Sonna Mae (Purintun) Phillips passed away in her sleep on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Hyland Crossings Memory Care in Sun Prairie. She joins her husband Frank in eternal peace to whom she was married for 71 years.
On Jan. 9, 1928, she was born in Barron, the daughter of Leroy and Mary Scott Purintun. Sonna (as in Donna, as she liked to say) lived her childhood with her seven siblings near Chetek. Her family struggled through the Depression years after losing their father when she was six years old. Her mom, oldest brother William and family in the Chetek area kept it all together with love and strength. She and her twin sister, Selma, graduated from high school in Chetek in 1946. She met Frank Phillips at a dance and married him on April 30, 1947. She moved in with the Phillips family who lived south of Weyerhaeuser.
At 23 years old, Frank was the head of his family and they both nurtured his five younger siblings who were still at home in 1947. Raising five children of their own, the pair continued to operate the family farm until 1996. They sold the farm and moved to Cameron where they lived for 21 years. In 2017 they moved to Sun Prairie.
First and foremost, Sonna was a wife and a mother. She was a strong coworker striving with Frank to make a home and maintain a livelihood from the farm. She loved babies and had five of them, praying with them every night and insisting they attend Sunday school and music lessons. All five of their children graduated from college.
Sonna planted gardens and canned the produce. She was the chief baker starting in the 40s, six loaves of bread a week. She made wonderful jams and jellies and sewed her children’s clothes. She celebrated holidays with her sister, Selma and family and looked forward to the visits of the many brothers, sisters and in-laws in the summer.
She was a crafts woman who crocheted several acres of bedspreads, tablecloths, and doilies true to her Irish-Scot heritage. She made intricate quilts, teddy bears and other stuffed toys.
She is survived by her daughters: Jacqueline Martindale (partner Jerry Neis) and Faye Sharp Phillips, all of Sun Prairie; her sons, Gary (Sandy Gronski) Phillips of Chetek, Rick Phillips (partner Barb Jeffries) of Cincinnati, Ohio and Wayne (Pamela Preston) Phillips of Hudson; her grandchildren, Matthew (Heather) Martindale, Meagan Strobl, Travis (Yuko) Phillips, Tracy Phillips, Bryant Phillips, Bennett (Dawn) Phillips, Kelli Hoover, Sean Sharp, Katie Preston (Yohn Versteegen), Eli Phillips and Lisa (Dan) Ballweg; 10 great-grandchildren; her sisters, twin Selma (Stanley) Walczak of Chetek and Lenora Vana of Chetek; her beloved in-laws, John Phillips of Stamford, Conn., Fran Dobrowolski of Chetek and Sarasota, Fla., Rachel (Richard) Livingston of Davis, Calif., James (Dorothy) Phillips of Grand Rapids, Mich., Marjorie Fitzgerald of Phillips and Patricia Kahut of Minong; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her sister, Jean Zakas and her brothers, William, Merle, Charles and Harley Purintun.
Funeral services were held on Monday, June 24, at Maranatha Evangelical Free Church in Rice Lake with Pastor Cody Kargus officiating.
Her final resting place is beside Frank in Lakeview Cemetery in Chetek.
Arrangements were with Rausch-Lundeen Funeral Homes, Cameron and Dallas.