Sonja Drayton Bird


Sonja Drayton Bird (née Williams)

October 17, 1919 – April 2, 2018



After a long and happy life, Mom flew away on April 2nd, beloved wife of David A. G. Bird (1916-1998), dear friend and companion of Ted Scott (deceased). She is survived by her loving children and their families, David Bird (Elizabeth), (Frances, pre-deceased), Colin Bird (Susan), Alex Bird (Gillian) and Ingrid Nolan (Michael). Cherished “Nana” of Christopher (Maria Alejandra Oliveri), Wendy (Chris Derro), and Myles (Angela) Bird, Heather Corbett (Wesley), Jamie Bird and Jennifer Whitfield (Brian Joe), Jennifer, Michael (Megan Coven), Meredith (Nathan Marshall) and Trey Bird, David (Fiona McNestry), Katie (David Vilder) and Elizabeth Nolan and 10 great grandchildren. Fondly remembered by her two nieces, Barb Rawlinson (Jack) and Mary Williams, and by her nephew Frank Williams (Cathy).


Sonja was a friend to all.  Her warmth and gracious manner enhanced all those who knew and loved her.  She was generous in spirit and loving in nature, always considerate of others above herself. She was welcoming to friends old and new and compassionate to those in need.


Born in Winnipeg in 1919 to Frank and Ingrid Williams, she grew up in Toronto with her brother Ridley, where she attended Whitney school and Branksome Hall and later studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music. An accomplished pianist, Mom had a special touch and style on the piano which she played often and beautifully to the delight of all. She spent her early summers at her family cottage at Juniper Point on the northern shore of Pigeon Lake in the Kawarthas.


Mom married Dad in 1940 and following the war, their house in Rosedale became their loving and welcoming home where she proudly and happily lived for the rest of her life.  A devoted partner in marriage, and a loving and caring mother, she supported everyone in their endeavours, health and wellbeing, encouraging all to follow their dreams.  She attended St. Simon’s Anglican Church all her life and was a long-time member of the ACW.  Some of her favourite volunteer positions were with Central Hospital and Georgina House in downtown Toronto.  She was active in her neighbourhood and was particularly happy when walking black Labradors in Craigleigh Gardens.


Sonja was very happy at Birdwood - the family cottage and property that Mom and Dad bought and built in the early '50's.  Every summer the family moved to the cottage and enjoyed living on the edge of Harris Lake while learning the skills necessary to build and care for the cottage, land, and trees. Her two particular sources of joy were seeing the wildflowers at Birdwood and paddling her own blue cedar strip sailing canoe, built for her by The Gordon Boat Works of Bobcaygeon in 1932.  She was very proud of her independent spirit and Norwegian heritage. Family friends christened Sonja "Six O’clock Sadie", honouring her long held tradition of enjoying a precisely measured one ounce scotch at six o'clock. Sköl!


The family would like to particularly thank Arnet Ebanks of IntegraCare for her loving care and support over the past four years as well as the excellent team from Premier Care, especially Janetle Bulatao.


In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable donation to the Church of St. Peter and St. Simon-the-Apostle, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation or Palliative Care Unit, the Alzheimer's Society or a charity of your choice. In the spirit of Sonja's giving and generous nature, please take the time to have a kind word for those around you, from those you encounter every day to the nameless person on the street.