Sonia was born in Minot, North Dakota on August 28th, 1924, to John and Louise (Lillesve) Husby, the youngest of four children. The family lived in both Bismarck and Finley, North Dakota before eventually moving to McIntosh, Minnesota, where, according to her, she was a good student, despite “enduring two years of Latin and the ‘disaster’ that was chemistry.” English was her favorite subject, and she graduated from high school in 1942.
Following high school, with the nation mobilizing for war, Sonia went to Seattle to work in the shipyards for a couple years, after which she returned to Minnesota and eventually enrolled at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. Following graduation, she found a job teaching shorthand and typing at the high school in Thief River Falls, MN, which is where she soon met her husband-to-be, George Wilbur Bale. After a courtship of two years, George and Sonia were married in McIntosh on June, 22nd 1952, and in 1953 moved to Alexandria, MN, where George began teaching mathematics in the middle school, and Sonia retired to be a mother and homemaker for her four children, beginning with John in 1954, followed by Ryan in 1955, Gene in 1958, and Lisa in 1963.
When the children were old enough to handle themselves, Sonia re-entered the teaching profession, in 1968, at the Alexandria Technical & Community College, where she taught until both she and her husband eventually retired in 1981. Upon retirement, Sonia and George then began spending their winters in Tucson, AZ, which became an annual migration that continued for over 25 years. During that time, they also enjoyed numerous additional trips around the world, including visits to South Africa, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, and Russia.
Subsequent to her husband’s death in April 2009, Sonia made one last “retirement” and comfortably settled in as one of the very first residents at the newly completed Grand Arbor Senior Living Center in Alexandria, which is where she lived happily until taking her last breath on the morning of October 6th, 2020.
Sonia was an active member of First Lutheran Church in Alexandria since first moving to the community in 1953. She sang in the church choir, served on the church council and other boards, and both volunteered and contributed in multiple ways throughout her many years. All four children were baptized and confirmed in the church.
Sonia was an extraordinarily kind, generous and good-natured woman. She had a wonderful dry sense of humor; enjoyed music of all kinds; had a beautiful voice (singing in the Concordia College Choir under the early baton of its renowned conductor, Paul J. Christiansen); loved playing card games of all kinds, and was a more-than-adequate bridge player; a devoted, passionate (and long-suffering) fan of all the Minnesota pro and college sports teams; a great cook and an even greater baker; always a tastefully “smart” dresser; and, of course, so much more than space or time allows!!
Preceding Sonia in death were her parents, one brother, two sisters, and her husband.
She is survived by her four children: John Bale, from Minneapolis, MN; Ryan Bale, from Arlington, VA; Gene (Vivien) Bale, from Alexandria, MN; and Lisa (Kevin) Chamness, also from Arlington, VA; plus eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren - with a third on the way.
The family requests that any memorials in celebration of her long and fruitful life can be made in her name directly to First Lutheran Church in Alexandria, MN.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2020, 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home. Private family funeral will be on Friday, October 16, 2020, at 11:00 AM and will be live streamed.
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