Sonja Marie Jacobson was born in St Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., on February 26, 1950. Sonja began her relationship with the Lord as an infant when she was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Chatfield, Minn. Sonja attended elementary school in Lake Wilson and Chatfield Minn., graduating from Chosen Valley High School (Chatfield) in 1968, and from St Mary’s School of Practical Nursing in 1969.
On December 13, 1969, she married Thomas M. Bernard at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Chatfield, Minn., with Father Grulkowski from St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Pastor Stinger both officiating; this was very unique because theirs was the first joint clergy wedding at St Paul’s Lutheran Church.
In Rochester, Minn., on January 12, 1977, their son Abram Thomas Bernard joined their family. In Ocala, Fla., on August 23, 1983, their son Zachariah Thomas Bernard joined and completed their family. Sonja’s biggest joy in life was her sons and her grandson Elias Zachariah Bernard. Sonja passed on her strong faith in God, as well as her loving and kind heart to her children and grandson.
Over the 53 years Tom and Sonja were married, they lived in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado and Georgia. Sonja worked in hospitals, private medical practices and care centers over her nursing career. Sonja was a loving nurse, always striving to care for patients’ mental health as well as their physical health. Sonja was a great resource for many when there was a medical or health question or concern, she loved the medical field and was continually learning and was willing to listen.
Whenever Sonja saw a need for a neighbor or friend, she very kindly and generously shared her baking and cooking to mark any occasion or simply because she loved her kitchen time, and giving truly filled her heart with joy.
Sonja is survived by her loving husband Tom, son Zach, grandson Elias, Laura Davis (Elias’s mom), sisters Pamela Jo Peters (Robert) Peters, Vicki (Michael) Cramer, and Suzanne Thieke, sisters-in-law Sheryle Jacobson, Patricia (Chuck) Kinch, Sue Bernard, brothers-in-law Jeff Bernard, Chuck (Rosie) Bernard as well as several nieces and nephews. Also Sonja’s devoted Boston Terrier, KiKi, who stayed by her side daily.
Sonja was preceded in death by her son Abram Thomas Bernard, her parents Luella and Marvin Jacobson, brother Jerry W. Jacobson, father- and mother-in-law Melvin and Rosella Bernard, brother-in-law Carroll Bernard and her grandparents.
Sonja reached to join her Heavenly Father’s extended hand and went to her eternal home on February 3, 2023, following a six-year courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis.
Hospice and Sonja’s family lovingly cared for her in her last days. Sonja said they were great nurses, and we say they definitely learned from the best!
Sonja’s family will honor her request to be cremated and not have a funeral.
Shared from “The Garden” by Jimmy Scott:
“If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, we’d walk right up to heaven and bring you back again.
It broke our hearts to lose you but you did not go alone, for part of us went with you the day God called you home.
God looked around his garden and found an empty place then he looked down upon the earth and he saw your precious face.
He put his arms around you and he lifted you to rest, God’s garden must be beautiful he always takes the best.
We knew that you were suffering – we knew you were in pain,
We knew you’d never get well on this earth again.
So he closed your weary eyes and he whispered ‘Peace be Thine’ then took you up to heaven so gentle and so kind.”