Edward Lee Sonny Muncrief was born in Oakland, Oklahoma on March 12, 1931. One of triplets, he had a total of eleven siblings when all was said and done. As the family moved around, Sonny attended several different schools but it only took nine days of high school for him to realize his future lay in hard work, not book smarts. At the age of 17, he left Oklahoma to follow his oldest brother to Carlsbad, NM where he lived and loved for the next 72 years.
Sonny met Helen Marie Rea Ellsworth at the Corner Drug Store and three months after their first date to see Miracle of the Bells at the midnight movie, he proposed. They were married on November 27, 1949 and had 69 years together before she proceeded him in death in 2018. Death often imitates life and this was no exception. Many a time, Rea grew tired of waiting on Sonny to finish talking and would wait in the truck. This time, at least she got to wait in Heaven! Even in Heaven, Sonny will probably tell you they are on speaking and kissin termshe speaks to her and she tells him to kiss her foot! He said it as a joke, but he never left the house without a goodbye kiss.
There was no better son, brother, father, uncle, grandfather or friend than Sonny Muncrief. He never thought twice about helping someone in need never handouts, but countless hands up building people up to be and have better. Rarely a holiday or even just a Tuesday went by that Sonny didnt bring home someone who needed a meal or just a little company. The house was usually full, and so was his heart.
From putting on roofs to raising hogs, Sonny never shied from hard work. His Okie upbringing often came through loud and clear in his projects with Okie Riggin as needed it might not be the best fix, but by golly it would work. You used what you had and paid cash for everything. That is how Sonny lived.
You never had to guess where Sonny stood on things. He wore his heart on his sleeve and never hesitated to let you know what he was thinking. All the book learning in the world couldnt compete with the wisdom born of loyalty, dedication and living life as simply who you are. Sonny was genuine. There are so many memories of expressions and overalls that will live on with those who knew him. His loving smile, his big stories and that incredulous look on his face just before he said Waddya do that for?, that actually made you think why did I do that?
All the character and goodness that was Sonny is evidenced in countless stories, but most especially by the last few years of his life. When his wife developed dementia, Sonny became the care giver because it was what was needed. When she had to go into the nursing home, it was done because it was what was needed. That was who Sonny was. Loyal, loving and finding a way to do what was needed, even when he didnt like it. Of course, he let you know he didnt like it, but then he made it happen eventually, stubbornness was also one of his traits, but once it settled in his head what was for the best, he followed through. He taught everyone who knew him how to love, because he just did it, he loved.
Sonny left this earth on April 22, 2020. His work on earth was done, having lived what he would consider an ordinary life and leaving behind an extraordinary example. An example of courage not just anyone would fly on a kite behind a ski boat down the Pecos River. An example of loyalty not just anyone would move in next to their in-laws and care for them as they aged. An example of strength not just anyone would go on after losing the love of their life, but he missed her every day. An example of perseverance not just anyone faces the heartaches and tough times, never blaming anyone else, just working for something better with grit and faith. He fought the good fight. He kept the faith and lead by example. He quite simply was Sonny Muncrief.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
Sonny was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Marie Rea Muncrief; parents: Claude & Alice Muncrief; son, Raymond Lee Tub; brothers and sisters: Clifford, Ervin, Tennie Marie Sis, Ruth, Dean, Kenneth, and Wendyl.
Survivors are his daughter, Marilla Snooks (Jim) Denny; son, Rex D. (Lynette) Muncrief; grandchildren: Shawn (Tabitha) Denny, Deana (Robert) Crona, Mindy (Jason) Turner, Christy Muncrief, Keeley Muncrief, Lisa (Curt) Nesbit, Kourtney (Steve) Vaillaincourt, Megan (Kris) May, Denise Kimbrough, Keith (D.J.) Kimbrough; sister, Wanda Braudway; brother, Tobe Muncrief; sisters-in-law: Mary Lou Muncrief and Patsy Ward; 16 great-grandchildren and 31+ nieces & nephews.
The family would like to thank Encompass Hospice and caregivers-Bonnie, Yvonne, Shannon, Molly, Cindy, Rita, Susy, Mercedes and Mariah.
Memorial contributions may be made to Cavern Baptist Church, PO Box 3108, Carlsbad, NM 88220
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