Sonia Dawe Ryan

October 30, 1934 to September 18, 2022


Passed away peacefully at home on September 18, 2022, surrounded by family and overlooking her favourite park.

Predeceased by her parents Chester and Phyllis Dawe and beloved sister Janet Gardiner.

Leaving with loving memories her two sons Andrew (Kelly) and Matthew, nieces Jane (Karol Mikulash) and Susan (Brian Noseworthy), nephew Steven Gardiner, and grand-nephews Peter and Simon Mikulash, and Theo Noseworthy.  Also, special friends Elizabeth, Fred and Jarrett Murphy, and all her dear friends from the annual Healey’s Pond tennis tournament.

Sonia was born in St. John’s. She dearly loved the city and was a very proud Newfoundlander. She had many fond memories of her childhood summers spent in Ocean Pond, of her PWC Class of ’52, and of times well spent with her special cousin Christopher.

Sonia had a distinguished business career with their family firm, Chester Dawe Limited. She respected and cared about all of the people she worked with throughout the years

She was involved in politics and with many volunteer organizations and boards. Sonia was an avid theatre goer and had a tremendous appreciation of Newfoundland artists.

She also enjoyed golf, tennis, and curling at different times in her life. Never a star player, but always the best dressed.

But all paled in comparison to the love she had for her family. Highlighted with her lifelong bond with her sister Janet, her love and devotion to son Matthew, who was her constant companion, and her special, unique relationship with her son Andrew. They were a team like no other.

Special thanks to Sandra, Peggy, Cathy, Judy and Debbie, who provided Sonia the compassionate care when she needed it most.

Visitation will take place at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.  on Thursday, September 22.

Funeral service will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. St. John Evangelist Church, Coley’s Point. Interment in St. John the Evangelist Cemetery, Coley’s Point.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to The Vera Perlin Society or a charity of one’s choice.



2-4 p.m. on September 22, 2022

7-9 p.m. on September 22, 2022

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map


11:00am, Friday September 23rd

St. John the Evangelist Church, Coley's Point

Interment to follow in St. John the Evangelist Cemetery, Coley's Point


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To Andrew and Matthew. Helen and Hollis remember you and your mom from our days at St. Thomas’ Church and various schools. We know you will miss her greatly, but she will live on in the marvellous gifts she has bestowed on you and us. As we pray for you, we commend her into the care of out eternal God who loves us fully.

Matthew and Andrew,
Your mother was an amazing person who cared deeply about you.
I often worked with her trying to make positive changes to the school system.
In more recent years I looked forward to seeing Matthew and your mom in Church on Sundays and we often had a little chat after the service.
Your mom was an exceptionally kind and caring person and gave so generously to support the community around her.
Sonia will be deeply missed by us all.
Love and sympathy,
Lynn and Karl Green

To the Ryan and Gardiner families,
We were saddened to hear of Sonia’s declining health and passing. A wonderful person and mother who was nurtured by your close family. Hopefully over time, many happy memories will help to ease your sense of loss. Thinking of you all at this sad time.

Dear Andrew, Matthew & Kelly,
We are both saddened to learn that Sonia has passed away. She was such a wonderfully kind person and so full of positivity and love of life..She had enormous pride in her boys and you both brought her so much joy.Her passing leaves a huge hole in our community and she will be missed by so many.Our deepest sympathy goes out to you all at this sad time.May your memories of the happy times you shared be a comfort.
Eileen & Gordie MacNab

I remember Sonia well. Her and my mother, Pamela Babstock, linked arms as they advocated for adaptive physical education in the schools. The groundbreaking work that was done improved the life of so many children, with the production of “As I Am”.
Condolences to the family…especially to Mathew who was my “buddy” in this program. Love your way. Take care and share lots of hugs and memories at this time.

Andrew, Kelly and Family,

Sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Joanne and Doug Chafe

Matthew, Andrew, Kelly and family,

We are so sorry to hear about Sonia’s passing. She was a great lady. I remember fondly many summer days as a child visiting at Healy’s pond where she was always warm and welcoming. We are thinking of you all.

