Sonja M. (Murley) Jacobson

January 19, 1937 ~ March 15, 2020 (age 83)



Sonja M. Jacobson (Murley), passed through the door of her last journey on Sunday, March 15th, 2020. Sonja was 83 yrs old. She passed quietly in the presence of her daughter Diane Kenny and her son in law, David Kenny. Also present was a member of a dedicated team of amazing caregivers called” Sonja’s Soldiers.” She had been in hospice care for 5 months prior to her passing. Sonja was born on January 19, 1937, to Norman and Marguerite (DeWildt) Jacobson. She was a devoted older sister to her 2 siblings, Carol McGlinchey and Carl Jacobson, both of whom had preceded her on their final journeys. Sonja was very gifted academically and she excelled in school. She attended Lockwood High School in Warwick RI. She was athletic and participated in the school’s gymnastics squad. She was a member of Order of The Rainbow for Girls, East Greenwich Assembly #4. She attended Bryant University and graduated in 1957 with a secretarial degree. She was a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron, a scholastic honor society. She was a stenographer and Senior clerk for the State of RI. She married in 1962 and had 4 children. Divorced in 1971, Sonja had to do the unthinkable, she became the sole parent and supporter of 4 children. She found a job at Stanley Bostitch as a member of the assembly department and she worked there until she retired.

Sonja loved country music, sunny days so she could work on her tan (she hated daylights saving time), pretty pastel-colored outfits with matching earrings, the first snowfall of the season and day trips to the ocean. She was a talented artist, a decorated bowler, a keen bargain hunter, loved dancing and would spend hours doing word search and crosswords to keep her brain sharp. She also liked to travel and would take trips to visit friends or go to Disney World with her family. She suffered from rheumatoid arthritis which eventually took away her ability to move about freely. During the last few years of her life, she was able to be cared for at home by her incredible care team, a group of loving women who we quickly dubbed “Sonja's Soldiers”. These wonderful women made it possible for her to stay in her home until her passing. Sonja’s legacy is her family. To raise 4 children and have them all seek careers in the service and care of others is quite remarkable. Her children, Diane M.Kenny, BS, RN, and her husband, David Kenny, Miss Lisa A. Murley, Career Legal Assistant, Lieutenant Norman A. Murley WWFD, Retired, and his wife Claudette Murley, and Patrolman Ronald B. Jacobson, Jamestown Police Department, and his fiance, Miss Amanda Hay will bear on, taking with them her lessons of courage and strength. Sonja’s greatest joy was her grandchildren, of which she had 9. Maeghan Gerloff, Mitchell Murley, Timothy Murley, Natalie Murley, Jake Hyde, Kailyn Jacobson, Karissa Doak, Andrew Jacobson, and Austin Jacobson. She took great delight in giving them savings bonds, wrapped in tissue paper in envelopes dotted with stickers and little drawings or saving coins to put into each of their own character-themed savings banks. She also had 2 great-grandchildren, Michael and Alexandra Gerloff. Recently, she celebrated the news that her granddaughter, Karissa Doak, and her husband, Cody Doak, are expecting a baby, her 3rd great-grandchild, later this summer. Sonja was a true example of the word strength. This word was used often in the last few weeks and it rings true for her entire life. She shouldered more burdens that most people couldn't endure, yet she persevered. She is finally at rest. Rest easy Sonja, it is a well-deserved one.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you make a donation in Sonja’s name to the Coventry High School Alumni Association which will be utilized towards an art scholarship for a deserving Coventry high school senior. Their mailing address is CHSAA PO Box 705 Coventry, RI 02816.  Donations can also be made via a credit card at

In accordance with the RIDOH guidelines, all visitors must wear a cloth face covering and practice social distancing in accordance with the CDC guidelines.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 in the Gorton-Menard funeral home, 721 Washington Street, Coventry, RI, from 10:00 am to 11:45 am followed by shared memories from family and friends of Sonja. 




May 1, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:45 AM
Gorton-Menard Funeral Home and Crematory
721 Washington Street
Coventry, RI 02816
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