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Oshawa Funeral Home

OBITUARY

Sonia Catherine Callender

3 April, 19392 September, 2018
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CALLENDER, Sonia Catherine April 3, 1939 ~ September 2, 2018 It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Sonia Catherine Callender (nee Emmanuel). She was the loving daughter of the late Myntrude Premsie Emmanuel. Beloved wife of George Archie Callender for over 50 years. Loving and devoted mother of Céline and Colin (Susan). Dear sister of Julian (Helen) and Michael (predeceased) (Molly). She is much loved and will be dearly missed by her many cousins, nephews, nieces and many friends. Sonia loved life and loved being with friends. We have been blessed with so many devoted friends who have continued to call, have visited, prayed for her, fed her and kept in touch. Special thanks to the staff at Thorntonview Longterm Care who looked after Sonia during the last five years. We thank them for their love, kindness and commitment to her care. Thanks to Rhonda, who has worked with Sonia for over four years and to very special friends- Sonny and Sylvia, Idabel and Henry, Ciceley and Vivienne James for their help in caring for her. Visitation will be held at OSHAWA FUNERAL HOME, 847 King Street West (905-721-1234) on Sunday, September 9th from 2 – 4 and 6 – 8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will take place at HOLY FAMILY PARISH (91 Ribblesdale Dr., Whitby) on Monday, September 10th at 10:30 a.m. Interment at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorial donations to the Alzheimer’s Society will be appreciated.

Services

  • Visitation

    Sunday, 9 September , 2018

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Monday, 10 September , 2018

Memories

Sonia Catherine Callender

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Earle Thompson

10 September 2018

George Archie my neighbour and friend, we heard about the passing of Sonia and just want to extend or condolence, and let you know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
May God bless you and grant you much grace during this time of grief.
Love,
Earle and Yvonne

June Francke

6 September 2018

I was truly blessed to meet Sonia in early December 1972 as I arrived from Sri Lanka. She welcomed me with open arms and our friendship grew. We worked together at whitby psychiatric hospital and later at Oshawa General hospital. We shared a deep unconditional friendship of secrets laughter tears and golden memories. I truly treasured the precious angel she was is and will always be deep in my heart. I will always remember her cute laughter twinkle in her eyes and the charisma she had when she entered a room most eyes focused on the True Lady she was. I admired her and was truly honored and blessed to be one of her chosen friends. Rest in everlasting peace my darling precious friend until we meet again. Your sweet voice will be an asset to the choir of angels in heaven. Thank u for being my friend

Archie Callender

4 September 2018

Sonia Callender nee Emmanuel

Loving daughter of Myntrude Emmanuel; sister to Julian and Michael. Cousin to Maureen, Jimmy, Princess, Pat, Trevor, David, and Neville Emmanuel. Cousin to the Woodroffes - Denise, Tessa, Beryl Anne, Wendy, and Selwyn. Auntie to Derney, Brian, Che, Anika, Kwame, Najja, Fayola, Michelle, Samantha, Jeremy, Richard, Curtis, Maisha, Keino, Eddie, Charlene - I am sure there are others I don't remember.

Sonia's early education was at the St. Joseph's Convent, Grenada. After graduating she worked with the Grenada Government. In 1962, she migrated to the UK and completed secretarial studies at Pittman College. She returned to Grenada in 1963 and continued working with the Grenada Government, then with the Bank of Nova Scotia.

She migrated to Canada in 1965 and in 1966, married George Archie Callender. They have been married for over 50 years and have two children, Céline and Colin.
Sonia worked with the Federal Government of Canada from 1965 to 1980, then with the Ontario Provincial government until her retirement in 1999.

Sonia had many friends with whom she socialized; she loved partying and traveling and was fortunate to enjoy many years of retirement. She was a wonderful, loving mother to Céline and Colin; and a devoted, loving wife to George Archie.

She will be greatly missed.

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Biography

      When Sonia Catherine Callender walked into the room, those in her company felt energy, an enthusiastic spontaneity. This was just one example of who Sonia was and how she impacted those around her. Sonia was a clever and gregarious person who always sought out the finest attributes in other people. It was as if Sonia wanted to share all of their experiences, revel in their lives and celebrate their discoveries. Sonia was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve her well throughout her life.

       She was the daughter of Francis and Myntrude Emmanual. Sonia was raised in St. Georges, Grenada. Always at the ready with a good joke, she grew up to be quite a humorous person. While some who knew Sonia might describe her as an idealist, her friends and family understood well that Sonia was always in pursuit of life’s endless possibilities and opportunities available to her.

      Sonia was raised with two siblings. She had two older brothers, Julian and Michael. Sonia was very accepting and supportive of her family. She was perceived as the central person in her family in terms of keeping communication open between the family members. Whenever discord or tension arose within the home, Sonia was typically the member who brought about resolution and harmony. These traits served Sonia well in her adult life and, along with her wit, outgoing personality, and understanding of others, drew the admiration of many who knew her.

      As a young girl, Sonia was able to empathize and identify with a vast array of people and personality types. This quality drew her into a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Sonia was intelligent and had little trouble getting along with her peers. She was almost always the first to jump in when it came to playing games or participating in other childhood activities. Sonia took part in a variety of games. She was a Sea Ranger and a member of Legion of Mary. In her spare time she liked read and sew. Sonia had the ability to find amusement with almost any activity she and the many childhood friends she shared might discover.

