Sophia Kania "Sophie" Dragan

Sophia Teresa Dragan, 89, born, raised, and a lifelong resident of Whitehouse Station, N.J., died December 26, 2021 in Lawrenceville, N.J. 

The daughter of the late Stanislaus and Anna Kruk Kania, “Sophie” was born May 12, 1932, and grew up on a small farm on Pulaski Road just east of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church where she was a lifelong parishioner.  Captain of the Flemington High School basketball team her junior and senior years, “Sure Shot Kania” was also an incredibly talented singer in the school choir.  As a young woman in the 1950s she was featured on a live TV talent show.  

In August 1960, Sophie married “city slicker” and former World War II aviator, William (Bill) Dragan who ran the Village Store in town.  After selling the store, they settled down to raise a family of five children.  Bill became a CPA and Sophie a homemaker.  Around 1970, with her professionally trained beautiful, rich mezzo-soprano singing voice, she started the parish children’s choir and also directed her family choir for years. Some of the best gifts she gave to both her children and the parishioners were the Christmas Eve duets singing Cantique de Noel with Bill - this would put us all in tears for its beauty.

After her children were grown, Sophie continued to sing in the church and diocesan choirs. She prepared meals for the pastors, was a dedicated member of the Altar Rosary Society, and also lovingly tended the plants and flowers in the church. Recognizing her incredible talent and dedicated service to others, the parish presented her with the Outstanding Service in Music Ministry as a Cantor, Adult Choir Award in May 1991, Mother of the Year in May 1992, and Rosarian of Honor in Oct. 2014.  Sophie and Bill also cherished the Apostolic Blessing they received from Pope (now Saint) John Paul II for their 40th wedding anniversary in August 2000.

Also in the comunity, Sophie served as president of the Polish American Hall and was later recognized as an honorary life member.  For a time Sophie even brought her wonderful cooking skills, wisdom, smile, and pragmatic ways to the students of Hunterdon Central High School where she worked in the cafeteria and her homemade soups became a hit with the teachers. 

Sophie was predeceased by Bill, her husband of 47 years; her sisters Helen Lichota and Jean Sargent; her brothers, Joseph and Thaddeus Kania; her brothers-in-law, William Post, Chester “Chet” Lichota, Sr. and Joseph “Joe” Sargent; sisters-in-law, Margaret and Stella Kania; nephew and God-son Thaddeus “Ted” or “Butch” Kania, Jr., and, niece and nephew, Lisa and Brian Post. 

Sophie is survived by her sister, Veronica Post, currently residing in Brewster, WI, and her five children, Sharon Dragan Barr and husband Brian of Pennington, NJ, William George Dragan and wife Becky of Kalamazoo, MI, Nadine Boden and husband Dan of Anthem, AZ, Martin Dragan and wife Christie of Mount Holly, NJ; and Daria Zangara and husband Ray of Bridgewater, NJ. She also leaves behind 23 grandchildren, Michael Barr, Andrew (wife Sarah), Alex (wife Brittany), Anna, Peter, Matthew, Luke, Isabelle, Maria, Gianna, William, and Cecilia Dragan, Christopher, Sarah, Jonathan, Liam and Claire Boden, Max, Paul, Noelle and Olivia Dragan, Joseph and Justine Zangara, as well as 5 nieces and nephews: Chester “Chet” Lichota, Jr.; Karen, Jeff, and Neil Sargent, and Judy (Kania) Vayda. 

Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, January 2 from 2-5 p.m. at the Kearns Funeral Home, 103 Old Highway 28, Whitehouse.  A funeral liturgy will be held on January 3 at 9:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Whitehouse Station. Burial will be at 1 p.m. at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Sophie’s memory to:  Morris Hall/St Lawrence Fund, 2381 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. For further information, call (609) 896-9500, ext. 2215