Sonia Marie McDougall was born in Belize City, Belize in Central America on Friday February 2, 1952 to Hyacinth Engeltine McDougall better known as “Chita”. Her paternal surname is Ahuja, and she shared a close bond with her paternal grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. She was the oldest of five children. She received her primary education at Saint Catherine Academy in Belize City. Sonia always enjoyed reading and writing but her favorite past time as a child was reading and collecting comic books, as well as listening to Elvis Presley’s music. Being the oldest child, she helped to care for her younger siblings Sandra, Dwight, and Pamela while their mother was at work.
In 1971 after graduating High school Sonia immigrated to Los Angeles, California and lived with her mother Chita. Sonia worked as a security monitor for a large high rise building in Downtown Los Angeles. In 1974 while visiting family, Sonia was introduced to a fellow Belizean Roberto Ramirez. Sonia and Robert grew close, fell in love, and were married on the Queen Mary in Long Beach California on April 19, 1975. They welcomed their first child Vanessa on June 8, 1977 and a second daughter Kristal, was born on February 3, 1983 just one day shy of Sonia’s 32nd birthday. Shortly after her first child was born, Sonia was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and learned to take great care in managing her blood sugar and eating schedule while maintaining a pristine household, being a loving mother and homemaker. Sonia was an amazing cook and loved making healthy meals for her family. As Roberto worked for over 35 years in the travel industry, the family was fortunate to travel to many beautiful places and Hawaii was among one of Sonia’s favorites.
Sonia always had a love for fitness, nutrition and health but found her happy place in running. Sonia participated in several charity marathons such as the Revlon Run/Walk for Women 5k, and The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer walk, The Los Angeles Marathon (yes all 26.2 miles) and several others. Her collection of metals was something that brought her a sense of great pride and accomplishment.
Once her children had grown, Sonia attended the Nova Institute, received a certificate as a Medical Assistance in 1998, and worked for some time in a clinic preforming bone density tests on patients. After that, she worked part time for a while at the Niketown in Beverly Hills, California. Sonia and Robert became grandparents in 1996 with two more grandchildren to follow and Sonia loved and adored her grandchildren and carried a special bond with each.
After 44 years of marriage, Sonia was diagnosed with early onset dementia. They moved to Ventura, California and her husband Roberto became her caregiver and frequently took her to the Ventura Harbor to see the ocean, which was one of her favorite things.
In 2019 she entered Coastal View nursing home in Ventura and was among the most beloved patients with the staff who loved and cared for her. On Tuesday January 3, 2023, the Lord called her home and she gained her wings with her two daughters and husband by her bedside. Sonia is survived by 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren, 2 furry grandchildren, 2 son-in-laws, 3 sisters, 1 brother, nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of relatives and friends.
Now she can run fast and free.