Sonja Marie Checker, 56 years old, passed away after a short illness on Sunday, February 12, 2023, in her mother’s home under the care of ProMedica Hospice. She was surrounded by her loving family. Originally from LaSalle, Michigan, Sonja graduated in 1984 from Erie Mason High School where she played volleyball and was an active member of the school’s swing choir program. Sonja also attended Monroe County Community College.
She married Michael Deland in 1988, a union that blessed the family with two boys, Tarik Michael and Brent Christopher Deland. Sonja worked for La-Z-Boy Corporate Headquarters in Monroe, Michigan for more than twenty years. In 2008, she moved to Baldwin, Michigan with the love of her life, Kelly Drummonds, where she resided with him and his mother, Patricia. While up north, Sonja worked for the Lake County Sheriff’s Department as a corrections officer and for the Northlake Correctional Facility as the commissary supervisor.
Sonja loved living up north, feeding the squirrels and watching the deer that frequented her yard on a daily basis. She also loved her family, her dog Autumn, her cat Tigger, anything with the color purple, and watching movies, crime shows, and reality television. A perfect day for her was spent on the lake, reminiscing with family and friends and soaking up the sun with an ice-cold beer in her hand.
Sonja was preceded in death by her grandparents: Ethel and Joe Asher and Grace and Charles Checker, Sr.; and her stepmother: Joann Checker. Surviving are her parents: Charles Checker Jr. and Willine “Wink” Below, her “hubby”: Kelly Drummonds, a sister: Kim (Jack) Lindquist, her sons: Tarik (Ashley) Deland and Brent Deland, and her nephew and Godson: Jack Lindquist III.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the incredible healthcare teams in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Corewell Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ProMedica Hospice.
Friends may gather from 2:00pm until 8:00pm on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe; 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 (734) 384-5185. A Celebration of Her Life will take place at 11:00am on Monday, February 20, 2023, also at Merkle’s with Reverend Dr. Daniel Potts pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church officiating. Procession will follow to Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle for burial.
Memorials are suggested to the charity of the donor’s choice. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.