In Memory of Songja Ono(1993 - 2015)
- Songja Ono
- Birth Date
- December 20, 1993
- Ascension Date
- December 5, 2015
Songja Ono was born in Seattle, Washington on December 20, 1993. She is the daughter of Hiromi Ono and Catherine Greene Ono, the second of two children. She has a beloved elder sister Suja and extended family in America and Japan.
After living in Seattle for five years and Portland, Oregon for three, the Ono family moved to the Boston area in 2001. Songja attended St. Peter School in Cambridge, MA and Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Brighton, MA. In school, she developed interests and skills that ranged from religion and philosophy to science and nature, sports, music, art, robotics and community service. She played on the varsity volleyball and tennis teams throughout high school.
Songja participated in NextGen Academy (Seattle, Washington) during high school. Upon graduation in 2012, she joined a gap-year program, Generation Peace Academy (GPA), headquartered in New York City. There she made strong friendships and impressed the staff with her ability and heart. With GPA she did community service in the Philippines, developing personal connections with communities that she continued to support with fundraisers even after she graduated from the program.
During the GPA study modules in Divine Principle and Unification Thought, Songja distinguished herself by the earnestness of her study and research. Her appreciation for religious study was enriched by her nine years of Catholic school education.
One month after Songja graduated from the GPA program, small symptoms of her illness began to appear and her planned matriculation to Wesleyan University was delayed.
Confronting illness only deepened her faith and gave her wisdom beyond her years. During the almost two and a half years that she bore her illness, Songja remained determined not to allow self-absorption to overwhelm her. She made the remarkable decision to embrace the situation and so became even more thoughtful, kind and generous to others.
Dear friends who visited Songja during her illness, and there were so many, were surprised to find that, instead of giving comfort, they ended up receiving it from her. With her generosity of heart, she also made admirers and friends of the health professionals who took care of her.
Songja was gifted in the arts. She could draw beautifully and when she lost the use of her right hand she simply taught herself to draw with her left! Her art reflected her passion for nature. She drew animals, trees and landscapes and often sent them as gifts to friends and strangers alike.
Songja is the most loyal of friends, maintaining friendships from elementary school all the way into adulthood. Although she didn’t have younger siblings, she enjoyed taking care of younger brothers and sisters at church, as well as her cousins in California. It was part of who she was to care for people.
Songja’s spiritual nature and love for God and True Parents stemmed from the deep roots of her family’s faith tradition, Unificationism. Owing to her Catholic education, her diverse friendships and her experience visiting churches with her mom, she developed appreciation and respect for multiple faith traditions – Catholicism, Protestantism, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism and Lakota Sioux.
Most of all, Songja loved her family. She appreciated the balance infused in her life through the love of her father and her mother. Songja was always trying to care for the health of her parents and fix up the home they all shared. Songja’s love for Suja and Suja’s love for Songja represents everything siblings can be for each other. They are forever united in heart.
Songja leaves so many of us here and across the country and the world embraced with her kindness, care, generosity, graciousness, humor and love. We know that she will never be far away because her heart and legacy have touched each of us.
Just as Songja illuminated our lives, she now makes the spirit world a brighter place. For us, Songja left too soon, but who knows the importance of the journey she now embraces.
We love you Songja.
- 11:00am EST
- Friday, December 11
Winchester Unitarian Society
478 Main Street
(Near Winchester Center stop on MBTA Lowell Commuter Rail Line)
Seonghwa message by Pastor Heather Thalheimer
To be followed by Won Jeon Ceremony (burial) and a Reception
- 3:00 to 7:00 PM, Thursday, December 10
Mailing Address for Donations and Flowers
Hiromi & Catherine Ono
94 Josephine Avenue, Unit 1
Somerville, MA 02144