Sonia Acorn

June 14th, 2020

Born in Webster’s Corner, PEI, 1939, Sonia passed away in Vancouver on June 14th. 2020. Sonia is survived by her husband Earl Acorn, brothers William Griffin (Florence), Charlottetown; Leo Griffin (Denise), Val d’Or, Quebec; Dunstan Griffin (Nancy), Hamilton, Ontario; brother in law, Robert (Thelma) Acorn, Charlottetown, & sister in law, Barbara (Steve) Cheverie, Hamilton.   

She was predeceased by her parents Maurice Griffin and Mary Edith Griffin (nee Trainor), Charlottetown, and brother, Vincent “Hank” Griffin (Iva).

Sonia graduated from St. Joseph’s Convent and Notre Dame Academy, Charlottetown and went on to a career in nursing. She graduated with a nursing diploma from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Boston in 1960. After nursing in New York City, she returned to her studies and received a Bachelor of Nursing, McGill University, in 1964. Looking for adventure, Sonia, with a St. Elizabeth’s classmate, drove from Boston to San Francisco, where they nursed for two years. In 1966, Sonia returned to Prince Edward Island and was Nursing Instructor and later Director of Nursing, Hillsborough Hospital, Charlottetown. Later she was Director of Staff Development and Training, PEI, Civil Service Commission. During this period of her career, Sonia received a MSc (Nursing) Boston University (1972); served as President of the Association of Nurses for Prince Edward Island, and as a Board Member of the Canadian Nurses Association. 

Moving to Edmonton in 1982, Sonia taught at the University of Alberta, and completed her PhD (Nursing} at the University of Utah (1987). Accepting a faculty position at the University of British Columbia, Sonia continued her love of teaching and was Professor Emerita, at UBC, at the time of her death.

She consulted with schools of nursing internationally on the development of nursing curricula, including the University of Jordan, in Amman and the Peking Union Medical College Hospital School of Nursing in Beijing.

Sonia had an infectious laugh and a kind & mentoring spirit which she lent to all her endeavors. Over her professional career Sonia had numerous publications and received honors and awards including the Award of Excellence in Nursing Research - Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia and an Award for Accreditation Review Excellence from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. She liked to travel, ski & hike and be as one with nature.

Sonia will be missed by family and friends and will be remembered for her honest, caring, industrious and fun loving nature.

Sonia requested that she be cremated with no service.

You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.


Sonia was my true mentor from graduate studies...she made me laugh. So sorry to see her go, but not in my heart and mind.

Earl, I was so sorry to hear about Sonia. She was a lovely lady with a wonderful , infectious laugh. She made the osteofit ladies smile when they heard her. ....and me too! i jokingly referred to Sonia as my manager. She was always up for organizing a get together. Thinking of you and sending lots of love your way.

Dear Earl and family, I was very sorry to hear of Sonia’s passing. I met Sonia about five years ago in an exercise class. She was very welcoming to me and all newcomers. She had a gift for building community. We will miss her friendship and her laugh! Sincere condolences, Avril Simpson

Dear Earl: I am so sorry to learn of Sonia's passing. Sonia was an excellent teacher, administrator and researcher. We worked together on several projects and presentations. I admired her kindness, compassion and warmth. With her infectious smile, she always saw the best in everyone. Sonia will be sorely missed.

Dear Earl, I am very sorry for your loss and offer my deepest condolences. Sonia was always an excellent colleague. She will be remembered also for being a nursing leader. Kind regards, Wendy Hall

Aunt Sonia was and will always be a source of joy in my life, a truly beautful human being. Sending all my love to you, Earl.

Dear Earl and all Sonia’s brothers and their wives and nieces and nephews, My heart breaks for you all. She was such a sweet person and I remember how Vince loved her so. Thinking of you all at this difficult time.

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