Mark Sonnenberg

Mark Sonnenberg

Friday, July 15th, 1949 - Sunday, July 26th, 2020
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Mark F. Sonnenberg 71, of Dubuque and formerly of Spring Valley, MN, passed away Sunday, July 26, 2020 from Alzheimer's disease. Private family services will be held.
Mark was born on July 15, 1949 in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Charles and Lela (Tangen) Sonnenberg. He graduated from Columbia Heights high school in 1967 and furthered his education by receiving a Master's Degree in music from the University of Minnesota. Mark was a music instructor in Spring Valley, MN for 34 years, retiring in 2006.
On October 10th, 2010, he married Jane Allmann and the two happily lived in Spring Valley and in 2018 they moved to Dubuque. While attending the University of Minnesota he had fond memories of performing in the marching band and when living in Spring Valley he played in the Rochester Symphony. Mark will be remembered for his pop concerts and his outdoor concerts in the backyard of his home in Spring Valley. He loved listening to classical music and wrote his thesis on the composer Gustav Mahler. Mark was a huge history buff, loved cats and enjoyed bird watching - having the unique talent of bird calling several species.
Mark is survived by his wife Jane; his step daughter Jessica (Gary) Hohmann and their children Ben, Andy, and Natalie; and his step daughter Audrey Allmann; his sisters LeAnn (Marvin) Simonson and Beth Ericson and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his half-brothers Dwight and Chuck; his half-sister Genese and his step son Steven.
Mark's family would like to give a special thank you to the nurses and staff at Luther Manor for their unending care and compassion.
The Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family.
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Susan Hoke

Posted at 08:13pm
I am so sad to hear of Mr. Sonnenberg's passing. He was one of my favorite teachers. He was well respected, loved what he did, and had a great band. I have many wonderful memories of concert band, marching band, pep band... He will be greatly missed.

Susan (Czapiewski) Hoke

Ann Ihrke

Posted at 07:09pm
Mr Sonnenberg (or Sonny, as many students called him out of his hearing) was an awesome teacher and band director. I had the pleasure of having him teach me the trumpet from 5th grade until my graduation in 1984. I have wonderful memories of summer marching band: practice at 7 am in the neighborhood around the high school, bus trips to town festivals to complete with other bands in the parade, traveling to the state fair, winning first place in our category at the Mason City Music Festival. I was standing next to Mark when they were announcing the winners; when they got to our category, Mark was skeptical of how we had performed that day. His jaw dropped when Spring Valley High School was announced!! We were able to enjoy new uniforms for marching band for the first time since the mid 1960s. Pop concerts were beyond fun and Mark always found band arrangements of popular music to play for the concert. And he challenged us every year in concert band with something difficult for large group music contest. A number of years after high school I ran into him and had the pleasure of telling him I was still playing my horn in a community band. His face lit up as he told me how pleased he was to hear that. I consider Mark's tenure at Spring Valley golden years for the music department. I am saddened at his passing but I know the music of heaven is richer now that he has joined the symphony. Ann (Lemke) Ihrke, SVHS class of 1984


Posted at 09:02pm
Jane and family,
Our family shares your sadness. It is so sad to know that Mark has died, but we are comforted to know that his suffering has ended, and that his baptism has joined him to Christ both in death and in the promise of resurrection. Our hears overflow with great memories! He was a teacher, a friend, and a wonderful neighbor.
It's difficult for me to overstate his influence on my life as a music educator. His arrival at SVHS was a great new chapter in my life. He built on the strong tradition of his predecessor, and encouraged us to reach the heights through a disciplined approach to music. I know that many students from those days will recall the triumvirate of Peleaux, Sandro, and Sonnenberg. What an energetic musical world we enjoyed as high school students in those days!
In the summer after my high school graduation Mark and I were invited to paint "The Shop." My dad supplied the orange tractor paint that we applied, by brush, to the old cinderblock or that building on HWY 63. It was a sticky mess. We decided to start work at 4:30 a.m. Mark would handle the top layers of the scaffold because I got sick after the first two levels. We'd be washing by 7:30 a.m. and then we'd go the the Frontier Room for breakfast.
Many great laughs! And the paint job was perfect...
I could go on for pages!
We will miss his smile, and the way he rubbed his mustache just before he laughed or had an interesting fact to share with everyone in the room!
Peace to you!

Laura Mangan

Posted at 06:05pm
Jane and family, Our deepest condolences! Mark was a wonderful teacher and we have fun memories of the band trips and festival parade marching our children were able to participate in. Our family took a trip to Florida when Sandi marched at Disney with the band.. Mark shared with us at one of our parent conferences that Matt played his sax like the whole flock of geese. It still makes me chuckle as I remember him practicing outside. I would guess the neighbors could him play that sax, too. Mark inspired the students he worked with and the hard work paid off in the performances the band took part in. We plan to make a donation to the Kingsland Music Department in memory of Mark from the Mangan family- Vince, Laura, Sandi and Matt Mangan

Gary Erickson

Posted at 10:27am
Jane and family
We were deeply saddened to here of Marks passing. Mark was an exceptional teacher and band leader. Both his concert bands and his marching bands were the best of the best-year after year. He went above and beyond to help his students-Trips to Florida, pop concerts that everyone still talks about, and bands that were top flight. He was a great teacher and we are grateful that our children had him as their teacher. We were also blessed to have Mark as a fellow teacher. He will be missed! So sorry for you loss.
Gary and Bobbie Erickson

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