Sonja Thursby Beere
1936 - 2014
Sonja Kay
Thursby Beere
1936 - 2014
Our kind, loving, service-oriented mother and grandmother passed away suddenly on July 3, 2014 due to a fall. She spent much of her last few years selflessly caring for our father who passed away of ALS in January. She devoted her time and energy to making our dad comfortable. Sonja was born February 11, 1936 in Ephraim, Utah to Grant and Josephine Thursby. She graduated from Manti High School in 1954 where she was actively involved and just recently attended her 60th class reunion.
Sonja married the love of her life, Glen Lewis Beere, in Ephraim, Utah on August 2, 1958. Sonja went on to attend and graduate from Snow College and Utah State University. She also received her Master's Degree from the University of Utah. She taught in Roosevelt and then on to her home-away-from-home, Hillcrest High School, where she made many lifelong friends. Sonja taught English, but her support of her students did not stop there; she never missed a sporting event, play, or graduation service of a student. She truly supported "her kids" 100%. Sonja retired after teaching over 30 years at Hillcrest to enjoy retirement with her husband. They made great memories wintering in Arizona where they spent time golfing and perfecting their love of painting. Sonja spent time golfing and enjoyed many hours on the golf course with Glen and friends. Our mom was always caught with a good book in hand and relished her time at book club, Monday Art Club, the Red Hatters and serving weekly at the Assistance League. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and was such a supportive grandma, never missing a play or basketball game. Mom will be sorely missed but we know our dad had her car all washed and ready for her arrival.
Sonja is survived by her children Grant Beere (Salt Lake City, UT) and Sydney (Robert) Nakken (Cedar City, UT), grandchildren Erik, Josie, Abigail, Samantha and Ellie, brother Brent Thursby (Ephraim, UT), and many cherished nieces and nephews. Sonja was preceded in death by her husband, parents and siblings Gayle (Herm) Thursby Turner and Neal (June) Cartwright.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Friday, July 11, 2014 at the Wasatch 5th Ward Chapel, 8100 South 3675 East. A visitation will be held on Thursday evening from 6-8pm at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South) in Sandy and on Friday morning from 9:30-10:30am prior to services at the church. Interment Larkin Sunset Gardens. Online condolences welcomed at
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the many friends and neighbors who have supported and loved mom over the years. In lieu of flowers our mom requested donations be made in honor of her husband, Glen Beere, to the University of Utah, ALS Clinic, 175 N. Medical Drive Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Jul. 6 to Jul. 8, 2014.
6:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Larkin Sunset Gardens
1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South), Sandy , UT
9:30a.m. - 10:30a.m.
Wasatch 5th Ward Chapel
8100 South 3675 East, UT
Funeral service
Wasatch 5th Ward Chapel
8100 South 3675 East, UT
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

45 Entries
Mrs. Beere was without question one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and caring people I have had the privilege of knowing. She was my senior AP English teacher, and throughout was unceasing in her encouragement and generosity. I think of her often, and of the immeasurable positive influence she has had on my life. She truly had a heart of gold, and no doubt brought happiness to every life she touched. A remarkable and lovely person. --John Kaly
November 17, 2014
I didn't know Sonya very well, but I did know her well enough to notice how friendly, kind and thoughtful she was to all those around her. She is the one one who would reach out and say hello, always wanting everyone to feel included. She always complimented others and made them feel valuable. She is a beautiful person in every way. We will miss seeing her sweet friendly face so very much. We wish you comfort and peace now and always,
Ronald and Shawna Blackhurst
July 22, 2014
Sydney and Grant
Tom and I were so fortunate to be friends with Glen and Sonja for many years. They were both so special to us. It's just almost unbelievable that they are both gone now. We miss them.
Tom & Ann Mayes
July 21, 2014
I had the privilege of having Mrs. Beere was my AP English teacher at Hillcrest High School (Class of '91). She was a great teacher who always expected the best of her students. Never content with lazy work or a less-than-your-best effort, she pushed me and all of her students to give an effort to be proud of. She made a difference in my life. Her work as a teacher mattered. You must be so very proud to be her family. Thank you for sharing Mrs. Beere with Hillcrest for so many years. My sincere condolences.
Shawna Borg
July 15, 2014
Having Mrs. Beere for Junior English quite literally changed my life. While I was a typical slacker who was just skating by, she pushed me harder than any other teacher. Eventually she convinced me to sign up for AP English as a Senior. That class convinced me that I could be successful at college, and led me on a path to Bachelors and Masters degrees.

