Memorial Funeral Home

613 Bunch Street, Corinth, MS


Elizabeth "Betsy" Sommers

June 24, 1945June 9, 2020

Elizabeth "Betsy" Boone Sommers On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, Elizabeth “Betsy” Boone Sommers passed away at the age of 74. Born in Corinth, MS on June 24, 1945, to Nelms “Jig” and Fay (Mauldin) Boone, she was known by many titles: mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, friend, law clerk, and co-founder of Peppertree (dog) Rescue. She was dearly beloved and respected in all these roles. After graduating from Central High School in Memphis, TN, she headed north to Carleton College in Minnesota. She married Richard Sommers in 1967. While living in Geneva, NY, they had two children: Richard Benjamin and Kelly Elizabeth. Betsy went on to law school in Buffalo, NY, worked with the highly respected Judge Posner at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, and eventually spent 28 years at the Court of Claims in Albany, NY. While in Albany, she and her dear friend, David Sawicki, created Peppertree Rescue, Inc. Their passion for helping dogs in need helped Peppertree grow from a little project based in their house into a highly successful non-profit organization that they eventually passed into the hands of new leadership. In the words of a volunteer, “Her impact is beyond measure, human and animal combined. She created a lasting organization with humanity at its core.” The same words can be applied to any of her endeavors in her life. Betsy also loved traveling. She visited often with her grandchildren: Amelia and Henry (of Richard and Emily Sommers) in Ohio and Sierra (of Kelly and Joe Morrison) in Massachusetts. She fulfilled her lifelong dream of traveling to England, making a total of three trips to the United Kingdom. She also visited Alaska, the Bahamas, the Southern Caribbean, Prague, and all around North America. Upon retiring, she moved back to Mississippi, along with David Sawicki, so she could be closer to her family and friends from her youth. She will continue to travel in the hearts of her children and grandchildren, her longtime companion David, and all those who loved her dearly. She will be interred in a private ceremony in Corinth, MS. An online memorial will be prepared in the future. In her memory, please consider donating to the dog rescue group she founded: Peppertree Rescue, Inc. http://peppertree.org/ and in honor of her lifelong commitment to justice, please vote in all local and federal elections.


  • Private Family Service

    Thursday, June 18, 2020


Elizabeth "Betsy" Sommers

have a memory or condolence to add?

Libby Boone

June 19, 2020

Too many memories to count at the moment. Thanks to all who leave their memories here. I know that many people loved Betsy - it would be impossible not to love her. She was a cousin and an older sister all rolled into one for me.

Deborah Anastasio

June 18, 2020

Dear Richard, Kelly and David:
My deepest sympathy to all.
I worked with Betsy throughout all her years at the Court of Claims.
Such a wonderful lady, incredibly smart, and that great sense of humor.
She was such a comfort to me when my spaniel of 15 years passed.
She loved her family, and enjoyed sharing stories about you with us.
She will certainly be missed.

Nicole DePaul

June 18, 2020

I met Betsy the first time I volunteered for Peppertree Rescue at an adoption clinic. I’m disabled (I have skeletal dysplasia and walk on crutches), so I was extremely nervous. I love animals and wanted to help. The day I started I remember Betsy greeting me with a huge smile and we started chatting immediately. I told her how much I want to help but am frustrated by my limitations. She said: “It’s no problem we have lots of things you can help us with and handed me a leash to a puppy who eventually was my foster “fail”, Gracie Girl and we loved her for 13 years. Betsy was such a wonderful woman and I learned so much from her I always enjoyed our chats and she definitely understood how much I wanted to help and put all my anxieties to rest.
Betsy - I’ll remember your words of wisdom and our time together forever. You are surely missed. I’m imagining you reunited with all the wonderful dogs you saved who have passed on.
To all her family: My sincerest condolences. May the wonderful memories help console and warm your heart.
Nicole DePaul

Maria Mackey

June 18, 2020

This was an unexpected heartbreak for everyone she touched in her life including me. She was a great support to me and my late wife Ericka. I will not forget a lunch we had when she was telling Ericka and I about growing g up in the south. She was a non confirmer. She was one of the first to not believe in segregation and would sit with blacks or have blacks sit with her in the segregated diners. She would be proud today of the change he that is on the horizon. I will greatly miss you. You and Ericka stay out of trouble.

Lainy Young

June 18, 2020

Rich, Kelly, David
My deepest sympathy to all of you at the loss of such an incredible woman. She touched so many lives. The Rescue world is certainly dimmer at the loss of her.
I can only imagine the wonderful celebration at Rainbow Bridge.

Peggy Boughton

June 12, 2020

Rich, Kelly - David

I have no words. Just my deepest sympathies on Betsy's passing. When I pull myself together I will send each of you my thoughts and stories of my time with Betsy. She was just a force of nature and I loved, admired and respected her.