Obituary photo of Sonia Dickinson, Orlando-FL
In Loving Memory of

Sonia Leonardow Dickinson

1948 - 2022
Obituary photo of Sonia Dickinson, Orlando-FL
In Loving Memory of

Sonia Leonardow Dickinson

1948 - 2022

Services & Gatherings

Services & Gatherings

Visitation:
Friday, August 5, 2022 from 5:00pm to 5:30pm
Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions
335 East State Road 434
Longwood, FL  32750
407-260-5400
Service:
Friday, August 5, 2022 at 5:30pm
Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions
335 East State Road 434
Longwood, FL  32750
407-260-5400
Newcomer - S. Seminole Chapel (407-260-5400) is assisting the family
Sonia Leonardow Dickinson Life story video
Sonia Leonardow Dickinson, sister, mother, wife, grandmother, friend, mentor, traveler, art lover, music-enthusiast, activist, entrepreneur, business woman, and life-changer, succumbed to cancer this Sunday, July 31st. She passed peacefully in her home surrounded by close family.

Sonia was born in New Rochelle, NY, to Leonard As Leonardow and Kathryn Elizabeth McFarlane Leonardow on June 23, 1948. She grew up with her sister Kathie Leonardow in New Jersey where she graduated from Kent Place in 1966. She then attended Elmira College, graduating in 1970 with a degree in business.

After college, Sonia moved to Brooklyn, NY where she lived first with close college friend PJ Mouquin and later with her first husband and the father to her two children, Paul Baxter. Her early years in New York City provided the excitement and humor to give her stories to share for the rest of her life. This became a theme for Sonia, in which she brought life and light to a room, connected deeply over the humor and interests she shared with those around her, and relished in a good story.

Sonia and Paul eventually had their two children, Colin Leonard Baxter and Kathryn Christine Baxter and lived in Pittsburgh, PA. In Pittsburgh, Sonia was the Executive Vice President of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) and worked tirelessly for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.). Sonia was named manager of Equibank, a local consumer-facing bank, and was heralded for her contributions to local women in business communities as well as for her volunteering efforts for the local public television station.

In the early 1990s, Sonia transitioned her attention to nonprofit work and began developing methods to help American families through the ever complex process of international adoption. She was an active member of the international adoption community, always looking for ways to ensure orphans overseas receive the attention and humanitarian support they deserve.

Later in life, with the irreplaceable help of her son Colin, Sonia moved from Pittsburgh back east and eventually lived again with her life-long friend PJ in upstate New York. There she accrued even more good stories and good times. Sonia loved being able to now see her sister and best friend Kathie, her beloved niece and nephew, Kaylen and Ryan Leonardow, and her daughter Kathryn more often as they all lived in driving distance once again.

Sonia’s support and love for her children shined through their lives, from providing experience to travel the world and meet others with lives different from their own, to being encouraged to take a vested interest in the world and its challenges. While living with PJ, Sonia was able to support her daughter’s marriage to Gina Reimann, who Sonia quickly began calling her ‘other daughter.’ It was a point of pride for Sonia, to unfailingly support her children, and because of this, her children grew up feeling free to know and be themselves.

It was a work opportunity (and the promise of snowless winters) that took Sonia from the northeast to Florida, where she was successful in inside sales at Staples. In Florida, Sonia again collected friends and stories, and eventually met her husband, Frank Dickinson.

Sonia and Frank quickly realized they had met their match in one another and wasted no time. Marrying and moving into their home together, Sonia realized a playful peacefulness she hadn’t known for years - if ever. In Frank, she found love, humor, great conversation, support, kindness, and partnership.

In 2020, Sonia was happy to participate in her son's wedding to Sarah Kuhn Baxter in Sarasota, FL. When she learned she would become a grandmother, again a new way of looking at life and herself developed. Despite the barriers of COVID, Sonia loved getting to know her granddaughter Djuna Bo Baxter. Over video calls and from photo sharing, Sonia fell in love with Djuna and quickly became Gramma Sossie.

Sonia enjoyed big ideas and trying new things. The big ideas and new ventures did not always work out, but ever the optimist, Sonia adapted and overcame again and again. Too soon into her new life with Frank and as a grandmother, Sonia was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer and began treatment. Always the positive thinker and fighter, Sonia leaned hard into treatments and self-care. She battled through three years of surgery, chemo, radiation, and immunotherapy, using that time to learn even more about herself, love, and life.

Over those years, Sonia was consistently cared for by her husband Frank, with her sister Kathie driving down from New Jersey whenever asked to help, as well as her children and friends.

In the end, Sonia left our world peacefully in her home and held by her children, sister, and husband. Losing Sonia will leave a hole in the universe for all who knew and loved her. Her wit, laughter, and passion brought something special to all our lives and she will forever be loved and missed.


Sounds of laughter shades of life are ringing

Through my open ears inciting and inviting me

Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns

It calls me on and on across the universe

— “Across the Universe”, The Beatles

To view Sonia's memorial, please click here

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Services & Gatherings

Services & Gatherings

Visitation:
Friday, August 5, 2022 from 5:00pm to 5:30pm
Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions
335 East State Road 434
Longwood, FL  32750
407-260-5400
Service:
Friday, August 5, 2022 at 5:30pm
Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions
335 East State Road 434
Longwood, FL  32750
407-260-5400
Newcomer - S. Seminole Chapel (407-260-5400) is assisting the family

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