janice never finished her nursing degree. A few years younger than Bill, they married when he graduated university and she was still in nursing school.  Hurley women were encouraged not to marry and have children at that time as it took them out of the workplace, according to Sommerville.  Nevertheless, Janice chose to marry and raise a family. Clarence Finley taught at then GMI in the Machine Shop area. According to family lore, he found a Model T in a field at age 10 and rebuilt it to working condition with his brother so they could keep it.