Sonja Wirth, age 79, of Kings Corners Road, passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by loving family on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

Sonja was born on February 9, 1938 in Czechoslovakia, the only daughter of the late Dr. Max and Anna Katzburg.  She survived the holocaust and immigrated to the US in 1951 via Italy to Ellis Island, settling in San Francisco.  Sonja then moved to the East coast eventually meeting her future husband, Donald, who introduced her to the Peruvian Horse.   Thus bringing them to Romulus, NY, establishing Phoenix Ranch.
She and her family operated the Phoenix Ranch, with Sonja achieving recognition for her outstanding contributions to the breed of Peruvian horses.  She will be honored this year by the NAPHA for her lifetime achievements.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Donald O. Wirth; her children, Stephen Wirth, Christian Wirth, Amie Turner, Brian Wirth, Victoria Rose and David Wirth, 23 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, a brother, Peter Katzburg and his three children.  Sonja was preceded in death by her sons, Richard Mero and Donald R. Wirth and great grandchild, Dion Mero.

Memorial Services will be held privately by the family with future interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in Romulus. 

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to research of the equestrian DSLD, a condition specific to Peruvian Horses:
                University of Georgia Veterinary Medicine
                Checks payable to:  University of Georgia
                Notation on check:  Donation to Dr. Halper’s Peruvian Research
                Mail to:  Dr. Halper-Peruvian Research
                142 Vet Med 1
                Athens, GA  30602-7388