Mark, Susan, Sarah and Rebecca

Andrew & Kelly,

Thinking of you both and your family during this time. Sending you lots of love in the days ahead.


I only met Sonia last fall and several times since then, but I have to say her bright spirit was shining through and it was instantly apparent what a wonderful woman she was. Kind, positive, warm, fun-loving and oh so stylish! She sure did love her boys too, that’s for sure. She will be missed by so many. I wish I could be there with you all today… I am in spirit. Lots of love xoxoxoox Karen

So sorry to learn of mom’s passing. I used to enjoy seeing her on our weekly hair visits. You were so good to her and she always had a smile even as she was in failing health. My thoughts are with you and Matthew at this sad time

Dear Andrew, Kelly and Matthew,
A very sad time indeed! Your mom was so devoted to you, Andrew and Matthew! And you had a beautiful life with Sonia, your dear mom, and mother in law to Kelly!

You’ve left a beautiful legacy to your family! May your happy and loving memories live in your hearts forever 💝💝

We’re so sorry to hear of Sonia’s passing. She was a wonderful woman who Josh and I were honoured to have met. We’re sending all our love to the family and will remember Sonia fondly.
Elora & Josh

Dear Andrew, Matthew and family,
The sight of a beaming , proud Sonia and her excited and delighted companion Matthew taking their seats at the many concerts they shared at the Arts and Culture Centre told the story of a life well lived.
Hopefully in time the warmth of wonderful memories will sustain you, her loved ones, and continue to bring joy to your lives, as you all brought joy to hers. It’s what Sonia would want.
Lynn Spracklin
RIP Sonia,

Dear Andrew, Matthew and family,

You must count yourself among the most blessed of sons to have had Sonia as your mother. She brought strength and intelligence to everything she did. She had kindness in abundance and I always felt graced by seeing her. Janet, Emily and the Pitt family

Andrew, Matthew and family,

So sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. We are thinking of you at this sad time.

Andrew, Matthew and Family
My sincere condolences on the passing of your mom. She was a very lovely lady and she will surely be missed. RIP Mrs . Ryan.

Matthew, Andrew and Kelly, Susan, Jane and Steven and Sonia’s extended family, our family extends deepest sympathy to you on the loss of your beautiful mother and aunt. She was an amazing person and will be always missed for her many acts of kindness to many.. May she Rest In Peace. Bill, Lorna Martin, Billy , Heather, Sherri, Chris & Janice.

Matthew, Andrew & Family. Sending ,sincere condolences on her passing.. I have known the Dawe family for many years as my work took me into the area of fundraising of which Sonia was very supportive. At a later time Matthew did several work terms at the Janeway during which time I got to know her as a beautiful caring mother and a beautiful person.. Hold your memories close to your heart and May they bring you some comfort now and in the days ahead. Maude Peach

What an amazing , kind person an incredible loss! She will be greatly missed.

To Matthew, Andrew and Kelly,
Please accept our deepest and sincere condolences. Both of us or one of us, whenever seeing Your mother at any function, we always had a beautiful chat. Peter one time described it as like time standing still.
The world has lost a beautiful person, indeed NL has lost a beautiful sister of the province..
May Sonia Rest In Peace , her work is done!

I cherish the times I spent out in St. Phillips, jumping off the wharf and collecting sticklebacks. Sonia was always kind and generous when I visited, great memories of a great woman.

To Andrew and Kelly, I am so very sorry for your tremendous loss! Your mom was a beautiful lady . She would always make a comment on my lovely shoes whenever I visited the topsoil road store, while I was working for Chester Dawe ltd! She will leave a big void in your day to day life but will be in your hearts forever. God bless.

