1939 – 2014

STARKS — Sonja “Sunny” Pearson Cesario, 74, of Starks, passed away peacefully at her home with her family by her side on Tuesday, Feb. 11, due to complications of cancer.

She was born in Damariscotta on May 30, 1939, a daughter of Ed and Ethel (McCormick) Pearson. She graduated from Farmington High School in 1957.

Sunny lived a number of years with her three children on the Nantucket, Mass., shores and in the rolling hills of Western Maine. She loved the natural world, including the Maine woods, the sea, the animal kingdom, the Maine lakes and all that the New England outdoors had to offer.

Sunny owned and operated her own retail boutique, Iron Butterfly in Farmington, and was employed by the Farmington Elks Lodge where she was a bartender, “chief storyteller” and “listening officer” for 10 years. As one patron put it, “she was more than just a member; she was the matriarch of our lodge. Sunny, you will never be forgotten.”

Sunny was happiest being with her family, among nature and with her myriad of animals (parrots, dogs, cats and horses, to name a few). One of her favorite places was Loon Lake, where she would spend time when she could. She was an incredible artist, which gave her peace.

Sunny is survived by her son, Jimmy Cesario, of Farmington; her son, Johnny Cesario, of Nantucket, Mass.; her daughter, Laura Bessey and her husband, JD Bessey, of Nantucket, Mass.; her grandchildren, Alexis Gilbert of Industry, Tanner Bessey of Farmington and Nia Bessey of Nantucket, Mass.; a great-grandchild, Maisie Gilbert; and two sisters, Susi Pearson of Farmington and Sally Silver of Farmington.

She will be deeply missed by the Cesario, Gilbert and Bessey families. She is also going to be deeply missed by her many friends at the Farmington Elks, with whom she spent countless hours and special moments.

Her family would like to thank everyone for their expressions of sympathy and the outpouring of support. Your calls and visits have been appreciated.

Words of condolence and tribute may be shared with her family on her tribute wall at www.wilesrc.com.

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