P. DEAN HOMER FUNERAL HOME
206 WATER STREET
PO BOX 1
DUSHORE, PA 18614
TEL 570 928-8163 FAX 570 928-8116
Sonja Marie Seyffart, age 84, of Elkland Township, Sullivan County, PA passed away on Friday, February 1, 2013 at the DarWay Elder Care in Estella, PA of complications of breast cancer after a valiant battle which was only briefly victorious.
Sonja was born November 24, 1928 to Peter Thomas Seyffart and Synnove Ingrid Rasmussen in Staten Island, New York. She grew up and was educated through high school in public schools in Brooklyn, New York. She worked in Manhattan as a researcher for a photograph-lending company collating and expanding their collection. She later moved to Hawaii and put herself through the University of Hawaii by selling Fuller Brush Company products door-to-door from her motorcycle. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in geography. Her first assignment as a geographer was on a research vessel at sea in the Pacific. For several years she lived and worked on projects in Norway, Germany and Australia. She joined the Peace Corps on her return to the United States and was posted to Rabat, Morocco. Sonja was fluent in English and Norwegian and in her travels gained a working knowledge of German and Arabic. She came back to New York and lived in Yorktown Heights in Westchester County where she served as a town planner on the Yorktown Planning Board. An opportunity in Alaska to join a U.S. Government team commissioned to explore the Arctic Wilderness Area to determine the feasibility of development in various locations came to her attention. She drove to Alaska from Yorktown alone in her car, traveling the last leg of her journey on the not-yet-complete Al-Can highway to Anchorage. She applied for the position and was hired. When this project was completed, Sonja returned to New York for a short time, then settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she lived for many years. Her one expressed disappointment related to her career was that she never achieved membership in the Explorers Club in New York City.
Her parents and her brother Peter predeceased her. She is survived by her cousin Irene Odegard Leibman of Peekskill, New York, her sister-in-law Edna Beckman Seyffart of Tinton Falls, New Jersey and five nephews.
Funeral Services were held at the convenience of the family and arrangement were under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, PA 18614.
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