November 1, 1947 - May 31, 2021
Joyce Ann Sonnier, precious wife, mother and Nana, passed peacefully into Heaven’s gates on the morning of May 31, 2021, after a day surrounded by her loving husband, children and grandchildren and visits from lifelong friends. The daughter of Henry and Milady Valigura, Joyce grew up in the small town of Caldwell, Texas, where she was voted Class Favorite in high school and served as drum major and class treasurer. An honor roll student, she was also active in band and choir, and she shared her beautiful voice performing solos and duets at Caldwell Brethren Church. Though she graduated from Sam Houston State University, she was a lifelong fan of the Texas A&M Aggies. She began her teaching career in Bryan, Texas, where she met Ron, her husband of more than 49 years. Together, they raised a son and two daughters who blessed them with five beautiful grandchildren. Joyce was a gifted teacher who loved her students and had a knack for earning their returned love. Many who belonged to her class at Lorena Oates Elementary continued to keep up with her even decades after graduating. She loved kids, whether they were her students, her nieces and nephews, or her childrens' friends. In retirement, she dedicated much of her time to the Service League of Orange. Her husband, children and grandchildren, however, were her life. She loved dancing to '50s music, spreading the wonder of the holidays, decorating her home, rooting for the Aggies, and watching old movies - except anything that showed an animal suffering. She was a source of playfulness and joy - always pranking her kids and grandkids with jump scares or breaking into silly foreign accents. Even in the last stages of her battle with cancer, her wit and humor survived. Throughout her life, Joyce taught character traits by example: kindness, patience, compassion, and trust in God. Her heart was huge, her spirit was gentle and forgiving, and her greatest desires were for the health and happiness of those she loved. During her final days, friends and family traveled from around the country to share their love with her one last time. Her example of strength and resilience will serve those who loved her well, as her loss leaves a void that can only be filled by God's grace and mercy. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 4, 2021, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be Pastor Ryan Chandler. Visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 4, 2021, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. She was preceded in death by her father, Henry Valigura, and mother, Milady Valigura. She is survived by her husband, Ron, her children, Todd Sonnier and wife Valerie of Orange, Erin Hartmann of Pleasanton, and Jill Saltzman and husband Jason of Bridge City. She is also survived by five grandchildren she dearly loved: Logan Saltzman, Joshua Sonnier, Sadie Hartmann, Chloe Sonnier and Lila Hartmann. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Joyce Sonnier Memorial Scholarship Fund at West Orange Stark High School at P.O. Box 1107, Orange, Texas 77631. Please make checks payable to WOCCISD and on the bottom “for” column, indicate Joyce Sonnier Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Joyce Ann Sonnier, precious wife, mother and Nana, passed peacefully into Heaven’s gates on the morning of May 31, 2021, after a day surrounded by her loving husband, children and grandchildren and visits from lifelong friends. The daughter... View Obituary & Service Information
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