Vincent A. Sondej, 60, died unexpectedly in his Montpelier home February 1, 2015 of a heart attack. David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars was open beside him, turned to page 301.
Vince was born in Chicago to Vincent Stanley Sondej and Geraldine (Leggdas) Sondej on July 2, 1954. He had a BA and an MA in English from Northern Illinois University, and a BS in Psychology from Utah State University. In Utah he worked as a writer and editor at Netware Technical Journal and LAN Times. He then went on to work as an engineering documentation manager at Novell. He met his future wife, Helen (Sims) Husher, on an internet list serve for copy editors, and came to Vermont in 1998 to nurture their friendship and to work as a technical writer and editor for IDX, later GE Healthcare. They moved in together in 2001 and married in Montpelier in 2005.
Vince loved playing Irish traditional music on his pennywhistles and hosted weekly music gatherings for many years in his Loomis Street home. He enjoyed taking his 25-foot Rosborough trawler, Clancy’s Jig, out on Lake Champlain, where he poked happily around the inlets and islands of Mallets Bay, Valcour, Essex, and Westport, and sometimes pretended to fish.
Vince loved to read and was in the middle of reorganizing his library at the time of his death. He was also concerned about healthy fisheries and waterways, and he recently began volunteering on water quality monitoring projects along the Winooski River. He was a quiet, focused man, happiest when alone or with a few trusted friends; he was selective but intensely loyal, playful, intimate, and committed to the people who mattered most to him.
He leaves his wife, his mother Geraldine Sondej of Plainfield, Illinois, sister Denise Sondej of Western Springs, Illinois; sister Michaelene and her husband William Murphy of Boynton Beach, Florida; and his sister Nadine Sondej-Robinson and her husband Jerry Robinson of Pacific Palisades, California. He also leaves Caroline and Eric Husher of Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Nicholas Husher and Sia Vissering of Burlington, Vermont, Anthony Pickman of Lincoln, Massachusetts; Allan Pickman, Alex Pickman, and Robin Downes of Temple, New Hampshire; Daisy Welch of Big Bend, Texas, Jason and Suzanne Welch of Derry, New Hampshire, and Jessica Welch and James Maguire of Boston. He had many nephews and one niece. His father predeceased him.
Cremation is under the care of Guare and Sons Funeral Home in Montpelier, Vermont. A memorial service will be held at the convenience of friends and family, most likely in the spring.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Non-Game Wildlife Fund, Vermont Fish and Wildlife, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, Vermont 05620-3702.