Vincent Ellsworth Sonju was born on Jan. 26, 1938, to Siguard and Vivian (Bergerson) Sonju in Madison, MN. He was baptized at Dawson, MN., and confirmed at Finlayson, MN., in the Lutheran faith. Growing up, his family lived in several Minnesota towns as his father was a school teacher, principal and superintendent. Vince and his twin brother, Virgil, were active in sports during their school years. Vincent graduated from Kennedy High School, Kennedy, MN., in 1956. He then attended the University of North Dakota, graduating from UND School of Law in 1962. On Aug. 30, 1956, Vincent was united in marriage to Kay Bothum at Halma, MN. To this union a daughter and a son were born. After graduating from UND, they lived in Fargo, ND, Jamestown, ND and Kennedy, MN. In 1966, they moved to New Brighton, MN. and while living there, Vince worked for Univac in Roseville, MN., in purchasing, and traveled extensively in the States and abroad. Vince and his family moved to Karlstad, MN., in 1975 and he was in business and farmed in Kittson Co. until 1984. While in Karlstad, he served on the Karlstad School Board and the Karlstad Memorial Hospital Board. Vince and Kay moved to California in 1984 where he worked as a purchasing manager for Unisys in San Jose. While living in California, they enjoyed having visiting family join them in traveling and sightseeing. In 1999, they moved back to Minnesota to be closer to family and friends. While living in Moorhead, Vince worked for Phoenix International, Fargo, ND until his retirement in 2005. Vince enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting and spending time with his family. He passed away on Fri. morning, Aug. 6, 2010, at Sanford Medical Center Palliative Care Unit in Fargo at the age of 72 years, 6 months and 10 days.
He is survived by his wife, Kay; daughter: Kimberly (Paul) Gullicks, of Halma; one son: Terrance (Debra), of Red Lake Falls, MN.; five grandchildren: Ryan, Kayla and Kelsy Gullicks, Michelle Hansen and Michael Havorson; six great-grandchildren: Kamryn, Briahnna, Keaton, Christian, Karsen and Kinlee; his mother: Vivian, of Moorhead; two brothers: Lyndon (Kathryn), Golden Valley, MN. and Larry (Renee), of Red Wing, MN.; brother-in-law: Grant, Jr. (Ivy) Bothum, of Halma; sisters-in-law: Patricia (Dave) Thielman, Monticello, MN. Dawn (Lyndon) Langen, of Castle Rock, Co.; and Gayle Bergeron, Lake Park, MN. in addition to several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his father; twin brother: Virgil; sister-in-law: Merrilee Sonju; brother-in-law: Donald Bergeron; nephew: Patrick Sonju; father-in-law: Grand Bothum, Sr.; and mother-in-law: Joyce Bothum.