Valdez pioneer, Wanda Virginia Day Sontag, died Dec. 1, 2010, at her family home in Anchorage. She was 95 years old.
A Celebration of Life will be held Dec. 19, 2010, at the Valdez Civic Center at 3 p.m. Friends and family who wish to make contributions in her name may do so to the Valdez Providence Medical Long-Term Care Unit and/or the Valdez Museum.
Mrs. Sontag was born on June 17, 1915, to Andrew S. Day Sr. and Oma Belle Payne Day on the family sheep ranch near the small town of Hinsdale, Mont. When she was 7 the family left Montana, continuing west, arriving in Valdez in May 1927. Her father later homesteaded several hundred acres (Dayville), building fishing boats, a sawmill and fish cannery, which became the largest fishery in the (then) territory of Alaska. Mrs. Sontag grew up in a large, devoted family as the oldest daughter of seven siblings.
Her family said: "During her life, Wanda was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Her large caring heart, kind soul, and affectionate sweet smile touched everyone she met.
"Wanda's 95 years gave her many exciting adventures. She had several careers starting with keeping the books and payroll for the family, numerous years as the proprietor and chef of several establishments, and later caring for elders. Wanda spent more than 40 wonderful, adventurous years with her husband, Herman Sontag. She loved visiting with friends and family, cooking and feeding loved ones, shopping, creating stories, traveling and playing games on the computer."
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Herman Sontag; and siblings, Walter, Arthur and Glenna.
Wanda is survived by her children, Jayne Sontag, of Anchorage, and Ryan Sontag of Valdez; daughter-in-law, Susan; grandchildren Launie Poissant (husband Ray Ortiz), Sophia Gomma (husband Awali Gomma), Cheryle Fleming (husband Doug Fleming), Ryan Sontag, Brad Sontag, Mandi Burnette, Melinda Sontag and Ted Sontag; great-grandchildren Billy Cox, Michael Flemming, Madison Flemming, Carlee Flemming, Razaq-Sabir Gomma, Malek-Salam, Gomma and Owen Sontag; siblings Ella Davis, Faye Harrison and Andy Day II; nieces and nephews Karen, Diane, Bobby, Pat, Linda, Wanda Kaye, Judy, Steve, Andrea, Cindy, Andy III, Andrea, Becky, Oma and Ella Marie.
Wanda will be remembered with respect, admiration, and so much love from her family as well as the many friends she accumulated through her 95 years.
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