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Obituary: SONNTAG, PHILIP

Philip Tadje Sonntag1921 - 2013Philip Tadje Sonntag, our beloved father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and friend, passed away June 26, 2013 surrounded by his family who admired and loved him. He lived his life as a true disciple of Christ - always putting the concerns of others first. He was a defender of the Faith, standing as a witness of the Savior and the restored gospel.Philip was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 13, 1921 to Richard Peter Sonntag and Lena Emma Tadje. He was the 6th of 12 children. Attending East and West High Schools, he became well known for his athletic ability, especially basketball. At the age of 18, he began working for a wholesale jewelry company, which gave him the education and training to later start his own successful business: Philip and Company. While delivering watch materials, he saw the girl of his dreams, Voloy Andreasen. He went home and said to his mother, "I have met the girl I am going to marry." He always said, "I loved her from the first moment I saw her." They were married in the Salt Lake Temple, March 7, 1944. Their love affair has been an example to all who have known them for 69 years. They were apart only once, while he served as a radar operator in the Navy.Phil and Voloy were the parents of three children who feel treasured and loved. He took every opportunity to be involved in his family, making sure to have fun but never missing an opportunity to teach and testify. He was known for his famous quotes. Some of his favorites, for which he will long be remembered, are: "You can't spoil a thoroughbred," (but he did); "What do pals do?" (stick together); "What are girls made for?" (to be spoiled); "What's the password?" (swordfish); and "Who loves you the most?" (grandpa). He was always optimistic - seeing the little patch of blue in every situation and the good in everyone.People were naturally drawn to Phil's oversized heart and genuine desire for others to be happy. All who knew him looked forward to his firm handshakes and famous hugs. Church service was a top priority, and he spent the majority of his adult life furthering the work of the Lord. He and Voloy often said that following the counsel of their guiding scripture was never a sacrifice: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6: 33). He felt it was a great privilege to serve the Lord as a young missionary in Western Canada, and later as a Bishop, and Stake President. He developed a tremendous network of love throughout the world as a Mission President in Christ Church, New Zealand; Hartford, Connecticut; Temple Square; Melbourne, Australia; Washington D.C. South; and Tahiti. He also served as a Regional Representative, Area Authority and business manager of the Youth Symphony. In 1984 he was sustained to the newly formed 2nd Quorum of Seventy. The highlight of Philip and Voloy's service was presiding over the Portland Oregon Temple. Later they answered the call to train temple missionaries and temple presidents preparing them to serve around the world. Philip was a sealer in the temple and his final assignment was that of a patriarch, giving over 500 blessings. He searched and memorized the scriptures, and when he taught, he taught with power and authority. His strong testimony that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ is his legacy. He will be deeply missed.Survived by his children: Pam Hodson (Dean), Mark Sonntag (Frankie), and Peggy Plumb (Walter); and by 23 grandchildren; 64 great grandchildren; and sister, Ruth Mickelson.Funeral services will be held at Ensign Ward, 135 'A' Street, Salt Lake City, Utah. Friends may call on July 1, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah; and prior to the services at the ward from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the LDS Church Missionary Fund, LDS Temple Fund, or Charity Vision.