Sonnie Cooper, 75, of Sacramento died at the break of dawn on Sunday June 9 while surrounded by her loving family. Born in Tulare, CA to Concepcion and Isidro Rosas, Sonnie was raised in the Bay Area where she met and married Donald Cooper, her high school sweetheart.
They moved to Sacramento in 1965 where Sonnie was homemaker and mom to their five children. She then went to work outside the home and was Office Manager at Freidberg Law Corporation from where she was recruited to be Office Manager for Speaker of the Assembly, Honorable Willie Brown. She was proud that each of her employers had been featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes and joked that she was the one thing they had in common. Sonnie retired from the Assembly when grandchildren arrived so that they could spend time with her, instead of in daycare.
Sonnie was a dedicated volunteer throughout her life. She was a Mercy Hospice volunteer for more than ten years, teacher working with teens at the Children’s Receiving Home, long-time member of Give a Little Something (GALS), President of the Jesuit High School Loyola Guild, performer in the Jesuit Spring Fling for 21 years, and she twice chaired Jesuit’s Christmas Tree Lane. She performed in fundraisers for Loretto High School and directed countless plays and choirs at Presentation Catholic School, where she was room mother for her children’s classes. She was a member of the Presentation Liturgy Board, Parish Council, Latin American Club, Women’s Council (President), Parish Delegate to the Diocesan Synod, and was honored to have been named Presentation’s Woman of the Year. Her voice has been called, ‘warm honey,’ and she was a cantor and member of the Presentation choir from 1965 to 2011, when she formally joined the choir of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament after having sung in their festival choir since 1986.