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Born: Apr 19, 1987

Date of Passing: May 15, 2020

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Our beautiful, witty, smart and thoughtful Sonja passed away very early on May 15, 2020. Not unexpectedly, but too soon, cancer interrupted her plans.
Sonja is survived by her husband Chad; her parents, Len and Ann; brother Carl (Natalia), niece Sierra; Chad's parents, Dennis and Jan; Chad's sister Carmen (Corey); nieces, Shyla and Emmrie; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. She was predeceased by her sister-in-law Natalie Swayze; and grandparents, Marven and Eva Pedersen; and Reinhold and Myrtle Zimmerman.
Born as our Easter Bunny on April 19, 1987, in Winnipeg, she grew up in Springstein, MB and attended school in Starbuck and Sanford. In grade nine she met Denyse and they quickly formed a strong bond which turned into a beautiful lifelong friendship. Early in life, she showed her caring nature, often thinking of others before herself. Sonja enjoyed organizing everything: from Carl's life (social and otherwise), to neighbourhood Olympics and camping trips, to time together with friends and family. She also had a great love of nature and animals which she demonstrated by adopting Nova, her cat of nine years.
Sonja began her work life in the service and hospitality industry, during which time she honed her people skills. With her high emotional IQ these soft skills seemed to naturally lead into a successful career in real estate. She worked hard to establish herself in the real estate industry and found she could practice her business successfully, on her terms with Ethos Realty. She made lifelong friends with most people she met.
After years of friendship turned into romance, Sonja and Chad had their first date six years ago to the day of her passing. Sonja married the love of her life on September 15, 2018, surrounded by friends and family at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Sonja's love of lake life led to her and Chad buying their own cottage at Lac du Bonnet where they spent as much time as possible. Her other favourite place was Tofino, BC, visiting eight times in the last four years. Sonja and Chad were always supportive of each other's careers, and their life goals which often led them to cherished travel adventures; Sonja often spoke of wanting to do more. A life together cut far too short, they had numerous dreams of one day having a family, expanding and renovating their house, making improvements to their cottage and buying a condo in Tofino.
Her quiet way of helping others showed in her occasional volunteer work with Siloam Mission, and The Madison supportive housing for the homeless. For several years, she also supported two girls at Sonja truly enjoyed her time with Club 60 ANAF where she helped to steer the renewal of the Club while serving as Board Chair.
A celebration of Sonja's life will be held when we can all safely gather together again.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the three charities mentioned above or any charity of your choice.

475 Provencher Blvd.,
in care of arrangements, 204-775-2220

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 23, 2020

Condolences & Memories (29 entries)

  • I just heard of the passing of Sonja. I am in shock and very saddened. She was so young and beautiful. Her intelligence and creativeness was incredible. My condolences to her husband and family. You will be in my prayers during this difficult time. May The Lord bring you comfort. Carmen Guenther - Posted by: Carmen Guenther (Friend/ex Co worker from Re/max) on: Jul 14, 2020

  • We are so deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Sonja. She was a bright light and she will be very missed. Our deepest condolences. - Posted by: Kayla, Linda & Staff at Towers Realty Group (Colleague) on: Jun 17, 2020

  • Ann, Lenny and Carl - Kenny and I are so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Sonja. We hope the years of memories, love and laughter offer you some comfort going forward. She will never be far away. 💐 - Posted by: Erin and Kenny Homewood (Friends) on: Jun 13, 2020

  • We are so saddened to hear of Sonja's passing. She was a bright light, a beautiful presence in the world. May you find comfort in knowing that our thoughts and prayers are with you Chad, Len, Ann, Carl and Natalia as you grieve. Dave and Virginia Froese - Posted by: Virginia and Dave Froese (Springstein neighbours ) on: May 29, 2020

  • Ann: my sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your beautiful daughter. I wish you all peace as you work through this awful time. Carol Girling - Posted by: Carol Girling (Former colleague of Ann’s) on: May 28, 2020

