Sonja Wilson, 74, passed away in the early morning hours on Valentine’s Day. She bravely fought cancer for over four years and finally succumbed to a compromised immune system and treatment complications. She, on her own terms, passed peacefully in her sleep.
The family will celebrate Sonja’s life in a private vacation party in Mexico…Sonja style!
Sonja was born in Great Falls, Montana to George and Shirley Fjeld. She has one younger sister, Sylvia.
Sonja lived a Pollyanna childhood in Shelby. She was an accomplished pianist and singer. Shelby schools provided a strong musical foundation and education, enough for her to be accepted into Julliard. Sonja did not pursue music instead she continued her mom’s legacy and studied Education.
Sonja attended the University of Montana and became a member of Tri Delta Sorority. During a Greek function, she met Mark Wilson, a Sigma Chi, and they became college sweethearts. They married just over a year later. Only those that knew them best, understood that Sonja was taking on a lifelong kid at heart with Mark.
Mark joined the Army in 1968 and Sonja, by default, ended up in the service, too. They, then, headed to Ft. Knox, KY. While there, their first child, Blaine Hale, was born. She was a beautiful and amazing little girl. A perfect first child. A year later, Sonja returned to Montana to continue work on her degree while Mark spent the year in Vietnam. Shortly after his return to Montana, Blaine tragically passed away.
In 1971, Sonja and Mark welcomed their son, Tadd Fjeld, and they found reason to enjoy living again. In 1973, they moved to Missouri to start their careers and welcomed their daughter, Paige Jaymie. With kids in tow, they began an adventurous and nomadic life that went from Missouri to stops in California, Europe, Colorado, back to Montana, and finally Florida.
Sonja was known for her intensity. She loved her family, she cherished her friends, she absorbed and found passion in politics, she believed in strong women and their choices, she would educate herself and figure “it” out, she loved the beach, pasta (“pas-sta”) and margaritas (“marg-yur-ritas”) and she loved being “Namma”…all with intensity.
To many, she was opinionated and, at times, argumentative. Those who loved and knew her best understood she just wanted you to engage equally and join in the dialogue. She appreciated intelligence and grit. She loved to take on difficult challenges, many that would scare others away. She established high standards that were sometimes impossible to obtain, even for herself. She would not brook half-heartedness. “What was the point of that!” She had a mantra “You get what you expect.”
Sonja was a great Mom and she pushed her kids, hard. She wanted them to reach their full potential. It did not matter where they were or where they went, Sonja and Mark always took the kids with them to share the adventures. They showered their kids with amazing life experiences and finally sat back and watched them fly.
After her parental preparatory work and all the stresses of raising her children were finally over, she was rewarded. Sonja became “Namma”. She embraced the title with verve and was beyond joyous taking care of her grand-daughters, Riann Blaine Hale and Braegen Grey Harper. The no nonsense Mom business melted into total squish and softness, replaced with a “whatever they want” type of relationship. It was an absolute “YES” on Kraft Mac-n-Cheese, ice cream without first finishing dinner, cookies with breakfast, late night movies, long leash holding dog walks, dress in the clothes you want, and 15 to 20 Christmas gifts each. She would talk for hours with “the girls” on Facetime, give advanced medical advice and care for minor cuts and bruises, and give out “easy does it” life lessons without prompting. It was perfect!!
We will miss her beyond all understanding but we know that she is making up for lost time with those who preceded her, Blaine, family members and best friends. She has successfully taken Valentine’s Day and turned it into an new reason to drink “marg-yur-ritas” and eat carnitas.
Sonja is survived by Mark her husband of 55 years, her adult children, Tadd and Paige, Kevin her son-in law, her cherished grand-daughters, Riann and Braegen, her sister, Sylvia, and her fur-babies, Gracie and Macy.
Cheers to a life well lived and a job well done!