      During her high school years, Sonia responded enthusiastically to any new project and was regularly in search of one adventure after another. She graduated from St. Joseph's Convent, St. Georges, Grenada in 1956. Sonia was a very good student, and generally did well in her courses. Sonia absorbed as much as she could from all of her teachers and was consistently able to tackle conceptual and abstract problems, using her imagination to master her assignments. For Sonia , school often became just an extension of playtime, thanks to her ability to turn just about anything into a game. Classmates considered Sonia a good listener, knowing that when necessary, they could go to her to discuss just about anything. Her favorite classes in high school were Latin and Scripture courses. The teacher she enjoyed learning from the most was Mother Eucarias. In addition to graduating, she was a well loved social organizer and party planner.

      Sonia did well in college, as a result of her comfort level with tackling new theories and her love of learning. She earned her Cambridge School Certificate. She also pursued Secretarial studies at Pitman College in England. Sonia was very adaptable, a quality that helped her make the transition from high school to college with little difficulty. As a result, Sonia 's problem solving skills and thirst for new knowledge almost guaranteed that she enjoyed virtually every class she took. Sonia was always in quest of new things to learn and experience

      With a talent for making acquaintances easily which in turn brought her an endless stream of friends, Sonia was very sociable and could blend without effort into any social group. Assertive and outgoing, Sonia was easy to know and demonstrated a deep concern for others. She always seemed aware of what was going on with people around her and throughout her life she made many, many friends. While growing up, some of her best friends were Anne Griffith, Claudette Arthur, Claudette Mitchell, and Margaret Fletcher. Later in life, she became friends with Rita and Pat Wade, Winnie Barnwell, Sylvia Orgias and Cecile Alves.

      On October 29, 1966 Sonia married George Reginal Archibald Callender at St. Thomas Aquinas Church of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sonia 's skill at “building bridges” played an important role in her ability to make her new family happy. She was quite sensitive towards Archie's needs, showing her constant concern and fondness. Sonia was tenderhearted and sensitive, qualities that served her well in helping to nurture her family.

      Sonia was a natural and creative parent who was willing to provide her family with all sorts of new and interesting experiences. For Sonia , parenting was a particularly enjoyable and pleasurable part of her life. Every activity, from chores to bedtime routines, became a game in the Callender home. Sonia 's skill at understanding her children's feelings, her sensitivity to their needs, and her gift for gentle persuasion enabled her to find novel solutions to any problem or situation that might crop up. Sonia was blessed with two children: a daughter, Céline, and son, Colin.

      Sonia was uplifted by new ideas and was excited by life’s possibilities, traits that made her an exceptional worker. Her primary occupation was as a federal and provincial civil servant. She was employed for 30 years by the government. Sonia was enterprising, inventive and working against deadlines seemed to energize her. Sonia had the uncanny ability to identify a win/win solution to just about any problem, possibly because of her gift for insight. Sonia 's fellow workers saw her as a supporter and a mentor.

      Because Sonia loved to have a broad variety of activities in her life, she took advantage of the opportunity to pursue numerous hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were sewing, reading, travel, socializing and party planning. Sonia facilitated prayer groups and dinner groups. Sonia had a knack for being able to multi-task in order to create time for all of her favorite pastimes. However, Sonia 's ever-present concern for others always took precedent.

      Throughout her life, Sonia was actively involved in professional and community organizations. She was compassionate, accommodating and quick to move into action. Always able to build a consensus, Sonia seemed to be the person smack dab in the middle of things, working to get things done. Those who had the opportunity to work with Sonia usually agreed that when you were involved in an organization with her, it was as entertaining as anything you could imagine. Throughout her life, Sonia was an active volunteer at Lakeridge Hospital.

      Because Sonia was constantly in the center of things and where the action was, she always seemed willing to join in and help, regularly getting involved in community activities. Sonia 's gift of planning and improvisation, along with a talent for rallying support, made her a great asset. Sonia found new ways of getting things done in order to help make just about every activity more efficient and enjoyable. Sonia was an active member of several community groups, .

      Sonia was a woman who was dedicated and devoted to her faith. She was a member of Holy Family Parish for 35 years. During that time, she was an active member of the church. She was sympathetic and able to empathize with others and she used these qualities to the fullest while working tirelessly for her beliefs.

      Sonia 's love of improvising in her daily life was a perfect fit for her enjoyment of traveling. Her favorite vacations were ones that were not planned. Traveling in a casual manor fit her personality well. Excited about seeing changing scenery and constantly looking for the enjoyment life could offer, Sonia took her vacations seriously, well, as seriously as she possibly could. Favorite vacations included trips across Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as Caribbean cruises.

      When Sonia 's retirement finally came in 1999, Sonia handled it the way she usually did. She adapted and, like everything in her life, made it satisfying. Because she was such a flexible person and able to adjust to any situation, retirement was just another enjoyable change of pace for Sonia to master. Her new life involved travel and volunteering. In retirement, she found new pleasure in home decorating, hosting and attending themed dinner parties and her prayer groups. Even in retirement, Sonia continued to stay in touch with her old friends and like always, made plenty of new ones.

      Sonia Callender passed away on September 2, 2018 at Thorntonview Long Term Care by Revera. Sonia lived with Alzheimer's dementia for over five years. She is survived by her children Céline and Colin; her husband Archie; and her brother Julian. Services were held at Holy Family Catholic Church, Whitby. Sonia was laid to rest in Resurrection Cemetery.

      There was always a certain style and inventiveness to Sonia . She was a dynamic, self-expressive person who was forever looking to celebrate the endless possibilities life had to offer. She had a knack for being clever, creative and witty, and for others, was a joy to be around. While she was often fiercely independent, it seemed as if many others looked to Sonia Callender for inspiration, leadership, wisdom and even courage. Sonia was always more than willing to share life’s experiences with her loved ones.