Sonny 'William' Gaddy Jr. A positive force who loved the Lord, his family and his community Sonny William Gaddy, Jr. was born on October 3, 1988 to the union of Sonny William Gaddy, Sr. and Deborah Kim Gaddy in Summit, New Jersey. He departed this life suddenly on July 12, 2021. Sonny, who was affectionately called JR, was a highly motivated and determined young man. He was educated in the Newark Public Schools, attending Harriet Tubman Elementary School in his early years, Far Hills Country Day School for middle School and the Dublin School in Dublin, Massachusetts for 3 years and graduated from Science High School in Newark. Sonny had a genuine love of God's people. Sonny loved the Lord, his family and his community. He was baptized at the First Baptist Church of Nutley and lived his life doing the work of the Lord. As a servant of the Lord, he would spend hours reading bible scriptures and studying the word of God. Sonny was a loving big brother and son who provided a listening ear and constant support for his family. During his travels in boarding school and trips with friends, JR decided that Newark was where he wanted to be. He was employed as a Senior Clerk with the Essex County Division of Family Assistance and Benefits for fifteen years. He loved his job and had the ability to listen and help people in need. Sonny was a humble individual and used his discernment to guide his decisions at work, understanding that life always had challenges and that everyone, regardless of their position or situation, deserved care. In addition, Sonny supported the environmental justice efforts led by his mother and was a graduate of the first Urban Environmental Institute class with Clean Water Action. He didn't stop there. For five years he served as the Project Manager for the Dodge Poetry Festival Green Team. Sonny understood the health impacts of air pollution and it's connection to his asthma. He was excited and prepared for his perfect opportunity to work side by side with his mom, the community and the next generation of environmental leaders as the Project Manager for the South Ward Environmental Alliance Air Monitoring Project. Sonny loved being creative and enjoyed empowering young people to become leaders. He was working on a podcast and had developed a set of initiatives for his business CMO -Cultivating Mindsets Often and Calculated Movements Only. Sonny was laser focused on empowering our youth with the understanding that their success in life will be determined by their calculated and strategic movements. Sonny's affectionate smile and laugh touched many hearts. He was a positive force. His pure heart and energy often allowed those around him to find peace in any situation. Sonny was able to get along and find common ground with anyone he came across. He lived his life with the understanding that as long as he followed in God's path, he would always be eternally blessed. He was predeceased by his father, Sonny William Gaddy, Sr. his maternal and paternal grandparents, Wilma Thompson and Earl Johnson, Margaret Gaddy and Ezekiel Smith, six uncles Glenn, Ronald and Earl Thompson, Greg Westry, Harris Allen and Edward Gaddy and one Aunt Toni Thompson. He leaves to cherish his memory, his mother Deborah Kim Gaddy, two siblings Frankie Mo'Nay and Julian Walls, a stepdad Frankie Walls, a loving companion Tiarra Lee, two uncles Wilbur and Marc Thompson, one aunt Tonya Westry, two great Aunts Pam Koontz (Bobby) and Jeanne Reid (George), Godparents Glen Arnold and Yvonne Abnathya and a host of cousins and friends.
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Published by The Star-Ledger from Jul. 19 to Jul. 20, 2021.