Norbert Paul Sonnek, age 78, of Wells, died Sunday, May 16, 2021 at his home.  A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, May 22, 2021 at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Wells at 11:00 AM. A public visitation will be held at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells on Friday, May 21, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, and visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.  Burial will be in St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery in Wells, with full military honors accorded by the Wells Color Guard.  Father Greg Havel and Deacon Gene Paul, officiating.  Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.

     Norbert was born July 6, 1942, the son of John and Mary (Schmidt) Sonnek in Wells, MN.  Norbert attended Wells High School, the class of 1960.  He entered the US Navy, Merchant Marines and after his honorable discharge, came back to Wells. He was united in marriage to Marlene Schroeder and to this union, son Todd was born.  After a car accident took her life, Norbert kept moving and working.

     On November 30, 1968, he was united in marriage to Linda Staloch in Wells.  To this union, Michele, Karla and Matthew were born.

     Norbert was self-employed, operating Sonnek’s Backhoe Service, a one-man operation for many years. He was the inventor of S & S Birdhouses, creating Wood Duck houses, Blue Bird houses, Martin houses and was in the process of a Screech Owl House, which are sold all over the United States.

Norbert loved hunting and fishing, he made yearly fishing trips to Alaska that lasted several weeks at a time. His other favorite fishing spots were Lake Francis and Lake Minnewaska up North.

He was a member of the Wells Rifle Club for many years.

     He was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren, as well as all of his great-grandchildren.  His granddaughter Megan said it best, “He had a contagious giggle, his stories make John Wayne look like a pansy, he was always on the go whether it was hunting, fishing or working, he wasn’t bogged down by modern technology and believe if something wasn’t broke, then it shouldn’t be fixed”.  It was not a secret he was also stubborn and loyal.  He was a member of St. Casimir Catholic Church, and was active in the Wells American Legion Post #210, currently as Commander, and served Military Honors for many veterans as they were laid to rest.

     Norbert is survived by his wife Linda Sonnek of Wells, 4 children:  Todd (Kim) Sonnek of Shevlin, MN,

Michele (Jerry) Alphs of Kiester, MN, Karla (Erik) Bangert of Albert Lea, MN, and Matthew (Heather) Sonnek of Cheyenne, WY; 17 grandchildren: Adam (Chrissy) Sonnek, Alec (Naomi) Sonnek, Dylan (Nicole) Sonnek, Megan (Tony) Carson; Sam Knutson (Dylan Hemingsen), Alexandria Knutson (Austin), Nic Knutson (Madison), Kelly Spilman, Brandon Alphs (Maria), Ashley Alphs (Ricky), Jordan Alphs (Melissa), Preston Alphs (Rebecca); Cloie and Layla; Ariana, Alivia and Ayden; 13 great-grandchildren: Gabriel, Jacob, Allie, Sam, Jack, Adalynne, Baker, Kyler; Hunter, Jada, Isabelle, Luke, Cecelia, Bently, Nolan, Claire, Owen, Easton, Remi, Stella and two babies on the way; brother: Francis “Shorty” (Alma) Sonnek of Wells; sisters: Bernice Harris of CA, LaVonn Sonnek of Wells, MN and Dorene Schram of AZ; sisters-in-law: Leona Yokiel of Wells, MN, Doris Glazier of Le Sueur, MN, Alice (Les)  Peterson of CO; many nieces and nephews and their families, and a host of friends.

     He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife, Marlene; In-laws: George and Marcy Staloch; brothers-in-law: David and Roger (Anita) Staloch, George Yokiel, Leon Glazier; sister-in-law: Elaine Sonnek; nephew Craig Glazier.