Delores Yvonne Christoffersen Sondeno

Delores Yvonne Christoffersen Sondeno

December 1933 ~ December 2020

Delores was born on December 28, 1933.  The third child of four born to Holger and Elsie Christoffersen, Delores grew up in Turlock and attended the local schools including Turlock High School.  She enjoyed playing basketball, ping pong with her dad, and archery in the basement of the “girl’s gym”.

She met Stanley Rodmen Sondeno, and though he was older they knew there was something real.  Stan attended San Jose State and then went into the Air Force before marrying Miss Christoffersen.  He hitch-hiked home for the wedding, but he made it and they were married on October 3, 1953.  After a short stint in Roswell, New Mexico they moved to San Jose, where Stan taught at Camden High School and Delores did books for the Ford Dealership.  In 1958 a little boy, Denis Lynn, was added to the family.

Within a year the family moved back to Turlock.  Stan was the first director of the Columbia Pool in Turlock, initiating his aquatic legacy.  This was also the year that Stan started the Sondeno Swim School, in which Delores was a capable instructor.   Delores and Stan taught hundreds of Turlock children to swim.  A baby girl, Sonja Dee, the one big brother prayed, for arrived on April 25, 1963.

Both Delores and Stan were very active in the Bethel Temple Church Community.  Both taught Sunday school for different age groups throughout the years.  Delores was a very loyal, active member in the WM (Women’s Missions).  She helped put on luncheons, holiday events, craft sale bazaars, and more.  She used models to design the best flow of traffic and regularly arranged all the flowers for the events.   She and her sister Norma were often the hostesses of 5th Quarters, where the high school kids from church would come over for food and fun after football games.

Delores did the books for Sunsports for decades. She tracked every penny.  She also did the ledgers for her father’s dairy, Scandia Village and of course for the swim school, and her and Stan.  She was a buyer for Sunsports and often accompanied Denis to Ski Trade Shows.  Delores walked miles keeping up with her son at these Ski shows.  Stan often brought home antiques or ideas for new businesses, and one day he brought home Joseph, a young African man who needed a family to sign for him so he could stay in California and go to school. So Delores took on another young person to nurture.  She spent her free time going to water polo games and swimming meets to watch her kids, and later her grandkids, always with a full ice chest of goodies that she shared with anyone around her.  She always had a score sheet in her hand.  Once the official water polo stat sheets were so water-damaged they were illegible.  Sonja called her mom to get the accurate scores and reported them to the paper.   She often had to referee between her two kids, the ref, and the coach during dinner.  She handled it with calm wisdom just like everything else.

Delores was able to stay home, surrounded by great memories and people that truly cared for her, thanks to her wonderful caregivers.  She had a quiet strength and great tenacity in her faith.

Delores is survived by her son Denis L. Sondeno and his wife Tamara, and her daughter Sonja D. Sondeno Raynes and her husband Gregory; her four grandchildren Haley Elsa Raynes, Cameron Sondeno, Natasha Sondeno, and Shannon Sondeno; her sister Norma Green and her brother Larry Christoffersen.

Visitation from 4pm – 6pm on Monday, December 28, 2020 at Allen Mortuary. Graveside Service at 2pm on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at Turlock Memorial Park.

9 Comments

  • Mary Lou A Cederlind December 19, 2020 5:38 pm

    Delores was a special lady, she always had a smile when she would see you. A great christian lady. Went to their pool for lessons for a few years. One of my sons & myself. I love the Swedish merchandise they had at Sun Sports. She will be missed.
    Praying for her family.
    Love, Mary Lou Cederlind

  • Stan Gustafson December 20, 2020 10:12 pm

    Delores and Stan were special people. Very giving and sharing. Although it has been years since we have seen each other, we appreciate the swim lessons for our two kids. I also appreciate the fun times we had growing up at Bethel Temple. Gods blessings on all the family.

  • Alan & Kathy Smith December 21, 2020 2:12 am

    We are so sorry for the loss of your mother. She was a wonderful part of our children’s swim lessons.
    Our deepest sympathy to the entire family.

  • Amanda Saugstad December 21, 2020 5:01 am

    Stan and Dolores both taught me how to swim in the early 80’s. I’ll always remember her as a fierce woman who wouldn’t take no for answer…even when I didn’t want to put my head underwater. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. You will be missed.

  • Kuljit and Hark Bains December 21, 2020 5:52 am

    Denis , I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. She was an amazing lady with so much energy and spunk. When my boys took lessons, she was in the pool right there with you giving lessons. Sending you lots of love and strength. May she Rest In Peace

  • Danny Yee December 21, 2020 3:25 pm

    Denis, I’m so sorry for your loss, your Mother was an amazing person, she was involved with so many personal activities, especially teaching everyone how to swim, I know, I’m one of them…sending my condolences, love and prayers to you and your Family.

  • Glenda Hoxie December 24, 2020 5:37 am

    So sorry for your loss. Your mother was a precious woman of God. Even after having health issues she opened her pool and home to our church for a baptism. Always smiling! Such a blessing. Prayering for your family.

  • Nancy Rapp December 28, 2020 7:10 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have such sweet memories of your mom. My children and grandchildren learned to swim from your family, but your mom taught me how to swim when my children were very young. What a sweet mom you had. Praying for your family as you celebrate her life together.

  • Betty Powell Brown December 30, 2020 5:13 pm

    We were so sorry to hear of your loss. Delores was a good friend from Turlock High School and we had kept in touch many years. We will miss her Christmas cards each year. Delores was a very special friend. We visited her and Stan when they were in Roswell, NM, and San Jose before they moved back to Turlock and we always looked forward to our time with them when we had 1952 class reunions.

Leave a Remembrance