Ingrid Sonnenberg was born in 1934 in Chemnitz, Germany. Her father, Gerhardt Weber, was an industrialist who owned a factory in Chemnitz. He was punished by the Hitler regime as a political prisoner and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. He escaped during an air raid and made it to Berlin and later Frankfurt, working feverishly to reunite his family after the war. Ingrid, her two older sisters Helga and Gisele, and her mother Ruth escaped East Germany through the Green Zone and eventually made it to Frankfurt.
In her early twenties she met and married her first husband, an officer in the United States Army who was stationed in Germany. She had her first son, Tim Dunnagan, who was born in Landstuhl, Germany. Shortly thereafter they made the trip to the United States, where she eventually proudly became a US citizen. In 1959 Ingrid had her second son, Karl.
In the early 1970s. having settled in New Mexico, Ingrid and her first husband divorced, leaving her to take care of and support her two sons by herself. She found work and focused her energies on raising two successful children, both of whom attended and graduated college. Tim became a well-respected landscape architect and Karl became a Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and later a Police Advisor for television and film.
In 1975, she met Robert Sonnenberg, an engineer at Sandia Labs. They fell in love and married, a marriage that has lasted 36 years. When Bob retired in 1991, they relocated to his childhood home, a farm in New York Mills, MN, where Bob has become renowned as a tree farmer and expert on conservation.
Those who loved Ingrid know that one of her lifelong passions was the care for and protection of animals, which began during her childhood in Germany where she cared for rabbits and a small dog. Throughout her life, she became a well-known and respected breeder of dogs, raising whippets, Italian greyhounds, dachshunds and papillons. She was a championship handler, winning numerous awards with dogs in both conformation and obedience. Her love for animals extended to lifelong work in animal rescue, fostering and helping find new homes for dogs, cats, and horses, and offering financial and volunteer support to numerous non-profit animal rescue and welfare organizations. She was devoted to helping those less fortunate than her and seeing an end to cruelty to innocent creatures.
Ingrid passed away on Thursday, December 26, 2019 at Mills Manor, New York Mills, at the age of 85. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
She is survived by her son Tim Dunnagan, and his wife Jan, of Petaluma, CA; her son Karl Sonnenberg and his wife Kerry O’Malley, of Los Angeles, CA; her husband Robert Sonnenberg of New York Mills, MN; and Robert’s children. She was deeply loved and respected and her memory will live on. A celebration of her life will be scheduled in the spring when the flowers are blooming.
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Ottertail County Humane Society
1933 W Fir Ave, Fergus Falls MN 56537