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54, of Chandler, Arizona passed away on October 19, 2013. Sonya was the second child born to the late Rudolph and Helen Chavarria on April 27, 1959. She passed away much too soon on October 19th, surrounded by many loved ones. Sonya spent her childhood and teen years growing up in Tempe, Arizona. She attended Flora Thew Elementary, Connolly Middle School, and graduated in 1977 from McClintock High School. Sonya later received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University respectively. She was pursuing a doctoral degree in Education from Grand Canyon University at the time of her passing. Sonya was passionate about education and dedicated her life to teaching and making a difference in students lives. She began her 30-year teaching career as a biology teacher at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. After leaving Carl Hayden, she worked for Tempe Elementary School District in the English Language Acquisition department as a teacher trainer. After working at the district level for awhile, Sonya soon found her love of teaching children calling her back to the classroom. She most recently taught middle school science at Gilliland Middle School in Tempe. More than anything, Sonya cherished the time spent with her son Paxton whether it was going to sporting events, taking short trips or just hanging out at home. Her fun-loving, spirited nature will be greatly missed by many. Sonya is survived by her son Paxton; brother Rudy of Queen Creek; sister Doddy of Gilbert; and sister Carla of Chandler; Visitation and Rosary will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 28th at Tempe Mortuary, 405 East Southern, Tempe, Arizona 85282. A funeral mass will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 29th at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, 3450 West Ray Road, Chandler, Arizona 85226
Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 29, 2013