Sonja Jean Diederich, age 68, of Darwin, died Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, at the St. Cloud Hospital.
She was born June 17, 1943, in Warren, WI, the daughter of Earl and Iona (Calkins) Mannie. Sonja was baptized as an infant, and later confirmed in her faith as a youth at the Methodist Church in Waseca, MN.
She received her education in Waseca, and was a graduate of Waseca Central High School class of 1961.
Sonja resided in the Darwin area for the last 50 years.
She owned and operated the Ranchero Restaurant in Darwin in the 1960s, and the Kings Corner in Darwin in 1986. In 1992, she sold her funnel cakes at fairs and festivals throughout Minnesota.
Sonja was also a seamstress, and personalized NASCAR seats.
She was a member of All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin, Litchfield VFW Auxiliary Post 2818, and the Litchfield Eagles Club.
Sonja enjoyed sewing, cooking, fishing, playing cards, and holding card parties. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family, grandchildren, great-grandchild, and friends.
She is survived by her fiancé, Donald Lee Riebe of Darwin; a son, Michael and Marlys Diederich of Darwin; grandchildren Crystal N. Diederich, Sara Holmgren, Ben Holmgren, and Justin Grumpmann; great-grandchild Blake Grumpmann; brothers Bob Mannie and his wife, Cheryl, of San Diego, CA, and Steve Mannie and his wife, Becky, of Arlington, TX; daughter Shelly and Neal Fjelstad; and many other relatives and friends.
Sonja was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Iona Mannie.
A Memorial Service took place Thursday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. at All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin, with internment at the church cemetery. The Rev. Joe Midthun officiated, organist was Shara Marquez, and soloist Sara Holmgren sang “Angel.” Congregational hymns were “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” and “In the Garden.”
Honorary bearers were Bob Hentges, Scott Carlson, Gary Rusch, Lawrence Rusch, Pete Blackwell, and Alex Jensen.
Arrangements were by the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com; click on Obituaries/Guest Book.