James Dean Sonderland, 73, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on September 21, 2018, at the T. Boone Pickens Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Dallas, Texas shortly after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. James was born September 5, 1945, in Lakota, North Dakota to Rose and Carl Sonderland who moved their family to Richland, Washington in 1950. He was predeceased by his parents and two brothers, Craig Sonderland, and David Sonderland. Surviving him are his wife of 49 years, Debra (House) Sonderland; two daughters, Janelle Whitlock and her husband, Greg of Springfield, Missouri and Nichole Stegmaier and her husband, Mitch of Columbia, Missouri; 3 grandchildren, Devon Whitlock, Michael Whitlock, and Saren Stegmaier. He is also survived by his two brothers, John Sonderland of Seattle, Washington; Roger Sonderland and his wife, Carol of Kennewick, Washington; and several nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Columbia High School (now Richland High School), James enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed throughout his career in Hawaii, Washington, and California. He proudly served his country for 20 years until his retirement in 1985 when he moved to Juneau, Alaska with his family where he worked for the State of Alaska. While living in Alaska, he enjoyed spending time with his family and in-laws fishing for salmon and halibut (although he was known for catching other things such as tires, sea lions, kelp, etc.). James and his family moved to Missouri in 1992 where they lived in Sedalia, followed by Chillicothe where he worked for the State of Missouri Department of Corrections. After retiring from the State of Missouri in 2010, James and Debbie moved to Columbia, Missouri and began their RV traveling. When they weren't spending time with family in Missouri, James and Debbie traveled around the country and especially loved spending a majority of their time in Texas.
James' wishes were to be cremated and return to sea along with a private family celebration of life. His Facebook page will remain open, and all are welcome to post memories and final words to him there.
Those who wish may consider donating to the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center veterans memorial fund: https://www.faithpreshospice.org/hospice-care-center/.