Sonya Faye Taylor Womack, a long-time resident of Montgomery, died peacefully on May 10 after an extended battle with Alzheimer's and pancreatic cancer. Sonya spent her final 8 years in Birmingham, close to one of her sons and his loving family.
Sonya was the third child born to Cephas Zechariah Taylor and Mary Will Culpepper Taylor in Eclectic, Alabama on November 7, 1939. She had two older sisters, Louise Taylor Norrell, and Geraldine (Dean) Taylor Roberson.
After graduating from Elmore County High School in 1957, she attended Troy State and then Auburn, where she earned a Master's degree in English Education. She became an English teacher and met Patrick Clayton Womack, a fellow teacher and small-town boy from Spring City, Tennessee, while teaching in Marietta, Georgia. They married in July 1961, later settled in Montgomery, and had 4 sons:
- Jonathan Patrick Womack of Birmingham, Alabama
- Kiplan Shea Womack of Lake Wylie, South Carolina
- Chapman Rhea Womack of Auburn, Alabama
- Patrick Owen Womack of Prattville, Alabama
After her husband passed away in 1989, Sonya raised their four teenage boys on her own. One of the greatest joys of Sonya's life was being with her boys, enjoying their antics and liveliness. Her boys were the subject of her favorite stories, and her love and pride for them was evident to all who knew her. Each of her boys married and had two children; these eight grandchildren, six boys, and two girls knew her as "TayTay." Sonya was overjoyed with having grandchildren and loved to sit back and watch the chaos when everyone was at her house.
The other great joys in her life were extended family, friends, cats, and a good book or two. The highlight of Sonya's career was teaching Advanced Placement (AP) and Senior English at the LAMP magnet program at Sidney Lanier High School, and then at Booker T. Washington Magnet School in Montgomery. She was a gifted and caring teacher, who poured into her students for over 40 years. She was awarded Alabama's Teacher of the Year in 2000, a tremendous honor and well-deserved accolade that reflected her impact on countless students and fellow teachers. Sonya was a teacher to the very end, insisting that her body be donated to the University of Alabama - Birmingham (UAB) medical school for Alzheimer's research and teaching.
Sonya had faith from a young age that Jesus was who He said He was, and the words in the Bible are truth and life. Because of this, she was not afraid of death when facing her health struggles.
Instead of fear, she had a tremendous peace, talking to one and all about what heaven was going to be like. We take great comfort in knowing that she's there now, surrounded by the love of her Savior, her husband, and the rest of her eternal family. Although she's gone home, the memory of her love, sacrifice, and generosity will remain with us forever.
A memorial celebration will be held at Danberry of Inverness, 235 Inverness Center Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242, on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to Brother Bryan Mission in Birmingham, an organization near and dear to Sonya and her family.
Published in The Birmingham News on May 26, 2019