Andrew and Matthew, Sending deepest condolences to you.both. Being one of the PWC class of 52 Betty and I have some wonderful memories of the class reunions over the years. . We are away right now and unable to visit.
Abbie and Betty Parsons

Noting Sonia’s passing has brought back many childhood memories of when our parents got together, whether in St. John’s at Christmas time or at Ocean Pond in summer. Sonia, Janet and Mr. and Mrs. Dawe were cherished friends. They are all sorely missed.

Andrew, We are sorry to hear of your mother’s passing.
To you and all your family , Our thought’s and prayers are with you all God Bless!

Matthew, sincere condolences to you and your brother Mark on the passing of your beloved mother. I remember her from when I was teaching you at Macdonald Drive Elementary. Her love for you was boundless and her support and encouragement unparalleled. Her support for teachers was the same. I know this is a heavy loss for you, but the memory of your mother’s love will guide you give you the strength and courage to travel on as she would want you to do. God bless you/

Our trips to Newfoundland were not complete without seeing Mrs. Ryan and Matthew. She was always interested in what you had to say and the conversation usually involved having a good laugh. We also appreciated her kindness in giving us a place to stay in Healey’s Pond over the years. She was truly a beautiful soul inside and out with a kind and loving spirit. Your Moncton friends and family are thinking of you all and holding you close in our hearts.

A beam of lovely light is now missing from this place of ours. Sonia was every inch a lady. Andrew and Matthew , your Mom loved you dearly and I assure you, in times to come, you will feel her with you for the rest of your days.

Sonia was always a warm, lovely lady who showed her passion for NL and it’s people. My deepest sympathy to Kelly, Andrew, Matthew and all the family.
GOD’S GARDEN God looked around his garden and found an empty place, He then looked down upon his earth and saw your loving face.

He saw your path was difficult and he closed your weary eyes, He whispered to you “Peace be Thine” and gave you wings to fly.

It broke our hearts to lose you, But you did not go alone, For part of us went with you on the day God called you home.
Rest In Peace Sonia have

To the Ryan & Gardiner families. My condolences on the loss of such a great lady, fashionista and down-to- earth person. I met Sonya through working with Janet, she would drop-in and the three of us would have interesting and funny chats. I’m sure you all will miss her tremendously. You will feel your her presence around and within you, in thought, word and behaviour.
May your beautiful memories comfort and strengthen you.. I hope she and Janet are already reunited..
Do take good care of one other.

To Andrew and Matthew
So sorry to learn of your mother’s passng. She was a very special human being who will be remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing. her. We have lost a great spirit.
Our sincere condolences and sympathy
Bob and Dorothy MacLeod

I wanted to pass on condolences on behalf of the Forsey family. Joan {d 2021] spoke fondly of Sonia, Andrew and Matthew. Thinking of you. I just lost my husband Bob in April. All the best in the following days.

To Andrew and Matthew
So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. She was a lovely and very kind person and was very devoted to her family. We extend to you both our most sincere condolences.

To Sonia: I planted the flowers in your front garden for over 25 years and you always let us know how you loved to see those cherry blooms. It was only once a year that we spoke but I always enjoyed it like I would seeing an old friend after a time away. I am glad they gave you pleasure; I hope there are flowers everywhere for you now. All the crew here at Murray’s will be thinking of you when flower time comes around again next year.
To your family, my sincere condolences on her passing.

To Andrew Matthew and family my sincere condolences on the passing of your mother.

Andrew so sorry to hear that your mom passed..

My and my husband’s deepest condolences upon Sonia’s passing. She was a great godmother to me, and a good friend and one-time traveling companion of my mother, Sally Lou. It was a highlight of our many fall visits to St. John’s to take her out for lunch and spend time catching up with her at her home. We will deeply miss her sparkling and intelligent personality all wrapped up in the keenest fashion sense. Indeed quite the lady.

My deepest condolences To you Andrew, Mathew and Family

My deepest condolences.

