Sonja Mae Anderson Kirk, LCSW, (SMAK222), 71, also known as "Petie," passed on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, of cancer.
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Sonja was the daughter of the late Sven and Mae Wyman Anderson of Blandford, Mass. Educated in the Blandford and Westfield schools, Sonja then attended University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Indiana University School of Social Work. Sonja loved life and lived hers to the fullest. With her daughter, Sonja visited the 50 states, 18 countries, and three continents. With the Sound of New England Barbershop Chorus, she enjoyed music, friendship, and more travel. With the Red Hat Society, she enjoyed all manner of activities, with lots of laughter. She organized innumerable family outings and gatherings. Wherever she went, she brought the fun and the love with her. Sonja was devoted to helping others as shown through her work as a social worker in the East Hartford Public Schools. She also volunteered for 4-H, her churches, and the Blandford Fair. Most recently, she volunteered for the American Red Cross Disaster Services Mental Health team where she was the mental health lead for the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Sonja is survived by her daughter, Colleen (Chris "Duff") Dufrense of White Plains, N.Y.; her brother, Lynn (Shirley) Anderson of Charlestown, R.I.; her sister, Carol (John) Whalen of Westfield, Mass.; her significant other, Diquel Mendes of West Hartford; and her former husband, Peter Kirk of Cleveland, Tenn. She is also survived by a multitudinous, extended collection of family and friends, including her Kirk and Blandford families and her best friend, Lynn Donaldson. All will keenly feel the loss of Sonja's compassion and exuberance.
A celebration of her life will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the Bolton Congregational Church, 228 Bolton Center Road, where she was a member for over 20 years, with the Rev. Charles H. Ericson, presiding. A luncheon will follow in the church hall.
Calling hours will be on Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Watkins Funeral Home, 142 E. Center St., Manchester. Interment will be at the convenience of the family.
Memorial gifts may be made to the American Printing for the Blind, P.O. Box 6389, 1839 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY 40206.
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Published in Journal Inquirer from Feb. 3 to Feb. 7, 2014