Sophia Wallgren

Monday, January 26, 2009
Sophia Wallgren

Sophia R. Wallgren, 91, passed away Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, at the Lutheran Home after 25 months on hospice care with liver cancer, leaving behind family and many friends saddened by her passing but thankful for and blessed by her life.

She was born Dec. 2, 1917, in Granite City, Ill., to Atanas and Grozda Turpenoff Reezoff. Her parents had come to America from Macedonia in about 1910. She was married Jan. 24, 1943, to Edward Wallgren, who was serving in the U.S. Air Corps. He passed away on Aug. 1, 1999.

She later said that she had lied about her age to get her first library card. She read almost continuously from that time. She graduated from Granite City High School and worked as a secretary at Brown Shoe Co. for several years. She and her husband very much enjoyed people — talking, listening, asking, visiting, traveling, learning new things, almost to the very end.

For many years they lived in St. Francois County, where she was a homemaker and he worked in a bakery and as a school bus driver. They were active members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Flat River, Mo., where she was a teacher and leader for Sunday school and vacation Bible school for many years. They moved to Cape Girardeau in 1994, and were active at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. Along with other activities, they were part of the Elderberries and a Bible class, and she helped with vacation Bible school every summer up through 2006.

She is survived by sons Tom Wallgren of Cape Girardeau and Ed Wallgren Jr. of San Francisco; by very dear friends and part of the family John and Ethel Wilkerson of Louisville, Ky.; by grandchildren Ethel Wilkerson and Charles Wallgren; by a sister, Daisy Painter of Granite City, Ill.; and by several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Vasil and Elizabeth Yankoff; a niece, Patricia Yankoff; and a nephew, Fred Painter.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Chapel.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Paul Short officiating.

Burial will be at Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to St. Andrew Lutheran Church, to Trinity Lutheran Church of Flat River or to the Lutheran Home.