Beloved Mother, Wife, Sister and Grandmother, Sonja Susana Eleonora Buhl Metcalfe, 88, passed away peacefully at her home in Holladay, UT on March 8th. Mom was born in Montreal, Quebec Canada on April 7th, 1931 to George Max and Johanna Margaret Blombach Buhl Von Christenhoven. Mom was sealed (married) in the Salt Lake City, Utah LDS temple to Derek F. Metcalfe on November 8th 2002, who predeceased her on May 14th, 2015.
While in Canada, Mom enjoyed growing up and associating with LDS church missionaries including Neil S. Maxwell who remained a life-long friend, and also knew Ezra Taft Benson when he was first counsellor in the bishopric of their Montreal Quebec ward. Mom and her family worked for a furrier named Gilbert Ayers in rural Pine Hill Canada, and sold furs to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Mom and her siblings rode in a horse drawn buggy or sleigh (depending on the season) to a one room schoolhouse. Mom was tri-lingual, speaking German, French, and English fluently.
With the help and sponsorship of Lynn S. Richards of Salt Lake City, UT, Mom migrated to the United States in 1949 with her family, including her father, George and her mother, Johanna, and her brother Gunther, who had migrated from Germany, along with her sister Anny, who was born in New Brunswick Province. Crossing over in Niagara Falls, they initially settled in Holladay, UT and worked on a mink farm for Carl Buehner. Mom then married Clyde Laverne Buxton and lived in Pocatello, Idaho. She and Verne adopted her two sons, Steve and Brad. Mom then returned to live in Sandy, UT, after being divorced, where she raised her two boys as a dedicated and hard-working single mother. She worked as a checker for two Safeway stores, one in Midvale and later in Salt Lake.
She remarried in 1966 to Russel Lakin, an appliance salesman at Granite Furniture Company in Sugarhouse. They lived on 25th East in Sugarhouse, across the street from Beacon Heights, along with her sons, Steve and Brad, as well as Russ’s son and daughter Steve and Shauna. Russ and Sonja later divorced in ~1993. While there, she worked for Mancini & Groesbeck as a sales manager calling on grocery stores and warehouses all along the Wasatch front, then later, as a checker for Mr. J’s grocery store on 3900 South.
Over this time, growing up with Mom, we spent many halcyon days with her, our cousins, and her sister, Aunt Anny and uncle Kenny Steinfeldt. During the summers we worked on Aunt Anny’s and Grandma and Grandpa Buhl’s mink farm in Coos Bay, Oregon. My what a time we had.
Mom was always deeply involved in church activities in the Relief Society. She loved to craft and create all forms of art. She was involved in “activity days” in Relief Society for what seemed like ten years, teaching and creating. We are blessed with many wonderful examples of her artwork and crafts that she created over our entire lives. Mom was also a wonderful dog mom. She raised and loved: Boomer, Max the Dog, Dehli, Mickey, Bungie, Tina, Buttons, Fritzy, and Skippy, and surely many more beyond that. Also the neighbor dogs who would come by her house for treats. (Charlie, we’re thinking of you.) When Boomer, (her miniature schnauzer) passed away a half a year ago, it really broke her heart, as he was her closest companion at that time, and besides, he really, really needed her.
When Mom and Dad (Derek Metcalfe) met and fell in love in their 70’s, they joined together two families that had grown into adulthood separately, but were knitted together as one in the gospel of Jesus Christ. She and we had great fun observing the Metcalfe and Pacini and Whitchurch fun family antics which started so memorably at their wedding luncheon, when they sang “I Am My Own Grandpa.” What a tribe! We also really enjoyed learning the Haka, and participating in many traditions of New Zealand. Dad brought all of us closer, and Mom cheerfully and tenderly cared and cooked for all of the various family groups and attended the many family events and traditions. My, what a wonderful period it was in our lives! Mom and Dad lived initially at NorthPoint Estates in the upper avenues of Salt Lake City, then later moved into their new home on the hills
When Ye Are in the Service of Your Fellow Beings Ye Are Only in the Service of Your God. immediately below the Draper, UT temple.
Mom’s side of the family, Steve and I (Brad), will forever have love in our hearts for Dad’s side of the family. We learned how to live the gospel by sitting at Dad’s feet, receiving his inspired wisdom, and wondering in awe at the wholesome and energetic level of activity and cohesion that existed in their group. After blessing our family, Dad performed the last temple ordinance of his earthly existence, when he sealed many of our family members together and connected them with him for eternity, On April 11-2015, in the Salt Lake temple, just a month before he passed away. We are so grateful to be sealed together for eternity, and look forward to the day that we will once again join Mom and Dad on the other side of the veil.
Mom is survived by her sons, Steve Buxton (Holli), Bountiful, Brad Buxton (Ashli), Holladay, and her dear sister, Anny Steinfeldt, Goldendale, WA, stepchildren, Wayne Metcalfe (Kathy), Bountiful, Julie Pacini (Craig), Rome, Italy, Rebecca Whitchurch (Thomas), Alpine, Brent Metcalfe (Erin), Jonesboro, AR, 6 direct grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, plus (at last count) 35 step grandchildren and 54 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by her husband, Derek, parents, George and Johanna, and brother Gunther Buhl.
Mom wishes to thank her wonderful friends, neighbors, ward members, bishoprics, and Relief Society, for their constant love, affection, companionship and care, along with her great home teachers. You know who you are, and you serve as examples for all. Also, in particular, Loa Haslam, for her kind service, and her neighbors Carly, Rachel, Dorothy, and the Kimballs (for bringing over their kids.)
All funeral Services services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Holladay 4th ward at 4917 South Viewmont Street in Holladay, UT 84117
Friends and family may attend the 1st Viewing on Friday night, March 13th from 6-8 p.m. or the viewing immediately preceding the funeral which will be held from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday morning, March 14th. The funeral will be held between 10-11 a.m., internment at Holladay Memorial Cemetery from 11-12 noon, followed by a luncheon sponsored by the Relief Society at the ward house between noon and 1:30 p.m.
Jenkins & Soffe Mortuary at 4760 State St, Murray, UT 84107 will receive flowers up until 3 PM on Friday, March 13th and will transport them to the ward house.