Vernetta Jones Sonderegger

March 19, 1923 ~ October 26, 2019

Vernetta Jones Sonderegger reunited with her husband on October 26, 2019.  She was born at home in Hunter, UT March 19, 1923 to Willard J. Jones and Mary Alice Warr Jones, the fifth child of a family of seven children.   

Her mother told her that her name came from the newspaper when Vernetta Lindsay, an accomplished pianist, came to Salt Lake City to perform.  

Vernetta grew up during the depression, and they were very poor. This taught her and her family about making the most out of every situation and appreciating what they had.   

Growing up on a farm, all the kids were expected to contribute.  Some of Vernetta’s jobs included thinning beets and taking the cows to the pasture morning and evening during the summer.  

When she was 13 her dad bought the girls a bike to reward them and to speed up the jobs. Vernetta said she rode it the most because she loved it so much.  

Her love of riding a bike lasted until her 80s. She was often seen riding to and from the store in Monticello to buy groceries or giving her grandkids a ride in the old basket.

In 1941, after graduating from high school, she attended the LDS Business School for five months and then was able to get a job at Fort Douglas as a typist.  

While working there she met Ernest Sonderegger, whose sister worked with her and introduced them. They dated three months and then he proposed to her.  They were married for time and all eternity on August 2, 1943 in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, Ernest was drafted.  Their first child, Relva, was born and was 2 1/2 months old when he had to leave for the service. 

Vernetta took Relva and moved to Hunter to live with her parents.  Her sister, Irene, whose husband was in the Navy, had also moved home with her son.  The two sisters spent a great deal of time writing letters, taking pictures, and playing with their babies.

In 1945, Ernest came home on leave and took Vernetta and Relva back to Biloxi, MS to be with him. It was very primitive living, scrubbing on a washboard, big cockroaches, millions of tiny ants, hot, humid weather, and far from home and family.

After the war ended, the family moved to Monticello where their father owned land they could farm. They stayed until it got so cold that they left and went to Heber City until the next spring.  

On her 25th birthday they took their furniture and returned to Monticello.  She said, “I never dreamed I would stay so long.”  

It was in Monticello where Elayne was born, and then 12 years later a son, Ernest Paul, completed their children.

Vernetta had many loves and talents; temple attendance, book club, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, gardening, “Dancing with the Stars,” and getting her hair done weekly.  

She made baked beans for the funerals in Monticello and Swiss cookies for Christmas gifts. She made baby quilts for the Primary Children’s Hospital.

 She was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her goal every year was to read the Book of Mormon and to read each conference issue between each conference. 

She was especially known for her quilt making. At her funeral celebration, the chapel pews were lined with quilts she had made for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

Vernetta leaves behind a great legacy of service and a Christlike love for others. She is survived by Relva (Robert) Bowring, Elayne White, and E. Paul (Michelle) Sonderegger, nine grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren. 

She is preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Sonderegger, and son-in-law, Fred White.

San Juan Record

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PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

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