Sonia Jo (Malone-Kendrick) Stover passed from this life into the next on March 20, 2018. She was born May 1, 1977, in Cedar Rapids and graduated from Kennedy High School in 1995. She loved gardening and horseback riding growing up. After high school, she served in the U.S. Army for three years. She was stationed in South Korea for a year. Upon discharge, she was in the National Guard for eight years and completed a tour in Afghanistan. She married Lance Kendrick on Aug. 31, 2002, and from this union were born two wonderful daughters, Madeline Jane and Danielle Jo. Sonia loved being a mother to her girls. She graduated from Iowa State with a degree in agronomy and walked the 100 miles from Cedar Rapids to Ames for her graduation to raise money for her nonprofit, Feed Iowa First, which she founded to help feed the food-insecure people of Iowa. She also earned her master's degree in sustainable organic food systems at Green Mountain College.
Sonia was very passionate about farming and helping veterans get started in farming. She was a force to be reckoned with when she had an idea, and her passion was contagious in getting other people to join her in her cause to feed hungry people. Sonia was kind and always stuck up for the underdog. She achieved many awards and much recognition for her accomplishments and efforts in sustainable farming and helping veteran farmers get started.
On Dec. 23, 2017, Sonia was joined in holy matrimony to Matthew James Muhammad Stover. Sonia and Matthew were inseparable. They are both decorated combat veterans and were even deployed at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, at the same time unknowingly. They were introduced to each other at the Freedom Foundation, a food bank for veterans in Cedar Rapids, and Matthew began volunteering for her nonprofit, Feed Iowa First, the very next day. Matthew swears by the Creator that Sonia was the answer to a prayer for a combat veteran wife who would understand him more than a civilian wife. Matthew asked Sonia's father, Bob Malone, for her hand in marriage almost immediately while they were fishing on his mother's pond. Bob said that Matthew could have his daughter's hand, but he had to wait six months. They were married almost exactly six months after that trip to the pond. Sonia loved Matthew's children, Adrian and Anabella, and treated them no differently than her own daughters, Maddie and Dani.
"She was a clear sign to humanity that there is hope when you have faith in times of trial. She was troubled with post-traumatic stress and was selflessly concerned for the well-being of all others before her own self. Her soul is eternal and she reached a level of faith in which she was never unconscious of God's powerful presence, and frequently said that God will sort everything out in the end. She was a firm believer in all of the Abrahamic books of Revelation, the Prophets and Messengers, the Angels, God's will and the Oneness of God. She was my heart. She was my eyes. She was a peaceful warrior who spread only love on the earth. Her legacy will be carried on by God's decree." Matthew Stover, husband.
Sonia accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior as a young person and had a deep faith in God that took her through many trials and tribulations, as well as many blessings and joyful times. Sonia greatly loved her family and was deeply loved by her family and will be sorely missed in this life. Until we meet again.
"She always focused on the well-being of others, no matter how crazy it seemed. Her best intentions were always in her mind for others. Growing up with her was hard, but through that hardship she taught me many things. I am more confident, opinionated and mature because of her. She gave me strength and knowledge, the best things a mother could give." A note from her daughter, Maddie.
Sonia is survived by her husband, Matt Stover; her daughters, Maddie and Dani; her parents, Bob and Deb Malone; her mother-in-law, Becky Johnson; Matt's children, Adrian and Bella Stover; her siblings, Isaac (Karen) Malone, Luci (Adam) Harris and their children, Aiden, Lilly and Evelyn, Lois Kruse and her children, Alanah, Robert, Jacob, Esau and Enoch; uncles, David (Amy) Brown, Brian (Shari) Brown, David (Nancy) Malone and Tim (Deb) Malone; aunts, Shelly Malone, Becky (David) Cruise and Meribeth Malone; her step-grandmother, Sharon Brown; her former husband, Lance Kendrick and his mother, Jane (Tim) Parker; and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Sonia was preceded in death by her grandparents, Robert and Lee Malone, Badon Brown, and Don and Marian Brown; and her father-in-law, Alex "Papa John" Johnson, who passed away on March 9, 2018.
An interfaith service and burial will begin at 2:15 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2018, at The Avacentre at Brosh Chapel. Burial will be in Muslim National Cemetery, where full military rites will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. A celebration of life gathering will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at The Avacentre.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Feed Iowa First, the Freedom Foundation or another organization that provides support for veterans or food-insecure Iowans.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.