Throughout the almost 30 years since I graduated from her English classes, the writing skills she taught have served me exceptionally well.

I'm sad to hear of her passing, but gratified to think back and recognize that mine was just one of hundreds of lives touched while she sojourned here.
Gary - HHS Class of 1986
Gary Ray
July 14, 2014
Mrs. Beere - Sonja - was one of the best teachers I had at Hillcrest. Very caring and knowledgable. Later, when I started teaching at Hillcrest she became a wonderful mentor and friend. She accepted me right away as a colleague and friend and taught me so much about teaching. She was always so supportive of the performing arts program even after retiring. I will miss so much seeing her at our annual holiday luncheon. I am so happy she and Glen are back together again. My best to her family and friends.
Brian, class of 1979
Brian Bentley
July 11, 2014
I was fortunate to have Mrs. Beere as my teacher at Hillcrest and then later in my adult life crossing paths again playing golf at the Member-Guest tournaments at Alpine Country Club with my Mom. One year inparticular, I had on a neclace that she admired, I gave it to her. She wrote me the kindest note. I will always remember her as a sweet, kind & cheerful woman. Sorry for your loss. Sharlene Andersons daughter. Lisa
Lisa Larsen
July 11, 2014
Sydney & Grant, Sorry for your loss. We are unable to attend the services. Thinking about you and your family.
Glade & Ellen Grotegut
July 10, 2014
Sonja worked across the hall from me at Hillcrest High School. She was my mentor. She made the transition to teaching English possible. What a sweet lady. I kept track of Grant and Sydney from 1980 until Sonja retired. I wish you two the best. Good luck.
Tom Watrous
July 9, 2014
Mrs. Beere was such an outstanding and passionate teacher, I was very lucky to have been taught by her. She, on the other hand, was much less fortunate to teach me but that contradiction actually made some of my best memories from high school! Condolences to her friends and family!
Steve King
July 9, 2014
Mrs. Beere was one of my favorite teachers at Hillcrest High. She was the best English teacher I ever had. I will always remember her fondly. Every time I hear the song " I am a rock I am an island " by Simon and Garfunkel it reminds me of her because she used it in class once as a writing assignment. Marla (class of '77).
July 9, 2014
Rest in peace, dear English teacher! Truly a teacher to be remembered and revered!

Becky (Stannard) Rose, HHS, class of 1979
July 8, 2014
Mrs. Beere is one of the few HS teachers I remember,respect, and genuinely feel made a difference for me. Her Family should be Very Proud of her. My sincere condolences. Class of '69
Richard Beckstead
July 8, 2014
Dear Mrs. Beere. She was a stand-out teacher for me in High School. I absolutely credit her with refining my writing skills, allowing me to sail through college. I learned so much in her class and have so appreciated the foundation in classic literature she provided. I knew she truly cared about our education. My best wishes to her family.
Tricia Hammond Petrey
July 8, 2014
Grant and Sydney, your mom loved you so very much. She was my second mom, I cut and permed your mom's hair for 33 years. She believed in me as a person, a friend, a mom, loved my children, she even painted a picture of Jenna our daughter. I loved her so much and feel so bad I didn't get to say, goodbye to her. I was told by a friend of your mom's, that was also a teacher. I am also very sorry you lost your mom and dad so close together. But I am happy there together again! Bless you both!!
Le Ann Madsen
July 7, 2014
Mrs. Beere was a great teacher & always treated her students so well. My prayers are with her family.
Kristie Hickman Hyde
July 7, 2014
So sorry to hear of Sonja's passing and Glen's also. They were such a classy couple. Gayle was one of my best friends from Ephraim and we were roommates for years. My thoughts are with you,

