Sondra Friedman, 76

Sondra Friedman

EXETER, N.H. — Sondra (Sonnie) Friedman died on Oct. 25, 2012 in Exeter, N.H. at the age of 76.

She was born on Aug. 15, 1936 in Dunellen, N.J. to Elizabeth Hamley Kruse and Francis Kruse. She graduated from Dunellen High School in 1953 and from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania in 1957. At Ursinus she met her first husband Philip M. Smith of York, Penn., and they were married on July 14, 1956. Philip Smith predeceased her on June 3, 1964.

Sonnie met Robert Friedman while they were chaperoning a high school mission trip together. They were married on Sept. 18, 1965 and lived in Harrisburg, Penn. In 1967 they moved to New York City where Bob was the pastor of the Ridgewood Presbyterian Church in Queens, New York.

Sonnie’s professional career was dedicated to fostering the education and development of children with disabilities. She earned a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College while working as a classroom teacher at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, N.Y. While at St. Mary’s she procured grants to develop dance, art and music therapy for pediatric hospice patients, established a Montessori school, and coordinated the design and construction of a playground fostering therapeutic recreation.

Her family spent their summers on Hancock Pond, a small lake in Sebago, Maine, where she and Bob later retired. She loved being outdoors and hiking in the White Mtns. She spent many years helping to preserve the lake environment. Sonnie also cared deeply about peace and justice causes. She believed in the equality of all people and hoped for a world where everyone had “enough.”

She is survived by her husband Robert Friedman of Exeter, N.H.; her children Laurie (Barbara Hume) Friedman of Cambridge, Mass., Philip (Karen) Friedman of Peaks Island, Maine, Jennifer (Stephen) Sanborn of Amesbury, Mass.; and grandchildren Charles Friedman, Aaron Hume, Michael Hume, Mariana Sanborn and Elena Sanborn.

A memorial service and reception celebrating her life is planned for Nov. 11, 2012 at Riverwoods in Exeter, N.H. at 2 p.m. All are welcome.

The family would like to especially thank the wonderful staff of the Lodge at Riverwoods and Beacon Hospice for their generous love and care. Memorial contributions may be made to Heifer International (, 1 World Ave. Little Rock, AR 72202.

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