Eulogy for Sofia B DeSandro

My name is Ken Torbeck and Sofia, Sonya to her close family and friends, was my best friend and I loved her, make that love her and Clara more than anything in the world. I met her at DeVry University in a class called Digital Forensics #1. I bet a lot of you did not know she had a degree in digital forensics. I never understood why she hid how smart she was. As our friendship grew too, I don’t know how to describe our relationship. She was my friend, my sister, my confidant, my conspirator, my business partner, my everything.  Matt this morning described it as kindred spirits.

A few of you know that I have a nick name for Sonya. It was my Little Butterfly. Not just because, and I know Matt would agree with me, she was the most beautiful creature on this planet. But it also because while I am no butterfly, Sonya pulled me from my cocoon. Making me want to be a better man.

That smile of hers. You could be in the deepest of despair and depression and just one look at that smile. Well, you all know what I am saying with that.

So how do you describe Sonya?

Sonya was born in Moscow, Russia to wonderful parents Alex and Olga on October 4th, 1984. She moved to United States with her parents and amazing sister Maria during the Summer of 1988. She attended Glenbrook North High School before graduating from Evanston High School in 2003. She then went on to attend DeVry University in Chicago, graduating Cum Laude in June of 2008 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science – Digital Forensics.

After graduation she worked in management at a few small places before joining Walgreens Corporation working her way to a position, she absolutely loved with Walgreens Space Management Team with coworkers she never stopped talking about how great they were. She cared a lot for all of you. She told me once that it really was the perfect job for her because it was like a game of Tetris and being Russian it really fit.

Sonya was a Christian and true believer in Christ. She talked me about God almost every time we talked and how she prayed for me every day. And I know she made a lot of long-lasting friends at the churches she attended.

She was a loving wife and friend to many, kindhearted and always there for others who needed a little help, but most of all she was a loving mother. Clara, your mom loved you more than anything. In the almost 16 years I have known her, I can say we never had a conversation in which you did not come up. She was so incredibly proud of you. The swim team, choir, theatre. Everything!! I wish I had the words to fully express her love for you.

I guess I will end the formal part of this by saying. Her tragic passing will have an everlasting effect on all who loved her. She will be greatly missed.

Sonya would want me to end this on a much lighter note and I have spent a lot of sleepless nights the last few days trying to think of a story to end this on. I was tempted to tell a story on how her friend Tonya, Olga, and Sonya taught me some Russian swear words, and while I am sure Sonya would get a kick out of me telling it. It is really not appropriate for today. So, I am going to try another one.

Years ago, Clara was four. Sonya lived in an apartment on the top four of a building in Vernon Hills. She had given me a set of keys for her apartment and car, because she was always locking herself out. Late one night I received a phone call from her. She had locked herself out of the apartment. I drove over and parked next to her car, and I could see her keys sitting on the front seat. As I unlock the door, I hear a whispering voice say “Ken, Ken”. I look over and she is standing by the side of the building wearing only a towel. The movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” popped into my head. I got her keys, went over and unlocked and held the door for her. I handed her keys, she kissed me on the cheek, and started up the stairs. About halfway up the first flight she said, see you tomorrow, love you. And then proceeded to moon me. She had one hell of a sense of humor, after all she married Matt.

I am going to end this by saying I will never understand why God would take someone so young. I will never understand why God would take someone so sweet and kind. I am really going to miss you, Sonya. I don’t know if the impact that you made on my life can even be calculated. You made me a better man. You made me the happiest I have ever been. I Will Always Love You. I will always love Clara. I know someday I will see you again. Heaven has gained another angel. I will miss you My Little Butterfly.

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