On Sunday July 19, 2020, Sonja Ann Kenny, 84 of Scotts Valley, died with her husband Perry Kenny at her side.

Sonja was born on September 11, 1935 in Chortzia Eukrane, Russia.  She came to America following World War II as a young girl of 14, speaking Russian, German, and low German.  She learned to speak English while living in Fortuna, California with her mother, Suzanna, and brother Hans.  While a nurse at Scotia Hospital she met and married Harry Metaxas and they raised two sons; Robert and Steve Metaxas, retired policemen.  

Sonja finally met and married the love of her life, Perry Kenny. Perry’s mother met Sonja and attended the wedding in Fortuna 28 years ago.  During her marriage to Perry she never left his side.  At his request together they attended luncheons, dinners and events with numerous Presidents, Governors, Legislators and movie stars in the USA and throughout the world including Magic Johnson, Clint Eastwood, President Clinton and Mexico’s President Fox and numerous foreign dignitaries attending inaugurals in Washington DC and California.  Eventually Perry retired and they moved to Scott’s Valley. She was welcomed into Perry’s family by his daughters Melissa (Chris) and Jessica (Patrick) and she became “Oma” to four granddaughters, Allie and Ava Radcliff, and twins Lilly and Emma Thomas.  She happily cared for her grandchildren whenever she could, instilling a deep and lasting memory in each of them about the importance of love and family.

Sonja was known for her movie star good looks, always dressing “to the nines” and dazzling everyone in a room while also making everyone feel welcome and special. She loved the German community in Fortuna and would spend entire days visiting friends and family.  She was a wonderful cook, always insisting on making “the boys” their favorite dishes, especially traditional German recipes.  Even during her last month, while devastated by the disease that took her life, she attempted to leap up to make them something special to eat.  

She had more energy than people half her age until cancer robbed her energy and within three years ended her life.  Her faith, hope, and love encompassed her life.  Being certain of her future she remained confident and resolved to carry on until the very end.  

Sonja is survived by her husband Perry Kenny, her sons Robert (Michelle) Metaxas, Steve (Jennifer Bell) Metaxas, daughters Melissa (Chris) and Jessica (Patrick), granddaughters Allie, Ava, Lilly and Emma, brother Hans (Donna) Sawatzky, niece Marcy, nephew Von, dear friends Wanda and Rob Souza, and several other friends and family members. 

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, take the time to cook something special for someone you love, that’s what Sonja would have done. 


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Sonja’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.