On Friday, June 1, 2018, Sonia L. (Olson) Dobson, 77, passed away peacefully at home with her family gathered while holding her hand, after a nine-year journey with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.
Sonia leaves her beloved husband of 58 years, David D. Dobson Sr., her son David D. Dobson Jr. and his wife Terry, daughter Karen L. Dobson, son Eric C. Dobson and his wife Erin. Grandchildren, David D. Dobson III and his wife Jennifer, Kristen DeCarlo and her husband Nick, Shelby Dobson and her fiancé Anthony, Erin Dobson and her fiancé Cameron, Kevin and Teddy Dobson, as well as Justin Bowman and his wife Michelle and Michael Bowman. Great grandchildren, David D. Dobson IV and Arianna, Brynn and Savana DeCarlo, Anthony and Dominic Cozzolino and River Newark, as well as Makayla and Dillon Bowman. And, her beloved younger brother Carl Olson and his wife Gail.
Sonia was born in Brockton and raised in Holbrook MA, the daughter of the late Walter and Florence (Mitchell) Olson. She graduated from Holbrook HS in 1958, where she and David were class sweethearts, and where they began their 60-year love story. Sonia went on to graduate from the Beth Israel Hospital Dental Clinic in 1959 as a Dental Assistant.
In 1970, Sonia and Dave moved their young family from Holbrook MA and relocated to Auburn. Feeling as though she was a world away from family and friends, Sonia started getting involved to help her children put down roots. She became a dedicated volunteer, helping with every organization her children and husband participated in. Sonia became active in PTA, Camp Fire Girls, Marion’s Camp, Mercy Centre, Knights of Columbus, K of C Bingo, K of C 4th Degree, Little League, Teaching CCD, Interfaith Hospitality Network homeless program, Special Olympics and more. Sonia’s artistic talents and creativity lent itself to all of her volunteer efforts, from the Knights of Columbus to Camp Fire. Sewing, cutting, lettering, signage, banners, Indian gowns, Halloween costumes and Raggedy Ann dolls. People from these groups tapped her talents, and she loved that. In 1974, Sonia converted from Episcopalian to Catholicism so that she could celebrate and worship completely with her family at Mass. As many know, she was a faithful and kind friend who would write notes, send cards, make calls, bring food, drive to appointments, and even help with their pets in need. There truly were no limits to her kindness.
From 1983 to 1995, Sonia worked for Camp Fire Inc. where she was a dynamic force, helping write and create programs to encourage wellness and resiliency in youth. She was a creative grant writer and program developer. Sonia developed and worked in both the Plumley Village and Great Brook Valley Camp Fire Kids Klubs for over 10 years, encouraging and training parents and teen volunteers to work in the program with the children. She traveled the country with Camp Fire Inc., while mentoring MS/HS girls to become their best selves while discovering their potential and self-worth. Sonia dedicated countless hours with her creative talents to the Knights of Columbus helping Dave to organize events for years, at both the local and state level and with the 4th Degree. Sonia is known in K of C social circles for her delicious watermelon boats and beautiful handmade 36” Raggedy Ann dolls. She gifted over 100 of these beautiful dolls through three decades to family, friends and charities.
Sonia’s greatest passion and love was her family. She was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Her love and goodness was evident in all that she did. Sonia was the glue, the planner, the leader, and cheerleader, whether it be the day to day activities or the family outings and vacations, she always had the families best interest at heart. Sonia was such a visible presence in everyone’s lives. She was always happy to invite people into her life and her home and treated everyone with kindness. She encouraged the family to host exchange students from Ireland and Mexico. She welcomed special needs children from Mercy Centre for over 15 years into our home, they truly became like family. After she and Dave invited his mother and father to move from Florida and live in their home, Sonia became the care taker for them both. She cared for Dave’s mother who had Alzheimer’s Disease, and showed her the love of a daughter. Sonia was a wonderful daughter to her own mother. In her mom’s final months, weeks and days Sonia traveled the Mass Pike to Braintree and back almost daily to support and care for her. Sonia always led by example paying it forward any chance she had.
Nine years ago, Sonia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. The past nine years has truly been a journey with challenges and lots of love. It is in this nine years that Grammie’s Groupies came to be and was dedicated to honor all that Sonia has been to all of us. Grammie’s Groupies, now over 30 people strong, has participated in the last seven “Walks to End Alzheimer’s” in Worcester County, raising donations to help find a cure for this devastating disease. For the past seven years, Sonia has been a participant at Summit Elder Care on Grafton Street, in Worcester. While living at home, with Dave and her daughter Karen, she attended their day program where the entire staff treated her with love and kindness, as if she were their family. We are forever grateful for their guidance and support, as it has enabled us to walk this journey together, as a family, while holding Sonia’s hand. A special thanks to Sharon who helped care for Sonia over the past six years in our home. Her grace and dedication to our mom has been immeasurable.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Sonia’s family on Tuesday June 5, 2018 from 4-7 PM at BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central Street, Auburn MA. Sonia’s funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday June 6, 2018 at 10:00 AM at North American Martyrs Church, 8 Wyoma Drive, Auburn. Burial will follow in Hillside Cemetery, Auburn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, c/o Grammie’s Groupies, PO Box 18, Auburn, MA 01501.