Sonya Eileen Morrison, 62, of Durant, Oklahoma, passed away while surrounded by family on March 16, 2022 in Denison, Texas.
Sonya was born on March 27, 1959 in Midland, TX the oldest daughter of Ewell Conway and Zilla Winona Morriss. She grew up in the country, her younger sister, Tiana, always near her side. She loved spending time with her horses and barrel racing, but equally important were her studies.
She was a junior at Durant High School when she caught the eye of senior, Mark Morrison, who remembers even 45 years later, exactly what she was wearing that fateful day they crossed paths: crisp blue jeans and a pale blue cashmere sweater, long dark hair and blue eyes that stopped him in his tracks. He asked for a date, and they’ve rarely been separated since.
Sonya graduated from Durant and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in history and education with a minor in speech pathology from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, graduating a year early while still making time for her high school sweetheart. Not long after marrying in the Calvary Baptist Church she’d grown up in, Mark and Sonya moved to Norman where she worked as a public librarian and began her master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma while Mark attended law school. Once back home, she put her graduate degree in education to work, teaching in elementary education for Durant Public Schools, eventually earning the position of librarian at Northwest Heights. Sonya was beloved by her students, instilling in them a love of reading that mirrored her own.
Several years—but what felt to them like a lifetime—later, Sonya and Mark welcomed their first child, son Lincoln Grey with son Bailey Graeme joining them shortly after she turned 40. She retired from education soon after to dedicate her life and every moment in it to her husband and young sons. She fostered and made important any passion the boys focused on through the stages of childhood and into adulthood. From basketball and tennis to band and theater, Sonya was front row and cheering on her sons. Whether it was the PTA or the booster club for athletics or band, she was plugged in, even serving as the secretary for the band boosters for a time, striving to create great programs for not only her boys but other Durant students as well. While the boys were in school during the day, she began working outside the home again at Mark’s law firm, keeping the books and managing the financial records until her death.
When Grey married in 2014, they added a sweet daughter-in-law, Kali, to the family, and in 2021, Grey and Kali blessed Sonya and Mark with their first grandchild—beautiful, redheaded Leighton Reese. Leighton was the apple of Sonya’s eye and has inherited her Honey’s curiosity and love of reading.
A true renaissance woman, Sonya was interested in and knowledgeable about many subjects and had a wide variety of talents. She loved books, consuming them on paper, via Kindle, and through audio versions, and she both embroidered and crocheted beautifully. She loved researching history, particularly that of her own family as she tracked down her extensive ancestry, traveling throughout the deep South to visit places previous generations had made their homes. One of her most widely known talents and loves was that of cooking. She loved to try new things and was near perfection at the classics. After visiting Paula Dean’s restaurant in Georgia, Mark famously quipped to anyone who asked about the meal that it wasn’t any better than what he and the boys got at home.
What Sonya was known for the most was her dedication to her family and friends. She was a constant show of support for not only her own husband and children but for her sister and in-laws as well as her many nieces and nephews, attending baseball games, tennis matches, choir concerts, graduations, the list goes on. She showed her love by showing up, over and over, again and again for the people in her life. She will be missed endlessly.
Sonya is survived by the love of her life and husband of 39 years, Mark, devoted son Grey and daughter-in-law Kali, beloved son Graeme, granddaughter Leighton, and sister Tiana Boehme. Other survivors include mother-in-law Joyce Morrison, sister and brother-in-law Penny and Wes Lovell, brother and sister-in-law Nate and Susan Morrison, and over a dozen nieces and nephews including Richard and Casey Rawlings, Erin Boehme, Ryan Boehme, Adam and Jessi Lovell, Alyssa and Ryan Bowen, Alex and Katie Lovell, Jacob Morrison, Hannah Morrison, and Noah Morrison as well as a host of great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents Conway and Winona Morriss, grandparents Ewell and Ara Morriss, grandparents Charles and Annabelle Carlton, and father-in-law Houston “Tony” Morrison.
A memorial service in her honor will be held at Community Christian Church in Durant at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to the newly established Sonya Morrison Memorial Northwest Heights Book Fund.
Services are under the direction of Holmes-Coffey-Murray Funeral Home in Durant, Oklahoma. www.holmescoffeymurray.com
The service will be live streamed on our Facebook page.
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