William R. Sonta Sr., age 92, passed away after a short illness on May 14, 2013 at Ocean Medical Center, Brick, N.J. He was predeceased by his loving wife Jeanette of 68 years in 2010. He was born and raised in Lyndhurst, N.J. Bill and his wife raised their family in North Caldwell, moved to West Orange in the 80’s and lived in Lakewood for the past 5 years. He graduated Lyndhurst High School, married in 1942 and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he studied mechanical engineering. He joined the CCC’s and served in the US Navy during WW II. Bill founded Industrial Truck Body Corp. in 1947 in Newark, N.J., then later moved to Elizabeth where he employed approx. 50 people including his children. The business was sold in 2001. He was an active member of the NJ Business & Industry Assoc., Chamber of Commerce, National Truck Equipment Assoc. and the Truck Body and Equipment Association where he served as president. He was an owner and one of the original founders of Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park.
Bill was very active in the B.P.O. Elks Union City Lodge in the 60’s, was Exalted Ruler and especially enjoyed arranging activities and parties for the physically challenged children. He later became an active member of the Essex County Lions Club.
His hobbies included golf, tennis and croquet. He wintered in Fla. and enjoyed boating and fishing with his family at the Jersey shore.
Bill is survived by his children, Willette Greer of Morristown, John A. and wife Mary of Mantoloking, William R. and his wife Andrea of Millstone Twp., and Jeffrey B. of Sayreville, 11 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
A Funeral mass will be celebrated at Notre Dame of Mt. Carmel Church, Ridgedale Ave., Cedar Knolls on Monday, May 20, 2013 at 10:00 am. Friends may visit on Sunday at Bradley Braviak Funeral Home, 49 Whippany Rd, Whippany from 3-8p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.