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Obituary: Sonja Marie Yanagawa

Published on March 5, 2018 12:01AM

Last changed on March 5, 2018 9:43AM

Sonja Yanagawa

Sonja Yanagawa


Kirkland, Washington

Aug. 17, 1946 — Feb. 24, 2018

Sonja Yanagawa, formerly of Astoria, passed away on Feb. 24, 2018 after a long battle with cancer, surrounded by her family and the staff of Evergreen Health Hospice Care in Kirkland, Washington.

Sonja Marie Larsen was the oldest child born to Sydney and Evelyn Larsen on Aug. 17, 1946, in Astoria, Oregon. Raised in Astoria, Sonja attended St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, and was a proud member of the 1964 graduating high school class from Star of the Sea.

After graduation, Sonja met and married Hiram K. Cho, and resided in Honolulu, Hawaii. They had two sons and later divorced, but Sonja remained in Hawaii, loving the island people and traditions.

Later, she met Richard Yanagawa. They married on Dec. 10, 1979, and had a daughter together. Sonja returned to Astoria with Richard in 1981, where they raised their family.

Sonja worked for many years at Clatsop Care Center, and loved her job and work family very much. She remained there until her retirement in 2007, when she and Richard moved to the Seattle area to help care for their grandson.

Sonja loved being a grandmother and getting to spend time with her family. She loved to read in her spare time, and was always learning about people, culture, history and beliefs. She loved getting to visit with family and friends. She returned to the coast several times each year to visit the beach, clam dig and spend time with loved ones.

Sonja was preceded in death by her parents, and a sister, Inez Wall. Her brother, Frank K. Larsen (Linda), survives, living in Canby. Sonja is also survived by her husband, Richard; two sons, Hiram K. Cho (Melissa) of Astoria, and Stewart Makai (Erica) of Eugene; a daughter, Lorraine Yanagawa (Aaron) of Kirkland; and her grandson, Ethan. She will be missed by numerous nieces and nephews, friends and co-workers, and by her best friend, Margaret Smith and family, including grandsons Dakota and Asher Severson of Astoria, whom she considered her own.

A celebration of Sonja’s life will be held later this spring.

Memorial contributions can be made to any hospice organization, in honor of the amazing men and women who helped care for Sonja in her final days.



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