Sonja Claire Zandri

Sonja Claire (Tobler) Zandri, 75, of Brookfield, wife of the late Harry Zandri, passed away on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Danbury Hospital. Mrs. Zandri was born in Zurich, Switzerland on August 16, 1940 a daughter of the late Rudolph and Claire (Nodari) Tobler. Sonja loved the outdoors which included skiing and competitive swimming. After spending time as a nanny in England she moved to the United States in the 1960’s. She was a nanny in Ridgefield, CT when she met her husband Harry at Ridgefield’s famous Squash’s. They married in 1965 and three children followed. They built a home for their family in Danbury, CT which was completed in 1969. Sonja ran a daycare from her home for many years. After that, she taught swimming lessons, also from her home. To this day we still have people coming up to us and saying “Your mom taught me how to swim”. Sonja then started working nights at Brookside Rest Home and bought it about one year later. Sonja has been 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 RCHs in CT. She was President many times and remained on the board which included many trips to the state capitol in her wheelchair. She never let anything slow her down. 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 truly loved working with children to help shape their lives with encouragement and respect. She also loved to travel with family, with friends and alone. She would drive everywhere. She would say she was going for a ride and call us from Vermont at a little roadside business she found quaint. She mostly loved foliage trips. Fall was her favorite time of year. Mrs. Zandri 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. Mrs. Zandri is also survived by two grandsons, Logan and Hunter of Maine who are her pride and joy. In addition to her children and grandsons, Mrs. Zandri is survived by her two brothers, Ruedi and Kurt Tobler and several nieces and a nephew. The family would like to thank Dr. Cantu, Dr. Mirza and the Nurses and Staff at Danbury Hospital Critical Care Unit that provided her with the excellent care and concern she so greatly deserved during her last weeks. Friends will be received on Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home; 9 Granville Avenue, Danbury. A prayer service will be held at 7:30 PM in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Ann’s Place ( and the American Diabetes Association (


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