Sonja Fulton

Obituary of Sonja Sternhagen Fulton

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Sonja S. Fulton, a resident of Darien for nearly 60 years, died peacefully on January 23 at her residence at the Sunrise Senior Living Community in Stamford. She was 95.


Sonja was born on February 13, 1927, in Bronx, NY to the late Hjalmar and Clorinda (Russo) Sternhagen. Her parents were immigrants from Sweden and Italy respectively. She was proud to have grown up in The Bronx, and would fondly reminisce about the many friends and activities of her "city" girlhood for the rest of her life. She graduated from Evander Childs High School before attending Hunter College (in Manhattan).


In 1947, she married the late George P. Fulton, with whom she went on to raise four sons. When her youngest started kindergarten, she began what turned out to be a remarkable 41-year career in education, teaching at Plumfield School from 1966 until its close in 1996, and then at Pear Tree Point school until she retired in 2007. From her early days at Plumfield, the late Jean Hilton, with whom she worked very closely, tasked her with a variety of responsibilities beyond teaching and classroom management. These included curriculum development, narrative report writing, and general school administration. Her days typically would begin much earlier, and end much later, than the rest of the faculty. In later years, as her hours became more manageable, she came to focus more specifically on the teaching of mathematics, often in intensive, small group settings. In addition to the many hundreds of students she inspired, she leaves a legacy of scores of younger colleagues for whom she served as a trusted confidante and mentor.


Sonja had a deep and abiding love of poetry (both to read and to write), Darien's public beaches, the New York City Ballet, and, above all else, her family and friends. She was a consummate hostess, regularly putting on dinner parties for every conceivable occasion, and filling her family's home with food, drink, music, stimulating conversation, and laughter. More than anything, she gave tirelessly of herself for the benefit of others with an intensity that never wavered.


She was predeceased by her parents, her sisters Anna S. Sternhagen and Gloria A. Phillips, and her husband of 66 years, George P. Fulton. She is survived by her children, John P. Fulton (Anna) of Warwick, Rhode Island; James A. Fulton (Pamela) of Chatham, Massachusetts; Matthew S. Fulton (Kelly) of Jersey City, New Jersey; and Peter M. Fulton of Harrisonburg, Virginia, as well as several grandchildren, all of whom she was immensely proud.



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