Sonia DuBois, 90, mother, master cook, and book lover, passed away Wednesday, February 15, at her home in Fitchburg. She was born October 5, 1926, in Canora, Saskatchewan, to Kornelius and Elizabeth Kirstiuk. Kornelius was a Ukrainian Orthodox Minister, who brought Sonia's four older siblings first to Canada, then to the United States to escape religious persecution after the Ukraine was occupied by Romania. Sonia and her sister, Helen, were born in Canada. They moved to Minneapolis when Sonia was 2, then to Chicago when she was around 8 years old.
Like many families, they scraped by during the Depression. In high school, Sonia suffered repeated bouts of appendicitis. Some of her older sisters were working and offered to help pay for surgery, but her parents were too proud to accept the help, thinking they would come up with the money somehow. In the end, Sonia had to have emergency surgery and her sisters helped pay for it.
Sonia graduated from Wells High School. She and some friends went to Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin, where she met a nice young man with a beard named Dale. They started dating, and were married on July 2, 1949, in Baraboo. Dale had grown that beard for the Centennial celebration, but shaved it off the next day. Sonia spent many decades teasing him, wanting to see his beard come back.
Sonia and Dale lived in Madison for many years, raising their son Robert and daughter Kristi in a quiet neighborhood near Tenny Park. Dale worked for Gisholt Machine Company, and Sonia worked part-time, including a number of years in the library of Marquette Elementary School. They moved to Fond du Lac in 1971, when Dale was transferred to the Giddings and Lewis plant there. They later moved to Janesville where Dale retired in 1987. Dale and Sonia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1999. After Dale passed away from cancer in 2007, Sonia moved in with Robert, and his wife, Rose, in Cooksville. She moved to Fitchburg in 2014 to live with her niece, Bonnie Murphy, where Bonnie and her daughter, Betty Hubble, provided professional home health care.
Sonia and Dale built a summer cabin near Lake Tomahawk. They loved taking road trips to see national parks, historic landmarks, and to see Sonia's birthplace in Canada. They loved spending time with their wonderful friends.
Sonia was a masterful cook, though the only thing she ever bragged about was cracking four eggs at a time, two in each hand. She enjoyed bowling and golfing, and was a voracious reader, especially of mystery novels. She liked arts and crafts and loved classical music, so our home was always filled with beautiful sights and sounds. She adored the pet dogs and cats that shared her life over the years. She tried to keep track of all her extended family and friends, until her memory started fading during her last few years of life.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Dale, and her five siblings and their spouses, Walt Kirstiuk (Ruth), Olga Datisman (Harold), Nadia Hartlage (Gil), Mary Seminerio (Louis), and Helen Forsberg (Gunnar).
Sonia is survived by her son, Robert DuBois (Rose) of Cooksville, daughter Kristi DuBois (Bert Lindler) of Missoula, Montana, niece, Bonnie Murphy of Fitchburg, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held later in the spring.
The family would like to extend their special thanks to Bonnie and Betty for the special loving care they provided Sonia. The family asks that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the hospice, Home Health Care United, or to the charity of your choice.
Please share your memories of Sonia.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
Sonia was my Mom's baby sister. I stayed with Sonia, Dale and "the kids" when I first moved to Madison after my high school graduation, until I found a job [with help from Sonia] and an apartment I could afford. Sonia was like a big sister to me then. I will always remember her laughter and great sense of humor. She was my Matron of Honor in my wedding - and talked of the fun she had then well into her late 80s.
To the family of Sonia DuBois: I am so very sorry for your loss. I did not know your mother personally, I knew her daughter, Kristi many years ago and I can only conclude Sonia was a wonderful mother to have such a kind daughter. My heart goes out to you. God Bless.
To the family of Sonia and Dale
I'm sorry to read of your mother's passing. She was one of my favorites for a long time. I enjoyed our many appointments throughout the past 35 years. May she now rest in peace till we meet again. Mark Karrels DDS Janesville
Dale and Sonia
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