Sonja D. Bruening

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:33 pm

Sonja D. Bruening, 79, of Decorah, passed away peacefully Monday, June 12, 2017, at her home in Decorah. Visitation is Friday, June 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah. A private family burial is at St. Benedict Catholic Cemetery in Decorah.

Sonja Dianne Bruening was born Nov. 1, 1937, in Decorah, to Wessly and Virginia (Ramlo) Berg. She attended Decorah Schools and graduated from Decorah High School with the class of 1955. Sonja married Lowell “Buzz” Bruening Sept. 13, 1958, at St. Benedict Catholic Church and became a military wife. They were stationed throughout the U.S. including Texas and New Hampshire before returning to Decorah in 1967. To this union four children were born: De Layne, James, Gretchen and Wade.

Sonja had a long, fulfilled life and was the glue and caretaker of her family. She truly enjoyed and spoiled her kids, grandkids and great-grandson and was nicknamed “Grandma Purse” by a few of them, as they knew she always had something in her purse for them. Besides raising her four children, she enjoyed dancing, bowling and was known for her gardening, her love for the outdoors, bird watching, collecting elephant figurines and antiques. She delivered newspapers in her younger motherhood years and she and Buzz ran “The Maid Rite” in Decorah in the 1990s. She was known to her family as “Molly B.”

Sonja is survived by her four children: De Layne Bruening, James (Denise) Bruening, Gretchen Bruening and Wade Bruening, all of Decorah; four grandchildren: Tauren Gess-Bruening, Sarah (Travis) Hagensick, Maxwell and Owen Bruening; two step-grandchildren, Lexy (Ryan) Young and Lindsay Lloyd; one great-grandson, Joseph Gess-Bruening; one sister, Cheryl Novak, of Spillville; brother and sister-in-law, Duane and Eileen Bruening; sister-in-law, Loma Carlson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lowell “Buzz” Bruening, Feb. 15, 2017; her parents, Wessly and Virginia Berg; one sister-in-law, Beverly White; and two brothers-in-law, Fritz Carlson and Tim Novak.

Sonja would have been pleased if memorials were sent to St. Benedict Church Capital Campaign, 307 W. Main Street, Decorah, IA 52101.

Online condolences may be made at

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