Dorothy Ann Sonksen, of Cherokee, passed away in the early hours of December 25, 2022, at the age of 81.
Dorothy was born on July 22, 1941 in Mitchell, SD to Gideon and Rachel Schnabel and was the second born of six children. In grade school, her family relocated to Iowa after her father found work on area farms. Growing up she attended the Cleghorn and Marcus schools and went on to spend the majority of her adult life in and around Cherokee. In 1961, she married Gary Sonksen, of Cherokee, and together they had six kids- Rhonda, Randy, Kevin, Jeff, Moni, and Mike.
For many years, Dorothy was a friendly face behind the bar at establishments around town where she was known as “Dort” to the locals. In the 1990’s, she owned and operated Dort’s Bar and later went on to retire. Her personality was a perfect fit for bartending as she was a hard worker, fast on her feet, and loved to socialize. She had just enough sass and was known for her gift of gab. She could carry a conversation with anyone through her warmth, storytelling, and wit. In recent years, she’d be known to spend hours on the phone chatting it up with family and friends.
She had a passion for cooking and was always on the hunt for recipes. She was known for her chili and famous for her potato salad. She enjoyed gardening, especially flowers and vegetables. She canned every season with pickles and salsa being her specialty. She was a devoted fan of Elvis and recently became infatuated with Bruce Springsteen. She grew attached to her iPad where she’d listen to music, color pictures, and connect with others. If you didn’t find her on the phone, you’d find her on Facebook.
She lived her life in humble ways and always with just the right amount of sarcasm and humor. Dorothy may have required little, but she lived fully. Her family and friends were everything. She deeply loved her children and was a proud grandmother and great grandmother. She will be missed by anyone who knew her.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents, Gideon and Rachel Schnabel, infant son, Randy, her older brother, Bob Schnabel, and son-in-law Bob Hurd.
Survivors include her children Rhonda (Theron) Ernster of St. Anthony, MN, Kevin (Tammy) Sonksen of Aurelia, IA, Jeff (Debbie) Sonksen of Columbia Heights, MN, Moni Hurd of Spirit Lake, IA, and Mike (Dawn) Sonksen of Eagle Lake, MN; 9 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren; her brother Ron (Sandy) Schnabel of Inver Grove Heights, MN, and sisters Darlene (Randy) Reuter of Sioux Falls, SD, Loretta Ruhland of Hastings, MN, and Sherry Schnabel of St. Paul, MN.
A special thank you to the Cherokee Regional MedicalCenter and Hospice, MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, and Careage Hills in Cherokee for helping her fight a good fight and for the care and compassion given to her and her family.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 30, 2022, at the Meriden Evangenlical Free Church, Meriden, Iowa.
Pastor Larry Ostercamp
Public visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, with family present from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday night at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee.
"Just As I Am"
"In The Garden"
"He Leadeth Me"
Oak Hill Cemetery
At a later date.