Sonya Childress passed away peacefully on July 14, 2022 at the age of 82. Sonya was born February 17, 1940 in Erick, Oklahoma. Her early years in Erick were remembered fondly and after World War II, the family moved to Westmorland, California. Growing up in the heat of the Imperial Valley, Sonya first met Tommy Childress at the city pool and soon became childhood sweethearts. They were married November 9, 1957 in Westmorland and spent their honeymoon at the brand new Disneyland theme park. Tommy began his long career with the California Division of Highways and their first home was in a date palm grove in Oasis. Soon, transfers took her young family to San Diego, Garden Grove, Lompoc, and San Luis Obispo where they settled for 32 years.
Throughout her children’s grade school years, Sonya was a frequent “Room Mother” baking treats and creating special gifts for classroom holidays. In San Luis Obispo, Sonya and Tom learned to square dance and spent many happy nights and weekends dancing around the state. Sonya was a talented painter and crafts worker, often selling thousands of dollars of Christmas and other home decorations at holiday boutiques. Sonya loved to spend time with her family and for 25 years enjoyed a week each September in a cabin nestled in the Eastern Sierras mountains of California. After Tom’s retirement, they moved to St. George in 2002 and became involved with church activities, made many friends, enjoyed shopping trips to Las Vegas and became a Downton Abbey and Utah Jazz fan.
Sonya is survived by her husband of almost 65 years, son Mark (Barbara) of Palmetto, Georgia, younger sisters Olivia (Tom) Roscamp of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Linda (Richard) Jones of Wildomar, California. Along with nieces and nephews, and two cousins Carolyn Belew of Yuma Arizona and Bobby Hill of Holtville California. In Sonya’s heart, there was always a special place for her beloved aunt, Billie Price of Lufkin, Texas. In St. George, the Brinkerhoff and Steffan families were very loved and brought much joy to her watching their children grow up.
Sonya is preceded in death by her parents Hiram and Ines Kissee and her oldest son Gary.
Our family would like to express deep gratitude to the nurses and hospice staff at St. George Regional Hospital for the comfort and compassion given to Sonya. We are forever grateful for the care you provided.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 7:00PM at West Side Baptist Church 2299 W 2000 N in St. George.
Condolences may be shared at mcmillanmortuary.com