Sonja C. Eilander Johnson, 80, of Newton died on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Skiff Medical Center. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. The family will greet friends from 12 p.m. until the time of service and again after the service with a coffee time on Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorials to Sonja’s family may be left at the funeral home.
Sonja, the daughter of Dorthie (Ross) Leeper, was born on August 11, 1937 in El Reno, Oklahoma. She grew up and attended schools in Oklahoma, Texas, and Iowa. On November 2, 1955, Sonja was united in marriage with Garrett J. Eilander in Everman, Texas. They made their home in Newton from 1955-1971 where they owned and operated Eilander Moving and Storage. In 1971, the family moved to Montezuma. Following Garrett’s death in 1979, Sonja was married to Robert L. Johnson on May 17, 1981 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. They enjoyed traveling and after retirement enjoyed being snowbirds in Apache Junction, Arizona. After Bob’s death in 1996, Sonja lived in Apache Junction year round until moving back to Newton over 6 years ago. Sonja was a talented musician and enjoyed playing the piano, organ, and accordion by ear. She also liked to fish, paint and crochet.
Those left to celebrate Sonja’s life are her children, Lesa (Kenny) Smith of Montezuma, Lori Adams of Des Moines, Tammy (John) Ward of Newton, John (Heather) Eilander of Montezuma, Mark (Missy) Eilander of Montezuma, Matthew (Lynda) Eilander of Newton, and Anna (Chris) Manning of Newton; 14 grandchildren; her 10 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; and her brother, Ross (Deloris) Leeper of Tipton. She was preceded in death by her mother; two husbands; and a grandson, Brandon Smith.