Sonia P. Brakowski, 73, of Red Bank, formerly of Hazlet, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family May 26. She was born Sonia P. Tanner February 23, 1945 in Cirencester, England, where she grew up until 1966 when she moved to Bayonne with her beloved husband, Edward. In 1977, Sonia and Edward relocated to Cliffwood for a short period of time and in 1978 settled in Hazlet to raise their family.
Mere words cannot tell the story of Sonia Brakowski. She was a beloved daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, great-grandmother, spiritual leader, neighbor, author and friend to many. She was very proud of the two books she authored, “Annette Opens the Door” and “A View From the Rainbow,” which told parts of her life. But her story can be better told by the people who knew her, the lives she touched and the knowledge she left behind.
Born and raised in Cirencester, England, it was there Sonia met the love of her life, Edward J. Brakowski, who was in England serving in the Air Force. He affectionately called her “Dear.” Their love was deep, strong and endless. Together they raised four children and along the way Sonia showed us how to cook a proper Sunday English roast, how to make massive quantities of delicious Christmas cookies and how sharing your time and passions could bring friendship, joy, compassion and knowledge. She taught us how to pray and how difficult goodbyes bring the promise of joyous hellos. Some of her greatest personal joy came from being a grandmother and a great-grandmother as she shared and received boundless love from them.
Sonia was predeceased by her parents, Florence Emily (Beasley) and Samuel Thomas Tanner; her beloved husband, Edward J. Brakowski Sr.; her loving daughter, Annette Brakowski; and her dear siblings, June, Carole, Ronald and Patricia. Sonia is survived by her loving children, Elaine Eltringham and her husband, Mark, of Red Bank, Edward J. Brakowski Jr. of Iselin, and Barbara Tofte and her husband, Rick, of Hazlet; her dear siblings, Gerald Tanner and his wife, Shirley, of England, Madeline Terrett and her husband, Ivo, of England, and Christine Welsh and her husband, Tom, of England; along with her cherished grandchildren, Samantha Grabowski and her husband, Evan, Lauren Eltringham, Scott Eltringham, Cymbaline DiPol and Ainsley Tofte; and her adored great-granddaughter, Fae Grabowski. Sonia will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.
In respect of Sonia’s wishes, she will be privately cremated. Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial visitation Sunday, June 3, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Shore Point Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 3269 State Highway/Route 35 North, Hazlet, New Jersey 07730. A prayer service will be offered at the funeral home during the visitation hours.
Interment of Sonia’s cremains with her husband Edward’s cremains will take place June 4 at 11 a.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery, 340 Ridge Road, North Arlington, New Jersey. In lieu of flowers, donations in loving memory of Sonia to the American Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated. To donate please visit cancer.org.
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