Jo Ann Garrick Conner
July 7, 2014
Mrs. Beere, my all-time-favorite English teacher. Thank you for teaching me to write well, and more importantly to value people and treat them with kindness and respect. You made us feel important and capable, and inspired us to do our best. Thank you! You are not forgotten.
July 7, 2014
Dear Sydney,
I was so sad to hear of the loss of your Mother. This truly has to be so hard to loose your Father and Mother in the same year. I am so sorry and am thinking of you and your family.
Love, Michelle Madson
July 7, 2014
Sonja was a great teacher! She is an inspiration to me as I teach my own classes.
Annette Godfrey D'Agostini
July 7, 2014
The last 2 years being Sonjas hairstylist was more of a treat than a job. In the short years I have known her I felt like part of her family,we talked about your dad and his amazing attitude and strength as his health declined, about Sydney's family and how she made us tired just talking about her,you truly are a wonder women. How Grant was a teacher and a coach,and his cats she always looked after while he was away. I could write for hours about all the conversations we have had,and how Sonja made you feel so loved. She will be greatly missed by everyone she came in contact with, I know for me personally Tuesday and Saturday mornings will be just another day knowing that my client,my friend,and my other family won't make it in. I will miss her terribly,our loss is his gain. With all my Love Rachel
Rachel Christensen
July 6, 2014
"Mrs. Beere," as I knew her, was a gracious lady and a wonderful teacher who blessed many lives at Hillcrest High, mine among them.
Brad Johnston
July 6, 2014
You will truly be missed by your Supercut girls! We looked forward to seeing you weekly in the salon where you would bring us homemade cookies and always asking first about ourselves and our children. Telling us the love you had for your dear children and grandchildren with many great strories! We watched you give it your all to your dear husband the last year! The last time you were in you made us all know how loved we were! You will be missed dearly! An amazing women you were!
cathy Jensen
July 6, 2014
Grant and Sydney,

