Edward B. Sonneborn, 77, a retired manufacturers representative who was an honorary deputy chief of the D.C. Fire Department, died Wednesday at Georgetown University Hospital. d

Mr. Sonneborn helped found the Friendship Fire Association in Washington 40 years ago. The Association maintains a converted fire truck used to carry food and coffee to D.C. firemen who are at the scene of serious fires and unable to take a break for refreshment.

During his years with the association, Mr. Sonneborn twice served as its chief, was the organization's treasurer four times, and member of its board of directors.

In recognition of his efforts for firemen, D.C. Fire Chief Burton W. Johnson named Mr. Sonneborn an honorary D.C. deputy fire chief in October 1973. Mr. Sonneborn also was given a certificate of appreciation by the D.C. Fire Department in 1978.

Mr. Sonneborn was born in Ohio and reared in Baltimore, where he attended Johns Hopkins University. He came to Washington in 1931 and joined the Navy Department as a civilian fire marshal. He left the Navy department after World War II to become a jewelry store manager, then from 1960 until retiring in the mid-1970s, was a stationary products manufacturers representative.

He was a past member of the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

Mr. Sonneborn's wife Jeanne, died in 1977. His survivors include a son, Charles B., of Silver Spring; two brothers, Lawrence, of Baltimore, and Charles P., of Arlington, and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expression of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Burn Fund at the Washington Hopital Center.