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Joan E. Sonneland

May 6, 1923 — Jan. 29, 2018

Joan Elizabeth Sonneland passed away peacefully at her Vancouver home Jan. 29, 2018. She was 94 years old. Joan was born May 6, 1923, in the village of Bracon Ash, Norfolk, England, to William and Maud Canham, the youngest of eight siblings.

During World War II, Joan served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service and it was during this time, while stationed in Milford Haven, Wales, that she met the love of her life, Roger Sonneland. Joan and Roger were married on April 12, 1946. They went on to enjoy 67 wonderful years together.

In 1946, Joan immigrated to America and she and Roger spent their early married years in St. Helens, Ore., where they raised their two children, Diana and Roger “Sonny,” before eventually settling in Longview.

Throughout the years, Joan and Roger embarked on many adventures together and also shared a love of animals, which saw the family always in the company of various pets that were much loved and enjoyed.

Though she lived in America for 71 years, Joan remained stoically English, and believed a good cup of tea could fix almost anything! She had a love of gardening and her beautiful flowers, usually in shades of purple, were admired by many.

Later in life, Joan and Roger were fortunate enough to spend their last 18 years together, living on the banks of the Columbia River. They shared many happy times among family, friends and neighbors.

Above all, Joan loved her family and took great joy in her grandchildren and later her great-grandchildren. She was a much adored mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, as well as a cherished friend to many.

Joan is survived by her children, Diana Mulligan (Charles), and Roger Sonneland (Jude); her grandchildren, Jeff Gibbons (Renae), Jana Schwarz (Nathan), Magnolia Sonneland (Daniel), Breeze Sonneland, Simon Sonneland, Ana Donald (Lachie), Freya Hogarth (Kim), Connie Mulligan, Sandy Mulligan (Beverly), Karen Quarre (Steve), and Joe Mulligan; and her 15 great-grandchildren.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved husband.

A small, private memorial service was held. Memorial contributions may be made to one of the following organizations Joan supported: Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, P.O. Box 5593, Bend, OR 97708 (; or the Humane Society for SW Washington, 1100 NE 192nd Ave., Vancouver, WA 98684 (

the life of: Joan E. Sonneland
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