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.
Memorial Contributions can be made to Turlock Community Theatre www.turlocktheatre.org
Visitation will be held from 4pm – 6pm on Monday, December 28, 2020 at Allen Mortuary.
A graveside service will be held 2pm on Tuesday, December 29th at Turlock Memorial Park.