  • We have been forever shaped because of the strong, beautiful and amazing sisterhood of young women with whom we shared our childhoods. Sonja (Pedersen) was a huge part of who we grew to be today, and we are grateful for her friendship. She was tough as nails, but also compassionate when any of us needed a listening ear. Her inner and outer beauty was evident to anyone who spent time with her. Each Fall, we rode that bus together to Starbuck Elementary, and afternoons were spent playing together in our clubhouse or Sonja's basement full of treasures! Jacqueline fondly remembers blasting a Janet Jackson cassette tape on repeat while we rollerbladed around Sonja’s basement together. Sonja taught us about freedom and enjoying the moment. Winter would come and us girls would build snow forts, or huddle inside to watch a movie, or learn an epic Spice Girls dance routine choreographed by the flexible and creative Sonja! Eventually Spring would bloom and you'd find the Club Of Outdoor Women at your door to take your cookie order (yes, we had quite the little business venture selling fresh homemade cookies!) and we would take the money we earned to go on a shopping spree where Sonja would help us decide which eyeshadow was best for our particular eye colour. Sonja helped us feel and be our best selves. Finally, Summer would find us, and the COOW girls would spend our days jumping on trampolines, playing the card game Cheat on the deck until we couldn’t stand the heat anymore and had to jump in the swimming pool—playing endless rounds of “Marco Polo”… that always ended up with someone accusing someone else of cheating! And then we’d do it all again – our club of little women learning about friendship and life throughout our childhoods. Sonja, you are loved so deeply and we will never forget you. Each of us will remember you every time we hear “Marco?”. . . “Polo!” Despite being the youngest of our little crew, Chelsea can recall Sonja’s favourite cookie—double chocolate chip! We won’t be able to eat a double chocolate chip cookie without thinking of you, our sweet neighbour and friend. Lisa will see your beautiful freckled face every time she sings her little girl to sleep with a song we sang together at the Meridian Arts Festival—“Colours of the Wind.” We remembered you as we sang this song together and reminisced after we heard the news of our beautiful, vibrant, energetic friend’s life cut way too short. This line will forever pull on our heartstrings as we think of you: “And we are all connected to each other/In a circle, in a hoop that never end.” Until we meet again, rest in peace, dear friend. With love, Your Club of Outdoor Women (COOW) Sisters - Posted by: Lisa, Chelsea, & Jacqueline (Friends and neighbours) on: May 27, 2020

  • I am so sorry to hear of your daughter’s passing, far too soon. Sincere condolences Ann and families. - Posted by: Angela Chotka (Colleague of Ann) on: May 26, 2020

  • Chad, I'm so very sorry to hear about Sonja's passing. My deepest condolences in this difficult time. May her memory live on in your heart and keep you strong. - Posted by: Monte Miller (Friend of Chad) on: May 26, 2020

  • Sonja was a dear friend of our son. She had a heart of gold. I am so sad to hear of her passing. There are no words to ease what her husband and family must be feeling, Sonja will be sorely missed. - Posted by: Barb GUSTAFSON (Friend) on: May 25, 2020

  • Chad, families & friends. I am deeply sorry to hear of Sonja’s passing. I spoke to Sonja many times over the years as she and her team at Fort Garry Unit 60 worked to turn the club around and get it back on track. I was thrilled to finally be able to meet her in person in 2018. She was so friendly and put you at ease instantly like you were friends forever. She was determined, caring and kind. She will be truly missed by everyone that was lucky enough to know her. I hope that the memories of the wonderful times you shared together gives you some comfort in this most difficult time. - Posted by: Deanna Fimrite (Comrade, ANAVETS Dominion Command) on: May 25, 2020

  • Even just chatting with Sonja over the fence between our homes, we knew her as a beautiful and sweet soul. Our deepest sympathy to Chad and Sonja's family and friends. - Posted by: Glen Stannard and Lee Heywood (neighbors) on: May 25, 2020

  • I am so sorry to hear of Sonja’s passing. I worked with her at Moxie’s St. Vital and remember well her overflowing friendliness, how smart and what a hard worker she was. It has been years since I last saw Sonja but I can remember her smile and laugh perfectly — truly speaks to what a genuine and kind spirit she has! Sending up many prayers for Sonja and all those who mourn her passing. Take care and God bless. - Posted by: Jessica McComb (Past co-worker) on: May 24, 2020

  • Sonja will be missed around the Ethos office. I appreciated every piece of real estate advice and her perspective on always learning to better serve her customers and new clients. She always left me thinking I could do more and gave me direction in my career early on. I had so much more to learn from Sonja! Her presence in the office will be greatly missed by all. - Posted by: Oksana Ulisko (Co-Worker at Ethos Realty) on: May 24, 2020

  • Dear Ann, Lenny and family. Words cannot express our sorrow over the loss of your precious Sonja. She was a wonderful young woman and always a pleasure to talk to. Although we weren’t close she was in our prayers as were all of you as we kept up with her fight with this devastating disease. Wish we could give a hug, stay strong for each other! - Posted by: Brent Cohan and Pat DuGuay (Friends) on: May 24, 2020

