by Sara 

Death of Magnolia business owner saddens community


UPDATE:  There has been some confusion about the fund set up for the family of Sonny Tran.  Donations can be made at any Key Bank branch under the name Diem Giang. 

Family and friends are mourning the passing of Magnolia businessman Son Hoanh (Sonny) Tran, owner of Sonny and Maria?s Nail Salon on 32nd Ave West in The Village.

A note is posted on the door of Sonny and Maria?s Nail Salon that says:  ?Son Hoanh Tran (Sonny) Born: April 26, 1970. Passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on August 5th, 2011. Dearly beloved husband of Diem Giang (Maria). Loving father of John Paul Giang Tran.?

Many people learned of Tran?s death as they walked by the shop this evening. Flowers were placed in front of the shop door today, with many customers and residents coming by to pay their respects.   A teary-eyed long time customer, Dria Anderson, stopped at the salon and said she was heartbroken when she heard the news.

?Sonny always had a smile,? recalled Maria Guinasso, who worked in the same building as Sonny and Maria before their move to 32nd Ave.

?Shocked and saddened,? customer Rebecca Dols told the Magnolia Voice. ?They worked seven days a week,? she noted of Sonny and his wife Maria.

His death, ?leaves a huge hole in the community,? explained customer Michael Durnan, who was passing by. ?He was a great member of the community,? he said.

The note on the door also includes a hand-written request for donations in lieu of flowers be sent to Magnolia Key Bank in the name of Diem Giang to assist the family.  There is a memorial on August 13,at  10AM at Our Lady of Fatima church. There will also be a service for the Vietnamese community in Columbia City at a date and location to be announced.

Tran started his nail salon business on Thorndyke Ave. West in 1995.   Three years later Sonny and Maria opened their shop on West McGraw Street.  Earlier this year they moved to their new location on 32nd Ave West. 

Thanks to contributor Steven Smalley for this story and photographs

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  1. oh no I am sooo saddened by this news Sonny was a wonderful person with lots of joy I feel for his family and little John Paul

  2. RIP Sonny, very nice and kind man who i saw almost daily. I hope the family can move forward. This hit the wife and I pretty hard as I could not shake the thought most of the day yesterday.

  3. Sonny will be greatly missed.? Our community has lost a wonderful person and business owner.?

  4. Sonny and Maria are like family, to me and to so many in Magnolia.? My heart goes out to Maria, John Paul and Vivian.? Sonny you were loved by all who were blessed to have met you.?

  5. The donation account is at US BANK not KEY BANK. WE have had several people come into KEY today and those checks/money will be hand delivered to US BANK and put into the right account. Feel free to come into either bank and we will be more than happy to help get the money into the right hands. We at KEY are deaply saddened by the loss to the Magnolia Community. Thank you the Magnolia Key Bank Team.

  6. Sonny will be truly missed.? My heart goes out to Maria and John Paul.? We all loved him too.

    Shannon Morgan

  7. So sorry and sad to hear of Sonny’s untimely passing. My thoughts are with Maria and John Paul.

  8. Sad to see his place, I will miss his professionality and fun jokes.
    Grace Pompei

  9. Dearest Maria,? you and your family are in our hearts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.? Sonny was a special person, so proud of his family and his successful business.? He will be missed by so many.

  10. deeply saddened by this tragic loss. my prayers go out to maria, kids and family. may peace be with you sonny.?

  11. deeply saddened by this tragic loss. my prayers go out to maria, kids and family. may peace be with you sonny.?

  12. I heard about this on Friday. Recvd a call b/c I had an appointment with him for today (Monday). Shocked and dismayed to say the least. Hard-working, sweet people. My heart goes out to his family.

  13. KeyBank posted earlier that the donations were to be made at US Bank. Can the article be corrected to reflect such, I see the coment was deleted for some reason. I was one of the people who dropped off a check at Key Bank due to the article and note posted.

  14. Please correct to Sonny had an adopted daughter, Vivian, as well as his son, John Paul.? Also, if ?US Bank is the place to donate for their family, please post that information for those who would like to contribute.
    I have known Sonny for 13 years, and loved his spirit for emigrating to America, and watching his family grow from marrying?a beautiful wife to having darling children and the addition of his extended family of mom-in-law and nephew.? I think they were the best example I have ever known as a family who embraced the American lifestyle as immigrants.? I hope that Maria and their family will feel the love and caring of their neighbors, friends & clients in Magnolia as they deal with the loss of Sonny.?

  15. I was shocked and deeply saddened to find out about the passing?of our beloved Sonny.? I met Sonny and Maria in early 2008 and was instantly drawn in by their warmth and joie de vivre.? Sonny was always waving at people, greeting people, joking with the neighborhood kids,?joking with?his wife with that mischevious twinkle in his eye…he had an aura and light around him that made everyone smile.? I always?respected them for their hard work (7 days a week!); Sonny and I talked often about the American Dream and how he?knew that his hard work would pay off, and he was always grateful for the opportunities he had here in the US.? His stories of growing up in Vietnam, and then coming here to the US, made me very appreciative of the opportunities we have in our country, and he embraced this with so much passion.?My prayers are with his beautiful wife Maria and his beautiful children, as well as his extended?family and community.? His passing has left an emptiness that many people will feel for a very long time.? Sonny, know that you are loved and never will be forgotten.? Rest in Peace…

  16. This is a terrible tragedy. Everyone who knew him, and knows his family, is in painful mourning over this sudden loss.

  17. I am still processing the fact that we no longer have Sonny.? I along with all the Magnolia community miss him terribly already.? Maria and John Paul and Vivian are wonderful wonderful people.? We will all be with you Maria and lend our support in this sadness.

  18. I only?knew Sonny for a short time, but loved to talk and kid with him. He was a good Businessman, Husband, Father and Friend. He will be missed. R.I.P. Sonny.

Comments are closed.

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