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“Finding this obit was per chance that began when a friend had me read an article about this inspiring and maybe just a little crazy 87 year old woman...Read More »
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“I loved Mr. Sonfield. He was a wonderful friend. Sorry to hear of his death. ”
2 of 2 | Posted by: Lynda and Roland Vitry


Robert I. Sonfield Robert Irwin Sonfield, 84, of Hilton Head Island, passed away at home with his wife at his side on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 10, 1928, he was the son of the late Lillian Greene and Eugene Henry Sonfield. He retired with his family to Hilton Head, SC in 1987. After graduating from the Isidore Newman School, Bob received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Tulane University. He served in the United States Navy as a Lt. JG staff officer to the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Naval Forces during the Korean War. Bob began his 27-year department store career as an executive trainee at Maison Blanche and rose through the ranks to become President of the store. Later he opened his own furniture stores in New Orleans before retiring to Hilton Head, where he decided he would rather go back to work. In 1990 Bob and his wife opened another store, Expressions Furniture on New Orleans Rd, in Hilton Head. Bob was involved in many civic activities in his hometown New Orleans. In 1966 he began the Arnold Palmer Golf Exhibition for the Heart Fund. He was the founder of the Rex Awards, the annual Overture to the Cultural Season. He served on the Boards of the First National Bank of Commerce, Touro Infirmary, and the New Orleans Symphony. He was General Campaign Chairman of the United Way and, in 1974, was named one the Ten Outstanding Men of New Orleans by the Institute of Human Understanding. Bob was a member of The School of Design, Krewe of Rex, the New Orleans Carnival organization and was one of the original founders of the Mardi Gras parade "Bacchus". On Hilton Head he was a member of the board of Trustees of Hilton Head Preparatory School, a co-founder of the Parents Council there and also a member of the Parents Council of The University of the South, Sewanee. Bob liked cars, boats, and planes (after over-coming fear of flying). He found relaxation in collecting, maintaining and taking care of his "toys". He also enjoyed watching his children's sports and activities. But his favorite time of all was just being with his family. A large and devoted family will miss Bob. Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Andrea Beerman Sonfield; his children: Robert Sonfield of Shreveport, LA; Loren Kapelow Hill (Greg) of Wilson, WY; Justin Sonfield (Naomi) of Glen Ridge, NJ; Dr. John Sonfield (Meredith)of Florence, SC; and Jenny Wolf (John) of New York, NY; grandchildren Brandon, Alexandra, Caroline, Garner, Tate, Locke and Ella ; and a favorite cousin Dr. Richard Greene (Lynda ) of Palo Alto, CA. By the Grace of God and his own strong will, Bob overcame many health challenges over the past 20 years. We will remember his integrity, honesty, work ethic, discipline and character. But most of all, we will cherish the love he gave to his family. Friends and family are invited to a graveside service at Six Oaks Cemetery in Sea Pines at 4PM, Sunday, May 12. The Rev. Greg Kronz will officiate. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of the Low Country, PO Box 3827, Bluffton, SC, 29910 or St. Luke's Church, 50 Pope Ave., Hilton Head SC 29928. www.theislandfuneralhome.com