After moving to Belmont at the age of six, Sonya became a lifetime resident of the Belmont area. She was a 1961 graduate of Belmont Central High School. Starting while she was in school, Sonya was a lifelong child-care provider, caring for many children in Belmont and from surrounding villages. As a young adult, her first employment was at the Texas Hot in Wellsville. After she married, Sonya became the bartender at the Belmont American Legion for over thirty plus years until she retired in 2015.
She enjoyed golfing, bowling, card games, traveling, cooking and canning for her family and friends. Sonya was a competitive card player; she ran the Belmont Legion Euchre Tournament for many years. She loved to travel, especially to visit her children wherever they happened to live. Sonya liked to stay active and was recognized by the YMCA for self-improvement and encouragement. In 2011 she was awarded “The Most Improved Home” by the Belmont Betterment Association. She was community-minded and was a life member of the Belmont American Legion Post 808 Auxiliary, the Belmont Fire Department Auxiliary, The Order of the Eastern Star, Wellsville Elks Lodge 1495, and the Wellsville Moose Lodge. She will be remembered as a devoted and loving mother who also adored her cats, Zoe and Lilly.
She is survived by: four children, Mark J. (Kelly) Hand of Belmont, Teresa M. (Greg) Turner of Colorado Spring, CO, Nicole L. Hand-Bryant (James Bryant) of Murray, KY, and Kristen E. Hand of Belmont; seven grandchildren, Emily J. Hand, Adam M. (Jessie) Hand, Megan N. Hand, Aspen N. Turner, Ella E. Bryant, Colin J. Bryant, and Xxander R. Hand; one great-granddaughter, Haylee C. Spinks; a brother, Theodore L. (Roberta) Seeley of Belmont; a sister-in-law, Marlee Schmitt of Angelica; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by: her loving step-mother, Arlouine Seeley, who raised her; and her granddaughter, Manhattan G. Hand.
Friends are invited to call on Monday, October 4, 2021 from 11 am - 1 pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Belmont (17 Schuyler Street). Her funeral service will follow visitation at 1 PM with the Reverend John Francisco presiding; the American Legion Auxiliary Service will take place between visitation and the funeral. Burial will be in Forest Hills Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to: The American Cancer society, Home and Hospice Care, Amity Rescue Squad, or The American Legion Post 808 Auxiliary Scholarship Fund. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.