Sonny passed away in Ormond Beach, FL on July 3, 2020, almost certainly from pulmonary complications due to Covid-19. We will remember him as a son, a brother, a husband, and a lovable friend who always made us laugh.
Sonny was born as William Charles Wirsing on January 5th, 1952, to Mary Cecelia Walker and Edwin F. Wirsing in Oceanside, California. They lived in Huntington Park and moved to Pasadena in the early 60s, several years after Sonny’s younger brother Jimmy was born (1956).
Sonny attended Allendale Elementary School and then McKinley Junior High School in Pasadena. In 1967 Sonny’s family moved to Whittier where Sonny attended Whittier High School and graduated in 1970.
In the early 1970s, Sonny moved to Santa Barbara and settled in Summerland. His early jobs included working at the Sears on La Cumbre Rd and the old County hospital near El Sueno Rd. He continued his education, first at SBCC, getting AA degrees in General Studies in 1973 and Business Administration in 1981, and later at San Jose State, taking more courses in Business Administration.
In 1979, Sonny met the love of his life, Debbie Curley. After a few more years in Santa Barbara, they got married in Hawaii and moved to the Bay Area where they both worked for Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto, living in the town of El Granada. In the early 90s, they moved to the Big Island of Hawaii. Although they parted ways in the early 2000s, they never lost their love for each other.
Sonny returned to Santa Barbara, where he worked for Direct Relief International for several years. Sonny then continued to Florida, to be near his mother and brother until they passed. He finally settled in the town of Ormond Beach, Florida.
Sonny’s passion was the ocean, and all the ways to enjoy it: surfing, sailing, windsurfing, rowing. He could not be far from a view of the water for too long. He also loved to play golf, especially at Hapuna Golf Course on Big Island Hawaii.
We wish to extend our gratitude to Sonny’s friends in Florida, in his final days. Especially his dear friend Jill Chambery, who went above and beyond to visit him every day in the hospital for 3 months, and as a nurse became the sole advocate for his care and comfort. Your loving friendship was and is an inspiration for us all.
If you want to read more about Sonny’s life, or even add some stories of your own, please visit his memorial website at www.forevermissed.com/sonny-wirsing . If you wish, please make a donation in his name to Direct Relief or Heal the Ocean. Goodbye my friend, you will be in my heart as long as I take breath.