Philip D. Sonen, age 84, of Madison, died Saturday, February 1, 2020, at Madison Regional Health System, after a battle with COPD. He was surrounded by his loving family. A traditional service celebrating his life will be 2:00 PM, Thursday, February 6, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison. Burial will follow at the Colman Cemetery. Visitation will be 6-8 PM, Wednesday at the Ellsworth Funeral Home in Madison.
Phil was born on October 1, 1935, on the family farm in rural SD, to Philip O. and Pearl (Schaap) Sonen. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church.
On June 30, 1956, he married Nyla N. Limmer at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Wentworth. Phil and Nyla were proud parents of three sons. Together, Phil and Nyla built their own home in Madison where they resided for the rest of his life. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. Phil was a cub master for the Boy Scouts of America and his entire family was very active in scouting. The Oakasota District named the Sonen family, “Outstanding Scouting Family” of the year 1970-1971. Phil and his sons enjoyed auto racing, hunting, fishing, and he raised them with a strong work ethic and family loyalty.
Phil worked for the SD Highway Dept. of Engineering for 43 years. He obtained his Land Surveyors license and did many private surveys. After his retirement in 1996, he and Nyla enjoyed their camper. They spent the winter in Texas for 19 years and also traveled to Alaska and other destinations.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nyla of Madison; two sons, Duane (Tami) Sonen of Castlewood, and Rod Sonen of Madison; three granddaughters, Melissa Sonen-Norris, Emily Sonen-Ladner, and Beth Sonen-Sorestad; 11 great-grandchildren; and one sister, Brenda Roberts of Sioux Falls.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Janet Hockhausen and Julie Pederson; one son, Kevin Sonen; and one granddaughter, Tricia Sonen.
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