We are here to serve you.
Call 831-424-0311

Sonja Rawson Obituary

Sonja  W.  Rawson
Sonja W. Rawson

August 10, 1930 - October 21, 2017
Born in Germany
Resided in Salinas, CA
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Flowers


Sonja W.E. Rawson peacefully passed away October 21, 2017, with her family at her bedside. Sonja was married to her beloved husband George L. Rawson for 50 years until George became ill and passed away on October 17, 2005. They met at a lake in Berlin, Germany, shortly after World War II. George was in the US Army and Sonja was working as an assembler of radio vacuum tubes at Telefunken in West Berlin.

Sonja is survived by her son, George Everett Rawson, daughter in law Laurie Rawson; daughter Linda Costello, son in law Larry Costello; grandchildren Matthew, Alexis, Lauren, Everett, and Joshua.

Sonja was born August 10, 1930 in East Berlin and as a teenager had to endure the terrible reality of war. In the midst of war she spent many hungry and cold days in bomb shelters or wandering the streets in search of food. On one occasion her closest friends opted to venture out into the city in search of food and were all tragically killed on a subway train platform in a surprise bomb raid. Sonja shared amazing stories of her and her family’s struggles to survive during and after the war. She recanted a time when she and her girlfriends were making their way out of Berlin in search of food when they came upon a farmhouse. Upon reaching the front door they turned and ran after being greeted by a Russian soldier. Sonja was not able to get away quickly enough and he was able to grab her arm and pull her inside. He proceeded to set a table and prepared a nice dinner for her. Sonja asked “Why are you doing this?” He removed a photograph from his pocket and said “You remind me of my daughter.” Sonja’s encounter with this Russian soldier ended on a good note and after dinner he permitted her to leave on her own free will. Her girlfriends were amazed she was able to reunite with them unharmed.

George and Sonja were married in Berlin in 1955 where they made their first home and had their first child, George E. Rawson. A year later, George Senior got his orders to return to the States. They reported to Ft. Benning, Georgia where Sonja studied and received her US citizenship while George Senior continued to serve in the Army. In the years that followed, the Army reassigned them to Ft. Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma where Linda Rawson was born in 1960. In 1966 the Army again moved them to Fort Fitzsimmons in Aurora, Colorado, and then back to Frankfurt and Heidelberg, Germany, from 1968 -1971. Finally in 1971, they settled down back in the United States after George Senior was ordered to Fort Ord in Salinas, California.

In 1974, Sonja applied for a job at the newly built Emporium Capwell Store at Northridge Mall in Salinas. Despite having no employment history she managed to get hired after mentioning she had made the beautiful dress that she was wearing. She had sewed her dress with one of those back in the day famous Singer sewing machines. For the next 21 years she faithfully worked as a sales representative in the better dress department, often helping excited brides select and be fitted for their wedding dress. During her tenure at the Emporium, Sonja received numerous awards and recognition for her hard work, commitment, and exemplary courteous service to her customers.
Upon retiring from the Emporium Sonja continued to enjoy life working in her garden and volunteering as a server at the John Steinbeck restaurant. She also happily volunteered her services from time to time at Carmel community events, working with her son George who at that time was the Carmel Police Chief.

Sonja kept an immaculate and beautifully decorated home. Her house was the destination for the entire family nearly every holiday though the years. Sonja was especially proud of her grandchildren and never forgot a birthday. She was a regular attendee of Compass Church in Salinas.

Sonja will be cherished by her family and always remembered for her great character of love, compassion, and devotion to family. Her family prays she is now in a peaceful place where she will never again fear the hardships of war or physical pain of disease. Now, she can rest in peace knowing the virtue of God’s grace.

Visitation will be held from 11:00amto 12:00pm Friday, October 27, 2017 at Struve & Laporte Funeral Chapel, 41 West San Luis Street, Salinas, CA 93901.
In Lieu of flowers donation may be sent to Alzheimer's Association, 919 N Michigan Ave Ste 1000,Chicago, IL 60611




Struve and Laporte Funeral Home
41 West San Luis Street
Salinas, CA US 93901
Friday, October 27, 2017
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Struve and Laporte Funeral Home
41 West San Luis Street
Salinas, CA US 93901
Friday, October 27, 2017
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Alzheimer's Association
919 N Michigan Ave Ste 1000
Chicago, IL 60611
The purpose of the Alzheimer's Association is to provide support for the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association.