Andrew and Matthew, your Mom was such a beautiful kind person. It was always such a pleasure to be In Her company. I’m sure you have lots of happy memories to keep her close to your hearts. She will forever watch over you.both. Much love.
Ethel Dobbin

To Sonia’s family,
We are sad to hear of the passing of your mother. She was a beautiful person inside and out. Whenever we had the opportunity to meet, she always made us feel like the most important people to her. We hope your happy memories of her lift your spirits during this difficult time.

Our condolences to Andrew, Kelly, Matthew and all her extended family. A lady through and through, she always made time to chat no matter where you connected. Her upbeat personality, positive perspective on life and her sincere warmth always made you feel special. God speed Sonia.

To Sonia’s family.
May your many happy memories help you through this difficult time. Sending our sincere condolences as we are out of town .
Fondly remembered.
Nancy & Robert Patten

sorry to hear about Sonia

Very sorry to hear of Sonya’s passing. I met her when I was Matthew’s teacher at Macdonald Drive Elementary. She was a constant support to him, and always up for any challenge. I recall her telling me she and Matthew were going to see the wrestling that was here, and she quite enjoyed my surprised reaction! She laughed, and said she knew she stood out in the crowd, but it wasn’t really as bad as you might think! She was a wonderful mom, and teacher support, and I’m sure she will be greatly missed. My sincere sympathy to you all.

My sincere condolences to Kelly, Andrew , Matthew and Susan, thinking of you all at this time,. Know you all, and her many friends, will miss Sonia beyond words., she was a most attractive, kind, thoughtful, wonderful friend..

To all of the family we offer our sincere condolences.. what a beautiful lady. She always had a smile and a kind word whenever you met her. Certainly an example for us all. A big loss to our Privince her family and her friends.

What a great photo and remembrance of the one and only Sonia Dawe Ryan. If we can all carry a little spark of her then the world will be better place. I am sending all the love I can muster to my best friends Kelly & Andrew, Matthew and the Sunday dinner crew.
Lots of love from far away in distance but right next to you in my heart, Kelly and from Steve, Evan & Lauren too.

So sorry to learn of Sonia’s passing.. We were life long friends. Always a pleasure to meet her and exchange news. P lease accept our sincere condolence.
Catherine & Ray Tooton

Sincere condolences to the entire family. Spent much of my youth around Mrs. Ryan and she was a wonderful person. So many wonderful memories. Thinking of everyone today. ❤️❤️

Sending our sincere condolences to you all. Mrs Ryan was a wonderful lady, she will be forever missed by all that knew her. Thinking of you at this sad time

Dear Susan and Family,

So very sorry for your loss. I know Sonia was a huge part of your life. She will be missed.

Take care

She was always so lovely and gracious to me and our family. I always enjoyed the mischievous twinkle in her eye. My sincere condolences.

Andrew and Matthew,
so sorry to her about your Mom’s passing. She was a wonderful woman, I have many great memories of your mom down at Healey’s Pond and on Circular Rd. Wishing you strengthen during this difficult time.

Dear Andrew, Matthew and Kelly
Sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. She was a wonderful Mother who was devoted to her children Thinking of you all during this difficult time. May your memories be a blessing
John and Maureen

I’m very sorry to learn that your mother has left this world for the next, Andrew. She was a lovely woman. May she rest in peace. My thoughts are with you all at this sad time.

A wonderful and dear friends has left this world – Sonia and I spent many wonderful times together in Florida and at Healey’s Pond with o.ur boys – she was a great companion and the fun memories willl always be treasured by me . Sonia was very loyal and disciplined – she loved her family and her home – and loved to decorate or renovate . There was nothing that she was afraid to tackle ! RIP ! Deepest love to Andrew, Matthew and Kelly !

Good bye, Friend Sonia. Your visits to Salmonier were great highlights for us children “back in the day”. The arrival of our elegant and truly lovely older cousin was always a much-anticipated event. Andrew and Matthew, may the sorrow you feel today quickly be overtaken by a flood of happy memories. We turn another page. With love and best wishes – John, Tracy and Nate – Ottawa, ON.