Charles J. Sonnen II (Chuck), age 88, passed away peacefully on 2/6/23. Born in St. Paul, MN on 6/12/34 to Robert and Abby Sonnen, his years in Minnesota instilled a lifelong love of the water. His family moved to Denver in his teens, where he met his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann Halloran. After graduating from Regis High School and St. Mary’s Academy, respectively, the two attended Marquette University, and married upon Chuck’s graduation in 1956.
Chuck proudly served as an officer in the Marine Corps until 1959. He went on to a successful career in marketing, starting at Gates Rubber Co., where he progressed from Copywriter to Advertising Manager. He moved to the ad agency Henderson, Bucknam & Co., holding a series of increasingly senior positions. In 1969 he became the Director of Marketing for Mountain States Bankcard Association (in the burgeoning new credit card industry), ultimately named Executive Director. He returned to Gates as Director of Marketing, retiring in 1991. Throughout his career he was known for his leadership, creativity, oratory skills, unshakeable integrity and promotion of women in the workplace.
Able to build or fix anything, Chuck’s first job at 13 was as a radio shop repairman. His extensive list of hobbies included drumming for his dixieland band, boating (building his own motorboat, receiving awards for the meticulous craftsmanship of his model boats, and cruising Lake Dillon in his beloved Chris-Craft), restoring antique cameras, restoring and showing his classic 1968 Jaguar XKE (garnering a national championship), off-roading with Mary Ann in their Jeep throughout the Rocky Mountains, and rebuilding Apple computers. He began a small business during retirement, introducing seniors to technology and Apple computers.
Chuck and Mary Ann built their dream home in Evergreen, CO in 1975, a community they loved and served for 47 years. A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who would do anything for his family, Chuck led by example with an unbending sense of core values, as well as a strong sense of humor. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary Ann, his four children, Chuck III (Marie), Gregg (Ella), Jan Thompson (Brad), and Steve (Jenni); five grandchildren, Mark (Anna), Crista James (Chas), Kevin (Aliya), Matthew Thompson (Laura), and Leah Thompson, as well as great grandchildren Maggie and Jack. A private family service will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church in Evergreen. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Catholic Charities, 6240 Smith Rd., Denver, CO 80216, https: //ccdenver.org/donate/ or Evergreen Christian Outreach, P.O. Box 1515., Evergreen, CO 80437, https://evergreenchristianoutreach.org/donate .
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