Pat Sonnamaker, 85, of Highland Haven, Texas, passed from this Earth on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013, at Lighthouse Hospice in Round Rock.
This truly was “Mother’s Day” for both Pat and her family. Four generations of Sonnamaker women — her daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters — were together for her passing under a canopy of giant, spreading live oaks that are hundreds of years old.
Pat was born in Muskogee, Okla., on Nov. 1, 1927. As a descendent of the Natchez Nation and the Muskogee Creek Nation, she is listed on the Dawes Rolls. Her great-great-great-grandfather Red Eagle was a Creek Indian chief. Her father’s family included John Neely Bryan, Scott Beeman and William Lagow. These families homesteaded and were part of the establishment of Dallas on the Trinity River.
Pat married W.E. “Sonny” Sonnamaker in Breckenridge, Texas, on Nov. 28, 1946. Their married years were spent in Hobbs, N.M. She and Sonny partnered with Buddy Knox in Knox Services, W.L. Kidd and Tank Rentals and formed Lea Fishing Tool. After Buddy’s death in 1966, she and Sonny sold those businesses and formed and operated Sonny’s Oilfield Services until his death in 1979.
Pat sold her business and moved to their second home on Lake LBJ in Highland Haven in 1980. She owned and operated several businesses along with her real estate holdings.
Community service, youth and education were always an important aspect of her life. While living in Marble Falls, she was active in city government, serving on the Planning and Zoning Board, as a city councilwoman and on the committee that wrote the first city charter and master plan.
In New Mexico, she was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Youth and served on the district judge’s Juvenile Delinquency Panel along with various other youth organizations. She was an active member of the Hobbs Parent Teacher Association and, while serving on the state PTA Board, was awarded a lifetime membership in the national organization.
Pat loved to plant trees. Beautiful pines, oaks and pecan trees live as a testament. Walking along the beach and collecting seashells brought her great joy. Her walls are lined with hundreds of books that she read as she glanced up to see the water of Lake LBJ. During her last days, she enjoyed watching the cardinals, doves, squirrels, blue jays and woodpeckers that came to her deck to eat.
An enormous void is left with her passing, and her challenge to work to make each day better for herself and others continues.
Pat is survived by her daughter, Karol French of Highland Haven; sons, Bill and Bob Sonnamaker, both of Hobbs, and John of Sweet Home, Ore.; six granddaughters; one grandson; five great-grandchildren; and one brother, Cecil Holifield of Stephenville.
Pat’s ashes will be left on mountaintops, in rivers and on sandy beaches as her children share their experiences with their mother in the future. Pat loved to go adventuring, see new places, learn new things and meet new people.