April 23, 2020
Sonja Manley passed away peacefully April 13, 2020 at St. Luke's s Extended Care Facility in Ronan, Montana, at the age of 77.
Sonja was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 4, 1942, to Silas and Agnes Jenkins. She attended public schools in St. Louis, Helena and Missoula. She married her high school sweetheart, James Holder, on December 31, 1962. While in Missoula, she opened a day care center, and later had her own cleaning business.
Sonja married Wilbur "Bill" Manley on December 24, 1992, and moved to Thompson Falls, where they spent many hours remodeling their dream home. Sonja and Bill loved the outdoors and travelled to many different areas and camp sites in and around Montana. They enjoyed beauty of the Bob Marshall Wilderness area, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons in Wyoming and many other special places with friends and family. After Bill's death, she continued to live in Thompson Falls.
In 2014 Sonja moved to Polson to be with her partner, Roger Norgaard. They enjoyed many camping, hiking and horseback trips throughout some of Montana's wildest country. Each year found them travelling to some fun, warm location for a winter break.
Sonja had a special loving place in her heart for children and was a generous contributor, advocating for their health, safety and welfare. She also loved all animals and spent hours nurturing injured animals and birds, bringing them back to life, and then returning them back to nature. She was an accomplished seamstress, photographer, cake decorator, and always had her hardhat and gloves close by for those building projects, as well as always being willing to lend a helping hand and tireless in her efforts to get a job completed.
Sonja was a true friend and an exceptional caregiver, and she will be greatly missed by her loving family and many dear friends. She is survived by her partner, Roger Norgaard; three step children, Sue Manley and Mark Manley of Thompson Falls, and Mike Manley (wife Brittney) of Rathdrum, Idaho; grandchildren Alex, Ashley, Hannah, Ricky, Lily, Ollie and Abi; sister Dawn Rossai who lives in California; and half-brother Dennis Jenkins who lives in Utah. Sonja's love of sailing on Flathead Lake, around the San Juan Islands or on Canyon Ferry was made possible by her longtime friend Doug Drader of Missoula.
Sonja's ashes will be placed with Bill's, and the ashes of her beloved standard poodle and special companion, Casey, and scattered on some special mountain top around Thompson Falls.
The family wishes to express their gratitude and appreciation for the excellent care and compassion that the nurses, doctors, and staff provided for her while at St. Luke's Care Facility in Ronan. In lieu of flowers, we suggest a donation to Hospice in your area, or an animal shelter of your choice. No service is planned.