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FRAMINGHAM – Sonja H. (Holzwarth) Maneri, 83, a longtime resident of Framingham, died unexpectedly on May 10, 2021.

Born in New York City, she was the daughter of the late Peter & Elsa (Zeller) Holzwarth, and the beloved wife of the late Joseph Maneri.

Raised and educated in Brooklyn, Sonja earned a full scholarship to attend the Brooklyn Museum School of Art, she continued her studies at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music where she studied piano and composition.

It was there that she met her husband Joe, they married and moved to Massachusetts where Joe worked as a professor at the New England Conservatory of Music, and Sonja began teaching art at St. Bridget’s School and MassBay Community College.

Over the years Sonja and Joe would perform music together ranging from classical to world, to folk and Jazz to blues at nursing homes, schools, and prisons. Sonja continued to play in nursing homes for years after Joe’s death in 2009.

An accomplished painter, Sonja exhibited at many galleries earning numerous awards. Her artistic range and output were monumental, having completed hundreds of works in many mediums and subject matter including religious, nature themes, and nonrepresentational art. 

In her later years, she spent many hours at the Callahan Center, where she became an avid poet. She published three volumes of poetry as well as a memoir of her life with her husband. 

Sonja is survived by her children, Matthew of Hudson, NY, Gloria of AZ, and Abraham & his wife Kristine of Brooklyn, NY, and her four grandchildren, Jessica, Zachary, Weronika, and Jessamyn. Besides her husband Joseph, Sonja was predeceased by her brother Peter Holzwarth.

Family and friends will honor and remember Sonja’s life by gathering for her Funeral Mass on Monday morning, June 14, 2021 in St. Bridget’s Church, 830 Worcester Rd. Framingham at 10 o’clock. 

Interment will follow in Edgell Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Sonja’s name to: Smile Train,

Arrangements by the McCarthy, McKinney & Lawler Funeral Home of Framingham. For online tributes, or to share a memory with Sonja’s family, kindly visit

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.