Sonja Lilian Olsson Six

Fred and Lilian Six.  We are holding a celebration of the lives of Fred and Lilian Six on Thursday May 9, 2024, at 11:00am at Plymouth Congregational Church followed by a reception at the Cider Gallery.  The family invites anyone who knew them to attend and remember their wonderful lives.  

Sonja Lilian Olsson Six died on April 17, 2024, in Lawrence, Kansas. Lilian was born to Tage Rudolv and Gerda Erika Olsson in Stockholm, Sweden on February 8, 1934. She attended high school and college in her native Sweden and received a law degree from the University of Stockholm in 1959. She worked as an attorney and was admitted as a probate judge in Stockholm, Sweden.

Fluent in Swedish, English, French, and Spanish and proficient in German and Portuguese, she also studied in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Cuba until a Rotary International Fellowship brought her to the University of Kansas in 1959. While studying at KU, she met Frederick Newton Six, and they married in Sweden on May 11, 1961. She and Fred raised two children, Catherine and Stephen.

She received a Master’s in French Literature and another Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Kansas and worked at the KU School of Law as the Director of Admissions and later as the Director of Placement until her retirement in 1996.

Her love of dogs was fierce, and no question she enjoyed time with them over most people. She had several fine dogs including, Roxanne, Jake, and Max. Under her guidance, all were well behaved, obedient, and took commands in Swedish. As her health declined a visit from her granddaughter’s dog Finn or her friend Scott Simpson’s dog Luka buoyed her spirits. Lilian contributed to the Lawrence Humane Society in multiple ways, including volunteering to walk shelter dogs. 

Lilian expanded Fred’s world. Starting in the1960s she and Fred traveled throughout Europe and later throughout the world. Devoted to her family and to documenting every trip and outing she could be relied on to take more photos than anyone had time to look at. An academic at heart, Lilian enjoyed books, art, and theater. Meaningful to her was participating in local literary society Friends in Council for over fifty years.

Always active, Lilian was an ardent tennis player, enjoyed downhill skiing into her 70s, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. She instilled in her family a great love of the outdoors and took them on hikes up many Colorado peaks including several trips up 14, 255’ Long’s Peak. She took great satisfaction that her children and grandchildren are hikers, skiers, tennis players, and travelers.

Lilian is survived by her husband Fred of the home, daughter Catherine Sallerson (Peter) of East Hampton, NY, and son Stephen Six (Betsy) of Lawrence, KS. She is also survived by a sister, Gunilla Pluim of Ede, Netherlands and four grandchildren, Emily, Samuel, Henry, and William Six. She was preceded in death by her parents. Memorial services will be later.

6 Condolences

  1. Margaret Brinckerhoff on April 20, 2024 at 4:21 pm

    My heart felt love and prayers to Catherine and family. What a beautiful life lived and loved.

  2. Mark, Kathleen, and Shauna Swanson on April 20, 2024 at 9:48 pm

    What an incredible mark she left on this world, and we are all better for having experienced some of her spunk!!

  3. Mary Whitaker Davidson on April 21, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Lilian was such an accomplished person with so many passions. We benefited from the opportunity to know her. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  4. Alyssa DeLeon on April 21, 2024 at 11:43 am

    So many have been impacted by Lilian’s love for helping others. May her spirit for life live on through her family and friends.

  5. Richard De George on April 24, 2024 at 11:41 pm

    Dear Fred, I was so sorry to learn of Lilian’s death. I send my deepest condolences to you and your family.

  6. RS on May 3, 2024 at 3:04 am

    In reading this obituary, and the life Lilian led, she has inspired me, even in death, to get out and do more with the life I have remaining. Lilian and her husband undoubtedly enjoyed an exquisitely remarkable and well-lived life.

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