Sonya Swan Williams | Obituary

Sonya Swan Williams left this life and went to her heavenly home on a bright and cloudy day, January 31, 2022. She lived on Mercer Island, WA, for more than 40 years, and for 68 of her 90 years, Sonya shared her life with her beloved “Bobby Dan,” Robert Dan Williams, 93, and was a shining light of love and faith until her last day.

Sonya was born in Des Moines, IA, to Joyce and Pauline Swan, and was given the nickname “Bunny” because her birth fell on Easter Sunday. It was after her family moved to Minneapolis, MN, that Sonya found what became a lifelong passion for singing and acting. She secured lead roles in H.M.S. Pinafore, Pride & Prejudice, and Our Hearts Were Young and Gay at Carleton College and the University of Minnesota where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. While living in Minneapolis, she belonged to the Schiek Singing Sextette in Minneapolis, which put on musical portions of Broadway shows at a downtown nightclub.

Following her marriage in 1953, Sonya’s singing and acting career continued, with lead roles in The King & I, Camelot, Peter Pan, Oliver, and The Sound of Music, where her beloved turn as Mother Superior was reprised on a number of occasions over the succeeding years. As she and her young family moved to different cities in the ’60s and ’70s—Tulsa, OK, Albuquerque, NM, Dallas, TX, Advance, NC, Gadsden, AL—Sonya continued to bless people with her talents. In Albuquerque she even had her own television show! But it was in her featured soloist role for The World Evangelism Foundation while living in Dallas that she found her true joy. Worshiping with her voice in such places as France, Denmark and Norway, not to mention innumerable congregations across the United States, Sonya and Bob were blessed with a large, loving family, though the loss of their second born, Krissi Rae, at the age of five, remained painful all of their days. In addition to her husband, Sonya is survived by four children—Wendy Kae Perkins, Dan Alan Williams, Aimee Joie Coombs, and Paula Kathleen Pardini—and grandchildren Seth Womble, Krissi Womble, Janai Deitt, Austin Coombs, Brianna Coombs, Logan Pardini and Justin Pardini. In August 2021, many of these family members, their spouses and significant others, spent a precious afternoon at Sonya’s condo at Covenant Shores where she and Bob held hands and spoke of the power of faith and family. The experience was a beautiful, poignant testimony for those in attendance and, for some, the last time they were gifted to be in Sonya’s presence.

Joy was the “swan song” of Sonya’s wonderful life. It was authentic, beautiful and overflowed into all areas of life and with all the people she met. So evident was her joy that even those caring for her during the last days of her life commented on what a pleasure she was to serve. As she would gladly tell anyone who asked, this joy flowed from her deep, abiding love for her savior, Jesus. She was gracious, generous and oh, so joyous!

Prayer was the other hallmark of her life. Praying for her husband and children through their early family years; praying for needs within the church and community as they traveled; praying for grandchildren as they grew…prayer was always a part of her life and a part of any visit with her.

Sonya’s Celebration of Life service will be at 2pm, April 30th, 2022, at Evergreen Covenant Church in Mercer Island, WA.