Sonja Ruth Kleemann Yonge

Yonge, Sonja

Nov. 23, 1931 — April 21, 2013

Sonja Ruth Kleemann Yonge,  beloved mother, passed away quietly on April 21, 2013, surrounded by family and friends.

Born November 23, 1931 to Jakob and Mina Kleemann in Kirchheimbolanden, West Germany. In 1952, she married George D. Yonge and together they had three daughters, Debbie Kerri, Heidi Harris and Carrie Adams. They lived in Albany until 1964, when they relocated to Davis and George began his career with UC Davis. After 23 years of marriage, they parted, yet were always involved together in the upbringing of their girls. Sonja was a stay-at-home mom until the mid-1970s.

She worked at a number of Davis businesses over the years, including the Faculty Club and the Ramada Inn. She returned to her hometown periodically to visit with family and to show her children where she was raised. It was an adventure they still talk and laugh about. It gave them a whole new respect for her, to know where she came from and what she had accomplished. She was very proud to become a citizen and getting 100 percent on her test. If you asked her if she was German, she’d always say, “No, I am an American.”

Even though she was an American, she instilled in her children their German heritage. Mom was a wonderful cook and an even more incredible seamstress. Her ability to stitch up an outfit without patterns was amazing. Most people in town knew her as Firebird Lucy, a name that she was given at the Chevron on B Street and Russell, by an employee due to her love of fast cars.

Sonja leaves behind not just her daughters and former husband, but son-in-law Rich Kerri; grandchildren Katie Kerri, Rex Adams, Clay Kerri, Kellie Harris and Savannah Adams; dear friend Marianne Bauer-Jones; and numerous other friends throughout town, including those at Eleanor Roosevelt community and family in Germany.

At her request, no services will be held. She would say raise a glass of wine and forget me not. She will be truly missed along with her wonderful sense of humor and colorful personality. 

Special to The Enterprise

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