  • Our deepest sympathy in the loss of Sonja, Wife and Daughter. Our thoughts and Prayers are with all of the family. - Posted by: Ken & Marge Schade (Friends of Sonja parents) on: May 24, 2020

  • First met Sonja with Chad at Winnipeg Firefighter Banquet and Ball, Fort Garry Hotel. Evening of memories will be forever Cherished. Sorry for your loss. Cathy and Larry Szarko. - Posted by: Larry and Cathy Szarko (Coworker) on: May 24, 2020

  • To Ann & Len, though circumstance has separated us for many years, when ‘Berta told me today of Sonya’s passing I was surprised and shocked. I can’t imagine the lost you guys and everyone else in her realm are experiencing! I know you’ve heard all the cliches no doubt, but I am truly saddened by the news! Draw on the strengths of those around you and thinking of you during this time! - Posted by: Lance Rayner (Friend of Sonya’s Parents) on: May 23, 2020

  • I am so sorry to hear of your loss. She was taken away too soon. Chad my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Sonja's family. Your memories will stay deeply in your heart. - Posted by: Pat Vouriot (Friend) on: May 23, 2020

  • We are so saddened by this mews. Sonja was Avery dear friend of our daughter Kendryn’s . She spent many moments in our home. We always enjoyed her kind and “witty” ways!She and Kendryn enjoyed working many PR events together! We have missed seeing Sonja since our daughter moved to Florida. She made the trip home to Winnipeg for Sonja’s wedding as she wouldn’t miss that special moment in Sonja’s life. You will miss her dearly! She had so much to give this world. May she soar with the stars and gleam brilliantly! - Posted by: Janice Kuhl (Sonja was a very good friend of my daughter Kendryn) on: May 23, 2020

  • There are no words to express how deeply sorry I am to hear about Sonja. Know that you all remain in my thoughts and prayers. Always aren't alone. Much love, Kathy - Posted by: Kathy Kirby (Mom's Friend ) on: May 23, 2020

  • Chad, my heart breaks for you and is filled with hope that you are able to cherish all your memories of times together. My sincerest and most heartfelt condolences. - Posted by: Marly Shipley Mustard (Cousin) on: May 23, 2020

  • Chad, I’m so incredibly sorry to hear about the passing of Sonja. You and your family are in my thoughts during this most difficult time. - Posted by: Barb Yanciw (Worked with Chad) on: May 23, 2020

  • There are no words to say how completely saddened we were to hear of Sonja’s passing. May God wrap His arms around you and your family and bring you comfort during the difficult times ahead. God bless you. - Posted by: Vernelle and David Mirosh (Friendd) on: May 23, 2020

  • Chad, we are so sorry to here of Sonja’s passing. In the short time we knew her she was always so friendly and a joy to have as our next door neighbor at the lake. We will miss seeing her and enjoying a beverage by the fire. You’re in our thought and prayers chad💔 - Posted by: Terri & Ed Law & family (Lake neighbors) on: May 23, 2020

  • Extremely saddened to learn of your loss Chad. My sincere condolences at this time for the loss of such a beautiful person in your life. - Posted by: Doug Martin (Retired Fire Fighter) on: May 23, 2020

  • Ann & Family, My sincere condolences to you all. Sending you prayers of strength as you find your way through each day. - Posted by: Francesca Infantino (Friend & Colleague ) on: May 23, 2020

  • Our condolences to Chad & the families on their loss of Sonja who was one of the friendliest, vibrant and creative people we have met. RIP SONJA " WE WILL REMEMBER YOU" - Posted by: Duncan & Joan Anderson (Comrades ANAVETS MNWO Command & Rockwood Unit #303) on: May 23, 2020

  • This is truly our loss to not have Sonja in this world anymore. Sonja was my kind of people...upfront, honest and no holds barred and although I didn’t know her super well, I enjoyed any time spent with her. She was extremely supportive and knowledgeable and fierce. She was an absolute rock star and her positivity was overwhelming, especially most recently. They are lucky to have you, Sonja. I’m so sorry to Chad and your family for their loss. - Posted by: Jennifer Berthelette (Colleague ) on: May 23, 2020

  • We are so deeply sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time. May memories of Sonja bring you comfort and fill your heart with peace. With our Deepest Sympathy. - Posted by: Andre & Doris Huyghe and Family (Friends) on: May 23, 2020

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