Vanna Christian Sun

Vanna Christian Sun was born on February 9, 1960 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to parents, Mr. Saing and Mrs. Srine Samnang.

She was joyfully wed to her husband, Bonnly Sun, on March 28, 1974, and gave birth to her first child, Sopheap, in 1975. During this time, Cambodia was taken over by the Communists (“Khmer Rouge”) and she was forced into slavery, working in the rice fields every day, from 5am to 7pm, for 3 years, 8 months and 20 days. After many years of torture, starvation and caring for a newborn child surrounded by a genocide of over four million people, Vanna was reunited with her husband and family in the outskirts of Phnom Penh. She met the Red Cross and missionaries who taught her about the love of Jesus at Khao I Dang Camp, and accepted Him as her Lord and Savior in November 1979.

Sponsored to immigrate to the United States by her brother-in-law, Bonnkong Robert Sun, Vanna was then pregnant with her second child, Lyna. As such, she and her husband were required to travel to a refugee camp in Bataan, Philippines before arriving in the United States in 1981. Vanna and her husband met the Salvation Army and became soldiers (members) of the Bataan Corps, where she dedicated her life to serving the Lord.

Vanna arrived in Providence, RI and became a soldier of the Salvation Army Providence Corps where she continued her discipleship. A mother of two, she was admitted into high school at the age of 22, and soon earned the prestigious honor of being named valedictorian of the Hope High School class of 1983. Despite having to translate everything from English to Cambodian (and vice versa) in order to learn and study, she received a full scholarship to Rhode Island College and earned the Computer Science Award of her graduating Bachelors degree class in 1987. Her hard work secured her an immediate job offer as a systems programmer at Pitney Bowes in Danbury, CT. She was promoted into many project manager roles throughout the IT organization during her 20-year tenure at the company. Vanna gave birth to her third child, Kathryn, in 1990, and in 2002 earned her Masters of Science degree in Software Engineering.

Through all of Vanna’s determination and strive for creating a fruitful life for her husband and children, she always thanked God for all her accomplishments and the blessings He gave her – a beautiful family,warm home, food and the luxury of travel.

In 2018, Vanna was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer, and underwent two surgeries, six cycles of chemotherapies and immunotherapies, and one cycle of radiation therapy. She went to immeasurable lengths to fight for more time to spend with her family, living in NYC for two and a half years while being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering, commuting to Tampa and Orlando for treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center and Orlando Health, respectively, for two years, then falling ill in Phoenix, Arizona where she spent five weeks both hospitalized and receiving radiation at The Mayo Clinic.

The Lord gave her the time to spend Christmas 2023 with her family in Miami Beach and blessed her with traveling mercies to head back home to Kissimmee, FL, in January, where she completed her five-year and eight-month battle with cancer, surrounded by her family’s tremendous love.

Vanna Sun, aged 63, received her crown of Glory on January 30, 2024. Vanna was known to be intelligent, financially savvy, fiercely strong, an amazing cook, talented seamstress, creative home designer, avid cross-stitcher and crafty all around. Her soldiership with the Salvation Army spanned across 43 years in Bataan, Providence, Danbury, and Orlando Corps; during her NYC life, she regularly worshiped at the Times Square Corps. Vanna also was an active sponsor of churches that have been planted in Cambodia, including Oddar Mean Chey Province, in her mission to bring more people to know about the love of Jesus. She was a faithful servant of God, a devoted daughter, caring sister, beloved wife, dedicated mother and grandmother, loving aunt, and joyful friend to many.

May the comfort of our Heavenly Father surround Vanna’s husband, Bonnly Sun, during these difficult days, months, and years ahead. Also mourning are Vanna’s honorable parents, Mr. Saing and Srine Samnang; devoted children, Sopheap (Heejeong) Sun, Lyna Sun, Kathryn Sun (fiancé: Patrick Gotanco); grandchildren, Brandan and Christine Sun; siblings, Sochit (Melinda) Samnang, Vanny Samnang (Noroth), Setha (Rina) Samnang, Rana (Khun) Chhay, Samneang (Vathana) Samnang; and many nieces and nephews.

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