Vale Moya Sonnenburg
MOYA Catherine Sonnenburg (nee Stockwell) passed away peacefully on May 8, 2020, just shy of her 104th birthday.
The former teacher began life at the Lady Musgrave Hospital in Maryborough on June 18, 1916, shortly before the deadly Spanish flu pandemic spread around the world.
She passed away, from other causes, during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The Stockwell family lived at Tiaro where her father, Edward (Ted), was a timber cutter. He and his wife, Cassie, had nine children.
Moya's first teaching position was at a small school west of Gympie. She then went to one-teacher school at Nunkulla, near Felton, on the Darling Downs for five years.
In 1942, Moya moved back to Tiaro and married Fred Sonnenburg.
They lived there for the next 20 years during which they had five children: Jeanne, Roy, Alan, Dell and Rodney, all of whom attended Tiaro State School and then high school in Maryborough. Moya taught at Tiaro State School in 1958 and 1959.
In January 1962, the Sonnenburg family moved to Maryborough.
Moya taught at the Christian Brothers School initially and then at Central State School until she retired at age 60.
Her popularity as a teacher at Central was evident by the response of many who welcomed her and chatted with her at the school's 150-year celebration in 2012.
Moya was active in community affairs in Tiaro and after her retirement from teaching, she volunteered with Meals on Wheels and held executive positions with Maitlea Potters (Bottle Brush Crafts) for 22 years.
She also travelled overseas to New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Europe and the USA.
After Fred died in 1988, Moya continued to live in Maryborough, until at age 89 she sold her home and moved to Chevallum to live with her daughter, Dell, and her husband, Andy.
Moya attended yoga with Dell until, when 101, she moved to Brisbane to live with her son, Roy, and wife Helen for almost two years.
Sadly, increasing frailty and slow memory loss meant it was time for specialised care and she moved to Parkview, Wheller Gardens, at Chermside.
Moya survived the month-long lockdown of her nursing home which was lifted on April 29 to allow one visitor per day.
Fortunately, her immediate family were able to visit for the last nine days of her life. She died peacefully with Roy and his children Karen and Gregg at her side.
There is a plaque in Elizabeth Park, Maryborough, commemorating her 100th Birthday.