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Jerome "Jerry" Sonka Jr.


Jerome "Jerry" Sonka Jr., 75, died Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, at his home in rural Newhall. Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at Phillips Funeral Home Chapel, 212 E. Sixth St., Vinton. The family will greet friends from 1 p.m. until service time Saturday at the funeral home.
Jerry was born Nov. 13, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, to Jerome John and Marcella (Pickart) Sonka Sr. He graduated from Newhall High School in 1962. Jerry attended Boys State as a junior and served as president of FFA as a senior in high school. On Feb. 20, 1965, he was united in marriage to Barbara Cahalan at St. Paul Catholic Church in Newhall. Jerry and Barb farmed in the Newhall area, prior to his retirement.
He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and served as an elder and board member for two terms. He served two years as vice president of the Vinton Extension Council. Jerry helped start the Newhall Jaycees and played on Chuck & Carol Kunstorf's softball team in Newhall for 27 years. He and Barb were members of the "Fun" card club for 50 years. Jerry was an avid Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs fan and attended nine bowl games through the years. Jerry taught his children the value of hard work on the farm. They loved to show hogs at the county and state fairs. He also enjoyed time spent with his grandchildren, giving tractor rides and attending their school events.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; children, John (Sheila) Sonka of Ellsworth, Ill., Kim McAtee of Cedar Rapids and Jamie (Miranda) Sonka of Newhall; eight grandchildren, Tyler and Blake Sonka, Paige (Brandon) Dullea, Amanda McAtee, Andrew McAtee and Baily, Lexie and Cole Sonka; brother, Steven (Karilyn) Sonka of Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; and his sisters, Carolyn Peiffer of Walford and Melanie (Tom) Kenney of Iowa City.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother-in-law, Denny Peiffer
Online condolences may be left at www.phillipsfuneralhomes.com.
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