Doreen Nalinee Sonnadara

19330109 –


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Mrs. Doreen Nalinee Sonnadara passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, Texas.  Family, friends, and others whose lives were touched by Doreen will gather to celebrate her life at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers.  A time of fellowship and remembrance is scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 02, 2019.  Viewing will begin at 1:30 p.m. to be followed by a memorial service and a religious ceremony according to the Buddhist tradition.

Mrs. Doreen Sonnadara was born on January 09, 1933 in Kalutara, Sri Lanka to Mr. Piyadasa Aturaliya and Mrs. Sylvia Kalupahana.  Doreen completed her primary and high school education at Visaka Vidyalaya in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She then continued her studies at the University of Colombo where she received her B.Sc. degree in Zoology.  Doreen chose a career in education and joined her alma mater, Visaka Vidyalaya as a teacher in the science division and served in that capacity for many years.  Subsequently, she enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and completed a Master’s Degree in Education.   In 1979, she accepted a position at a teachers’ training college in Nigeria.  After working with local teachers in Nigeria for about six years, she returned to her homeland.  Shortly thereafter, she moved to the United States with her family.  Doreen loved children and had a passion for early childhood education.  In the US, she established a Montessori School named Total Child Center at San Gabriel, California and served as the school’s head directress for more than fifteen years.

Doreen married Ruben Sonnadara in 1960.  Together they had two children, Gehan (son) and Manju (daughter).  Doreen’s beautiful life will forever be cherished by her children Gehan and Manju, her son-in-law Priyantha, former daughter-in-law Jaynne and grandchildren, Ishan, Shalini, Valeena and Shehani.

May she attain the supreme bliss of nibbana!



The family of Mrs. Doreen Nalinee Sonnadara would appreciate contributions to be given to Silver Star Health Network ( in her memory. To donate text the phone number 41444 with the message Doreen.  


24 thoughts on “Doreen Nalinee Sonnadara”

  1. may she rest in peace. she touched and impacted many lives and raised a Great and remarkable son and friend in Gehan.

  2. Whether in Sri lanka or Nigeria or South pasadena or Arcadia Nali akka treated me like a brother.
    A lovely personalty and i will miss her.
    may you reach a better place as you desserve

  3. My thoughts and prayer for her wonderful son Gehan and his family! Gehan, you took care of your mother with so much passion and love. You were there for her when she needed you the most now she is at reast and we hope you can find peace in that knowledge.

  4. I learned so much from her. I will eternally cherish her contribution to my life. May she attain the supreme bliss of nibbana!

  5. Wimalka Chandrawansa

    I was one of her students at Visakha Vidyalaya. May she attain supreme bliss of Nirvana. Manju, please accept my condolences. Wimalka

  6. As a schoolboy in Sri Lanka, I knew aunty Nalini and uncle Ruben and mainly her arrival in Minnesota. I also distinctly remember Gehan as he captained Royal College under 14 cricket team when my younger brother played for the Mahinda College team for the Island Championship. Even when I arrived in the US shortly there after, I was unable to establish contact with aunty Nalini until fairly recently through Manju. I share in this sorrowful moment as aunty Nalini is heading towards ending of Samsaric cycle and achieving supreme Bliss of Nibbhana. Along with my family back in Sri Lanka, late Surveyor W. A. Garvin De Silva, Chintha De Silva and all of us children gather in offering our heartfelt condolences to all of you at this hour of your bereavement and wishing courage and acceptance of life’s inevitability.

  7. May your mother Rest In Peace Gehan, as she will always be in your heart. She’s smiling down knowing how much you cared and still
    Care for her. You and your family are in our prayers.

  8. Anusha Devasurendra

    My deepest sympathies to Gihan & Manjula. She was the teacher in charge of swimming at Visakha Vidyalaya; my alma mater. My brother Ajith played cricket with with him & Manju was couple of years senior at Visakha. May you attain supreme bliss of nirvana.

  9. Dr Cuda Wijeyeratne

    I was privileged to know Nalini and her family from my childhood. Her brother Uapli and I were in school together and then through Medical school. I still remain close to the family. I was lucky to know Nalini when she was in England on holiday in the fifties, then at University and later when I stayed with her and her Mother in Arcadia. Nalini was lovely as a person and I will have the sweetest memories of her. My condolences to Gihan and Manju. May she attain Nibbana.

    Cuda Wijeyeratne

  10. Arnjali Samarasekera

    Dear Manjula and Gehan,

    I was one of her students at Visakha Vidyalaya and Manju my classmate. Manju, please accept my condolences. May she attain supreme bliss of Nirvana.
    Arnjali Samarasekera (nee de Costa)

  11. Dear Manju and gehan please accept our heartfelt condolences on the demise of your beloved mother. She was our teacher .May she attain nirvana. Induni and Indira

  12. Gehan, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You cherished your Mom and took such wonderful care of her. She will always be with you.

  13. Kaushi Hettiaratchi

    Mrs Sonnadara was my Zoology teacher at Visakha. May she attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana.
    Theruwan Saranai!

  14. Manjie Senanayake

    Dear Gihan and Manju please accept our heartfelt condolences on demise of your mother. She was Our
    Mother’s good friend and they were in University together like sisters. May she attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana.
    Manjie, Harshana and Chamath

  15. Dayani and Lucky Nawagamuwage

    Dear Gehan, Manju and Upamali,
    Please accept our heartfelt condolences. As a former Visakhian, I am deeply saddened. May she attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana.

  16. John & Renee Houser

    Renee and I did not have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Doreen. Her winning smile and humble manner were heart warming to all she encountered and we have always been impressed with Gehan. So, before we knew she was a pioneer in women’s education in Shri Lanka, we knew that she was a great parent. The world is going to miss her.

  17. Preethi Hapuarachchi

    Dear Gihan & Manjula, Sujatha & Upamali, please accept my my heartfelt condolences. May she attain nirvana.

  18. Clifford Baptist

    Dear Gehan Jaynne, Valeena and family, please accept our heartfelt condolences.
    Our prayers are with you in this.moment of mourning your loss.
    God Bless
    Clifford, Shereen, Dylan, and Taylor.

  19. May she attain supreme nibbana in future life.
    She was the beloved wife of a first cousin (Ruban Uncle) of my father. (One of the sons of my father’s mother’s brother- Sonnadara seeya from Matara). They lived in Kassapa road, off Jawatte road, Colombo-5. I still remember well that they used to visit us in Panadura until they migrated to USA.

  20. Anuja Abayadeera

    Dear Manju and Gehan,

    Please accept my Deepest sympathies. Your house was always an open house for us after school and I will always remember miss and your father.

  21. Gehan, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. You cherished your Mom and took such amazing care of her. She will always be with you. God bless her soul and rest her in peace, Amen.

  22. Joseph Nadarajah

    Dearest Gehan Jaynne, Valeena, Manju & family, Our deepest sympathies.

    You all are in our thoughts & prayers.
    God Bless you all.
    Christy, Jill & Joey

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