Daughter, Teacher, Mother, Friend: Sonya Robertson Bishop passed away on April 24, 2019 at Alta Vita Memory Centre in Longmont, Colorado. She was 78 years old.
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Sonya was born on June 27, 1940 in Greensboro, NC to James and Fleta (Oldham) Robertson. Along with her parents, Sonya was a charter member of Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston Salem, NC. She attended RJ Reynolds High School in Winston Salem, NC and graduated in 1958. She attended Meredith College before graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from High Point University in 1962. In 1963, she earned her teaching certificate through the State of North Carolina.
In 1964, Sonya and a friend traveled throughout Europe. That trip sparked a love for travel and exploration. She also went with another friend on a cross country road trip to California, which seemed to spark her love of the West.
Teaching brought her to Fayetteville, NC where she met her husband, Glade McKay Bishop. They married in August of 1967 and later divorced.
Being an Army wife, Sonya (and later with the whole family) moved at least six times within the first nine years of the marriage. She was also an active member of the Officers’ Wives’ Club.
Sonya paused her teaching career to give birth to four children, with the oldest being two and a half years old when the youngest twins were born. When asked by her children what it was like to raise four kids in diapers, she famously stated, “I don’t remember your childhood!”
The Army took the family to El Paso, TX in 1981. While in Texas, Sonya earned her teaching certificate through the State of Texas and worked in the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) first as a substitute teacher and then as a first grade teacher for over 17 years. She was also an after-school tutoring teacher and served on grade level planning/writing committees as collaborator and chairperson. She retired from EPISD in 2001.
In High School, Sonya’s nick name was “Bubbles” because she was so congenial and friendly to everyone she encountered. She had a light-hearted sense of humor and loved to laugh. She taught Sunday school and had a love of animals; with a special affinity for dogs. She also enjoyed air travel and flying. For many years she lived at the base of the Franklin Mountains and loved the wonderful view of the distant horizon; she especially cherished the beautiful desert sunsets. Most everyone who knew Sonya felt she was exceptionally sweet, personable and welcoming. She possessed a natural elegance and loved spending time with her friends and family. She considered her greatest blessings to be her four children. As her health declined, she moved to Colorado to be closer to three of her four children. Her only daughter, Meredith, was extremely close to her throughout her life and was especially helpful during her time in Colorado as a healthcare advocate, daughter, and friend.
Sonya was preceded in death by her parents.
She is survived by her children, Garrett (Arlita) Bishop, Meredith (Chad) Adams, Brian (Mary Margaret) Bishop and David (Kristina) Bishop; her eight grandchildren; and her siblings, James “Rob” Robertson, Jr. and Carol Kline.
A memorial service will be held at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC, Tuesday July 9th, 2019 at 11am. Memorial contributions can be made to the ASPCA. Cremation entrusted to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory. Visit www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com to share condolences.