Sonja Heinze Coryat

September 30, 1930March 9, 2021

Sonja Heinze Coryat, 90, of Conway, Arkansas, and formerly of Oneonta, New York, passed away peacefully on March 9, 2021, in Conway. She was born on September 30, 1930 in Queens, New York, the daughter of Gustav and Ernestine (Clausen) Heinze.

A Korean War Veteran, “Sunny,” as she was affectionately known, served in the US Air Force as a Radio Mechanic and later a Public Relations Officer in the Pentagon.

A gifted writer, Sonja wrote a syndicated consumer-interest column, “The Curious Shopper,” for King Features from 1983–2000, which appeared in over 200 newspapers nationwide. Her driving force in later years was to have her memoir, Sunny: Ward of the State, read by every person possible. She gave a copy to everyone she met. She and her son Karl searched out roadside Little Free Libraries and placed her book in many of them.

An animal lover, Sunny was fiercely independent. She was artistic, painting and working in pastels. She also loved to cook and had an eclectic taste in music and art. Of all her accomplishments, she was most proud of raising five strong, smart children.

She is survived by her daughter Kim Coryat of Conway, Arkansas; her son John Coryat of Memphis, Tennessee; her daughter Laura Coryat of Rhinebeck, New York; her son Jim Coryat of Mora, New Mexico; and her son Karl Coryat of Conway, Arkansas; grandchildren Francesca Harris of West Boylston, Massachusetts, and Catherine Coryat of Memphis, Tennessee; several great grandchildren; her brother, Gustav Heinze of Tiburon, California; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and her faithful dog, Jackie.

She was predeceased by her parents; her sisters Margaret Heinze and Wallie Heinze Cower Romig; her ex-husband Henry G. Coryat Jr. of Rhinebeck, New York; her beloved dog, Tut, and many other pets.

A graveside memorial service with military honors will take place at the Glenwood Cemetery in Oneonta.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Sunny’s memory are asked to be made to Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (, Super Heroes In Ripped Jeans in Oneonta, New York (, or to an animal-welfare organization of your choice.

To leave a condolence for the family online, please visit

Arrangements are by the Lester R Grummons Funeral Home of Oneonta.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Sonja Heinze Coryat

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Sherlee Rathbone

March 24, 2021

I did not know this lovely lady, however, I am inspired by her obituary. She sounds like a noble lady, a patriot, and a caring and loving mother, grandmother and friend. I am very interested in her memoir and hope to find a copy on the internet. My condolences to the family.

Rich Cower

March 23, 2021

Sonya gave two things which helped change my life. When I was 9 years old she gave me her 10 speed bike; a beautiful, shiny, red Raleigh that made my world much larger. I rode that bike all over Otsego County, it became my personal escape vehicle. At 12 she gave me thefirst book I ever owned, "Studs Lonigan" by James Farrell. It sparked an interest in literature that is still with me today.
I still have the book. Sonya was avery generous person. She will be missed.