Sorority grants WWII veteran’s dying wish ‘to dance with a beautiful woman.’

Paul Sonnier, a 92-year-old World War II Navy veteran, was granted his last wish by the ladies of Phi Mu’s Alpha Omicron Chapter. Sonnier had told Jessica Moreau, one of the members of the sorority, that, if he had one final wish, it would be “to dance with a beautiful woman.” Moreau was happy to oblige.

Moreau, who spent time as a social work intern with SouthernCare Hospice Services and is a member of University of Southern Mississippi’s Phi Mu sorority, often visited Sonnier.

“He’d always ask me if I wanted to go to Ropers, the local bar,” said Moreau, according to a report by WDAM. “He says I’ll teach you how to jitterbug and the Waltz.”

During their conversations, Sonnier mentioned that he would like “to dance with a beautiful woman” before he passed.

Moreau decided to gather her sorority sisters and throw a dance for Sonnier.

“We, as a chapter, always like to get involved with the community,” said Cameron Ponder, the Phi Mu chapter president. “Since one of our members is a social work major at the University of Southern Mississippi, we just found this to be a great way to honor someone that has done so much for our country.”

Sonnier is bedridden, so he had to be brought to the dance on a gurney and wasn’t physically able to take a spin on the dance floor. However, he was able to participate in the festivities, enjoying the company of the sorority members throughout the event.

Family members expressed their gratitude for the sorority’s efforts.

“We’re super grateful because he hasn’t been out the house in so long,” said Sonnier’s granddaughter, Samantha Owen. “All these ‘pretty women’ get to come around him. He gets to hand out flowers and just be himself. He hasn’t been himself for a while, so he’s super happy.”

“What we appreciate the most is that our greatest generation member, my father, is happy that this younger generation appreciates everything that he did and sacrificed so they can sit here and have fun and have the freedoms that they have,” said Ida Sonnier, the WWII veteran’s daughter.

While Sonnier stated that he wished he could actually dance, being around everyone lifted his spirits.

According to Sonnier, “It feels good to be with all these beautiful women.”

Today, we had the opportunity to host a party for Mr. Paul, a WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, to fulfill his last wish!! We had such a great time dancing, singing, and eating lemon cookies with him!!

Posted by Phi Mu at USM on Monday, April 23, 2018