I am sorry to hear about Sonja. Sonja was a wonderful lady who will be terrible missed. I meet Sonja in the ladies league at Willow Creek. We always had a great time together even if she wasn't playing well. Sonja taught me that golf was only a game - we weren't playing on the LPGA so have fun. I will miss you Sonja. Love Kim Coleman
July 6, 2014
Sonya and Glen were an integral energy force in the Alpen Way neighborhood. Always out early walking with her arm weights, Sonya always waved Good Morning as I drove to the VA every day. She was always available to support neighbors in a crisis and Glen could always check your house if you needed to be gone for a week or 3 months. He was pretty available as a handyman for those ladies with car issues or getting their driveway plowed. Both of these generous and giving people will be missed on Alpen Way. Susan and Bill Trevithick
July 6, 2014
Sonja will really be missed in our Monday art class. She was such a delightful friend, always positive and upbeat. My heart is broken. Keep all of your happy memories close to your heart. Dawna McQuiston
Dawna McQuiston
July 6, 2014
What can I say. You know how much I loved both your mom and dad. I remember being your visiting teacher years ago when Sydney was just little. She and Glen would always come in and join in the lessons. It will really be different without you. Love you always
Fay Gajkowski
July 6, 2014
What an amazing lady and teacher! She taught so many of us the art of writing and instilled a love for good literature and thoughtful discussion. We'll never forget you Mrs. Beere!
July 6, 2014
Mrs Beere was my 11 th grade English teacher at Hillcrest High in 1986. She was always one of my favorite teachers.I am sorry to hear of her passing.
Annette Simpson
July 6, 2014
Grant I am deeply sorry tin the passing of both of your parents Glen and Sonja Beere. I hope are doing well, because I have not seen you since Dixie College. Hopefully, you was able to improve on your basketball, just kidding. Again I am sorry. Doc Peabody aka Todd Brklacich Hillcrest Class of 1973, Dixie College Class of 1978, and University of Utah Class of 1980
July 6, 2014
Such a loss! Sonja was a bright light in the Sandy Watercolor Guild's little group. Her talent and persistence toward perfection were an inspiration. We will miss her terribly. I am so sorry for your loss. Karla Nye, Sandy
July 6, 2014
So sorry to hear of the passing of this great teacher. All I have accomplished I credit to her and her great love for her students and for educating them. She taught me to love writing but more importantly to love learning. She leaves a great legacy.
July 6, 2014
I will miss you very much mom. You have done so much for me and always gave me positive support. You will always be remembered by me and Sydney. I am already missing our Sunday dinners where you was supportive of all my venting. As you would say sometimes after my complaining; "Well, it's better than being poked in the eye with a sharp stick". I realize this was a way of me not taking some situations so seriously. I also realized how much you cared and loved me and Sydney. The feeling is mutual.
Love your son, Grant
July 6, 2014
Grant Beere
July 6, 2014
Grant and Sydney: Sonja and I began our friendship in the late 70's while on the board of Utah Teachers of English Council. She was my mentor when I began teaching AP English at Murray. She was also my personal shopper when my children were young. We spent many Sunday breakfast hours together conversing about literature, but more important Sonja spoke proudly of her two children and each grandchild. She was proud of all of their successes. It is with gratitude that I will remember our times together.
Jackie Chavis
July 6, 2014
I've always loved Sonja like a little sister. We were practically raised together. She will be greatly missed.

Lanny Lund
July 6, 2014
I worked at HHS and loved Sonja. She was an amazing teacher and a friend while I worked there. I am so sorry for your loss.
Elaine Mitchell
July 6, 2014
So sorry to read about the passing of your Mom. She was always so positive and happy. What a great example for all of us. We will miss her at the Ephraim Ladies Luncheons. LaPrele Olsen Sumsion
July 6, 2014
Grant & Sydney, your mom was an awesome teacher & person! She always had a smile on her face! Sorry for your loss.
Suzanne Jones(Bernardo)
July 6, 2014
Your Mother was my favorite teacher of all time. She was caring, kind and always made learning fun. I am truly sorry for your loss. I lost my mom two weeks ago. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
Roxanna Beckstead-Naylor, Hillcrest, 1970
Roxanna Beckstead-Naylor
July 6, 2014
Sydney & Grant,
Both my husband and myself had your mother as our English teacher our senior year at Hillcrest-1972. We were dating at the time and she helped us play practical jokes on each other. We have fond memories of her classroom. We are sorry to learn of your loss. Mrs. Beere will be missed.

Doran and Kelly Lybbert
July 6, 2014
Mrs. Beere was my favorite teacher at Hillcrest (class of '77. I owe my love of reading to her. She was a great teacher, very sorry for your loss.
Mary Walden
July 6, 2014
Sydney & Grant: Your Mom was a "beautiful" person on the inside and outside. She was always so loving, positive, warm and giving. We will miss her and hope that she and your Dad have the best "round" of golf ever. With loving and warmest regards, Ruth & Carroll Dolson
July 6, 2014
Your mother was a grate teacher and role model. If it had not been for her I may not have graduated from high school. She will be missed by all her former students . Condolences on your lose.
Gary Pedersen. Class of 64
July 6, 2014
"Auntie" Sonja, you were simply the greatest teacher and friend. We are all honored you so happily became a part of our big fat Greek family. Every holiday we'll toast your memory with mastikha. Your Greek family, Christopher, Gus, Jean and the rest of the Katis clan
July 6, 2014
Showing 1 - 45 of 45 results