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Published: Saturday, 6/23/2007

Funeral services set for Iraq victim

Sonnenberg Sonnenberg

McCLURE, OHIO - Funeral services have been set for Lt. Col. Kevin Sonnenberg, 42, of McClure, who was killed June 15 when his Air National Guard jet crashed in Iraq.

Visitation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow and 2 to 9 p.m. Monday in the Rodenberger Funeral Home, Napoleon. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Deshler, Ohio. Burial, with military honors provided by the 180th Ohio Air National Guard and local American Legion posts, is to follow in Hockman Cemetery, McClure.

Colonel Sonnenberg, a fighter pilot with the 180th's 112th Fighter Squadron, died when the F-16 fighter jet he was flying crashed during takeoff about five miles north of Balad Air Base as a result of an "aircraft accident, not of being shot down," officials at the 180th have said. The base is about 50 miles north of Baghdad. The single-seat fighter was on a mission to support ground forces. The cause of the crash is under investigation

Colonel Sonnenberg was was a pilot with Delta Airlines and was a Henry County farmer. He was a 1983 graduate of Napoleon High School and a 1987 graduate of Bowling Green State University. He joined the Air Guard in 1990, graduating from undergraduate pilot training in 1993 and F-16 training in 1994.

He previously served in Qatar, Kuwait, and Turkey.

Surviving are his wife, Lorin, whom he married Aug. 12, 2006; stepson, Carson Orr; parents, Marvin and Jean, and sisters, Vickie Schulze, Diana Reiser, and Jennifer Miller. The family suggests tributes to the church, the 180th's 112th Fighter Squadron, Damascus Township Fire and Rescue, or the Lt. Col. Kevin Sonnenberg Memorial Fund at Fifth Third Bank.

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