Robert "Bob" Somma

December 31, 1944 ~ September 15, 2021 (age 76)


SOMMA, Robert “Bob”

Boston Attorney & Retired Federal Judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Boston MA

Robert Somma of Newbury, Massachusetts, died peacefully at home on September 15, 2021.  He was 76 years old, the beloved husband of Wendy Thaxter, beloved father of Willamain Somma and Louis Somma, stepfather of Jason Thaxter and Chelsea Thaxter, grandfather of Leo Somma and sibling of Gregory Somma and Cathy Somma, as well as an uncle, friend, colleague and mentor to many. 

Mr. Somma was a well-known Boston lawyer and recognized expert in bankruptcy law who practiced for over 40 years, including as managing partner of Goldstein & Manello PC, and as a federal judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston.  Mr. Somma was a long-time advisor to Boston real estate developer Harold Brown, and served as a board member of The Hamilton Company and as a trustee for Mr. Brown’s related entities up until the time of his death.  Born in Brooklyn, on New Year’s Eve in 1944, Bob grew up in the city with his parents Louis and Juliette and his siblings Gregory and Cathy.  In 1962, he graduated from Regis High School, the highly competitive all-boys Jesuit school in New York City.  He earned degrees from Holy Cross College in 1966 and from Northeastern Law School in 1976.  After college, in the heyday of ‘60s counter-culture, Bob joined the founding staff of Boston-based rock & roll magazine Fusion, which he edited from 1969-1974 and which opened doors to many famous concerts, gatherings and rock personalities of the era.  In 1970, Bob married Sandra Thaxter, of Portland, Maine, mother of their children Willamain and Louis, and moved to Newburyport in 1974.  He married Wendy Thaxter in 1986, with whom he shared 35 years of marriage before his passing.  Bob was an avid swimmer, outdoorsman and athlete, competing in countless triathlons and several Iron Man events, and participating in open water swims around the world including team swims across the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and in the Caribbean where Bob and Wendy owned a home on the island of Carriacou, Grenada.  Bob was a charismatic figure, beloved by his family and friends who will miss him immensely and be glad for having known him.

Memorial contributions in Robert’s name can be made to Northeastern University School of Law, Office of Development, 118 Cushing Hall, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-9877.


Family and friends are invited to a Memorial gathering on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 2:00 PM at the Maudslay Arts Center in Newburyport, in their event barn space, to celebrate and honor Bob.

We do not anticipate capacity issues, and all are welcome.  There will be a short program with remarks from family and friends, followed by a reception to gather and share memories.

Maudslay Arts Center is located at 95 Curzon Mill Road in Newburyport.  From I-95, take exit 57 to Route 113 East.  Follow for 1/2 mile and turn left onto Noble Street.  At the stop sign, turn LEFT onto Ferry Road and follow signs for Maudslay State Park.  The parking area is on the left.  The Arts Center is 100 yards on the left beyond the parking lot.

The facility will require masks inside, and (unless it is raining) there will also be space outside to gather.  The barn is unheated and the walk is unpaved, so please plan accordingly


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert "Bob" Somma, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Gathering
October 3, 2021

2:00 PM
Maudslay Arts Center
95 Curzon Mill Road
Newburyport, MA 01950


Northeastern University School of Law, Office of Development
118 Cushing Hall, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115-9877

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