BROOKFIELD, Conn. – Sonja Claire (Tobler) Zandri, of Brookfield, wife of the late Harry Zandri, died Saturday, April 9 at Danbury Hospital. She was 75.
She was born in Zurich, Switzerland, on Aug. 16, 1940, a daughter of the late Rudolph and Claire (Nodari) Tobler. She loved the outdoors, which included skiing and competitive swimming. After spending time as a nanny in England, she moved to the U.S. in the 1960s. She was a nanny in Ridgefield when she met her husband, Harry, at Ridgefield’s famous Squash’s. They married in 1965, and had three children. They built a home for their family in Danbury, which was completed in 1969. She ran a daycare from her home for many years.
After that, she taught swimming lessons, also from her home. She then started working nights at Brookside Rest Home and bought it about one year later. She was the owner-operator of what is now known as Brookside Home for 41 years. During her time as owner-operator of Brookside Home, she was an intricate part of CARCH, an association for residential care homes to improve state laws for residential homes in Connecticut.
She was president many times and remained on the board, which included many trips to the state capitol in her wheelchair. She was also a volunteer coach for both the Danbury YMCA and Ridgewood Country Club swim teams for many years where her children also swam competitively, as she did. She loved to travel with family, with friends and alone.
She is survived by her three children, Denise Grenier and her husband, Paul, of Newtown, Heidi Zandri of Danbury, and Michael Zandri and his wife, Dianna, of Maine; two grandsons, Logan and Hunter, of Maine; two brothers, Ruedi and Kurt Tobler; and several nieces and a nephew.
Friends will be received on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9 Granville Ave., Danbury. A prayer service will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Ann’s Place and the American Diabetes Association.