REMEMBERING DR. SONYA: Columbia activist impacts many in Midlands community

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – This past weekend, Columbia lost a human rights advocate and community leader.

Dr Sonya Lewis was killed by a hit-and-run driver in an accident while attending a memorial service for a teenager who was also killed by a hit-and-run driver at the same intersection.

“Helping, always reaching out, always touching, always trying to make life different for those who needed help,” Reverend Elizabeth Wine said at Dr Lewis’s funeral on Friday.

A member of Saint John Baptist Church, Dr. Sonya Lewis helped with the pantry and was active in domestic violence ministry.

“We have also supported domestic violence awareness in Saint John. We praise God for his life, work and legacy,” said Reverend Jamey Graham of Saint John Baptist Church.

Lewis had long been an advocate for domestic violence and the less fortunate. She founded the non-profit organization My Sister’s Voice and acted as a spokesperson for the community group One Common Cause.

“When we think of Dr. Sonya Lewis, we think of a woman of honor, respect, integrity and yet a woman whose life and service impacted the church, the community and our families,” said Reverend Graham.

In her own family, she is remembered fondly. Lewis leaves behind five children and 27 grandchildren.

“I would consider myself the frontrunner, but my mom had a way of making every kid feel like the frontrunner,” Lewis’ son Jerry said.

She was also loved by her extended family and friends, with whom she enjoyed spending quality time despite her work and community projects.

“But she took the time for it. It was who that person was,” Sonya’s uncle Otto Smith said. “She loved, gave and will be sorely missed.”

“So family, children, if you want to carry on your mother’s legacy, adopt this attitude. Adopt this unwavering resolve to engage in the work of justice, of kindness and of sharing with someone else,” concluded Graham.

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