Sonja S. Allen

Sonja S. Allen

On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Sonja S. Allen, 80, of Newport News went to her eternal home surrounded and comforted by her loving children and grandchildren. She was born in Neon, Kentucky but was a resident in Hampton Roads for over 65 years.  Sonja was a 1957 graduate of Newport News High School.  She served as an executive secretary at Fort Monroe in the Aviation Division and later for the Continental Army Command, Reserve Forces.  While working at Fort Monroe, she received several commendations and outstanding awards of which she was very proud.  She was also known for her excellent proofreading skills and reportedly was able to type 120 words a minute on a mechanical typewriter.  She loved her career, but after five children, she decided she only had time for her one love, her family.

Sonja was a devoted wife of 60 years to her husband Charlie, a wonderful mother, grandmother, daughter, aunt, sister, and friend to many. As a teenager, she loved sports, especially basketball.  She would always call her children and grandchildren and let them know when Duke was playing basketball or Virginia Tech was playing football. She passed on her competitiveness to her daughters and got tickled pink when they would share stories of “almost” being beaten by their significant others.  Sonja enjoyed reading, art, music, history, and theater. There wasn’t a single day she didn’t read the newspaper cover to cover, often while sipping weak black coffee.  She was always proud to attend her children’s and grandchildren’s activities and events whether it was sports, dance, theater, band, or scouts.  Known as “Mimi” to her grandchildren, she enjoyed taking them, as she did her own children, to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, Jamestown, and to all the museums in Washington as well as Monticello in Charlottesville.  She planned all the family trips which included camping all along the east coast.  She was creative, crafty, and loved to laugh and tell funny stories.  Known for stretching a dollar bill, she always had a coupon for whatever you needed, even before extreme couponing became popular. She was the most selfless, loving, caring, and sweet woman who would do anything for her family.  Her family and husband were her life.  She will be missed tremendously by all.

She was preceded in death by her loving high school sweetheart and devoted husband Charles Allen; parents, Jack Settles and Dallas Bentley; sister, Belvie Turner; sister-in-law, Mary Allen; three brothers-in-law, John Allen, Fred Allen, and Richie Allen; son-in-law, Tim Cepukenas; two grandchildren, Brooke Snyder and Ethan Staton; and niece, Jennifer Allen. Sonja leaves five loving children to cherish her memory, Dana Coyne-Kuhn and her husband, John, of Kitty Hawk, NC, Keith Allen of Newport News, Melissa Allen of Richmond, Stacey Cepukenas and her significant other, Derek Dunlap, of Carrollton, and Lisa Staton and her husband, Max, of Chesterfield; seven grandchildren, Patrick Coyne and his significant other, Malinda Brothers, Michael Coyne and his wife Bridget, Jackie Kuhn, Sam Kuhn, Alyssa Niechlanski and her husband Brian, Zachary Cepukenas, and Dominik Cepukenas and his significant other, Madison Payne; three sisters-in-law, Gwen Allen of Newport News, Sandi Chestnut of Newport News, and Faye Andrashko and her husband, Gary, of Irvington; brother-in-law, Jimmy Turner, of Windsor; special friends, Luke and Jacob Dunlap; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and devoted friends.The memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at 12 pm at the Temple Baptist Church, 235 Harpersville Road, Newport News, VA 23601. The family will receive friends following the service.  Masks and social distancing are required.  Send a friend request to to view a live video stream of the memorial service.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Special Olympics at or Wounded Warrior Project at

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.