Sophia “Toni” Antoinette Thomson, 96, formerly of Shelburn, IN, passed away in Bloomington, IN, on Friday June 21, 2019. She was born in Sullivan County, IN on April 15, 1923 to Anthony Gill and Frances (Dziewit) Gill, who in life she very much loved and respected. She grew up on her family’s farm in Shelburn, and she was a 1941 graduate from Sullivan High School. At the age of 18 she moved to Chicago on her own to experience more of the world. She went on to live in Texas and California before returning to Indiana to provide care for her aging mother.
In her youth she could sing an opera as well as being a member in a professional ballet troupe in Chicago. In WWII she served her country in California secretly working with incoming intelligence information. She was a very intelligent and independent woman who earned a master’s degree in a time it was not very common to do so. Upon her return to Indiana she enjoyed teaching at Sugar Grove Elementary School in Terre Haute.
She was dearly loved and appreciated by her family. With Keith Thomson she shared four children, Stephen, Karen, Kathleen, and Andrew. She loved all four deeply. Karen and Stephen passed away while Sophia still lived which broke her heart. Her daughter Kathleen survives her living in Bloomington, IN and son Andrew in Marion, IL. Her in-law sons and daughters included Joe Thompson, William Heap, Max Tryon, Jerry Barker, and Marilyn Thomson. After Karen’s passing in January 2018, Sophia continued to live with Jerry and family.
She was sibling to Caroline (Gill) Vandament, Zigbert Gill, Angelyn (Gill) Cliff, Joseph Gill, and Mary(Gill) Brent. She is survived by Mary She is remembered fondly and lovingly as Aunt Toni by their children.
To multiple of her grandchildren she was as much co-parent as she was grandparent, and it is impossible for those grandchildren to imagine life without their beloved grandmother. She was grandmother to Michael “Kyle” Thompson, Matthew Thomson, Justin Tryon, Colin Heap, Jeffery Thomson, Claire Thomson, Stephanie Heap (lost at birth), and Daniel Stout. Her in-law grandchildren include Lesley Heap, Hannah Hevia-Tryon, and Vladimir Stakheev. Her grandson, Michael “Kyle”, lived with her on the family farm for some years as he was growing up. Through all of their years until her passing, she was a special co-parent figure to Michael “Kyle”, Justin, and Daniel. Though separated by distance and years from Matthew, Jeffery, and Claire, all knew she loved them deeply. Great grandchildren include Ari Alexander Tryon, Benjamin Anthony Tryon, and Ariel Hanna Leal.
Services to celebrate her life will take place on Friday, July 5. A mass will begin at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sullivan, IN at 11:00 AM. A luncheon will follow the mass at the church. A Celebration of Life will take place at the Sullivan Elks Club from 1:30 to 4:30. Friends and family are encouraged to speak and share stories about Sophia during the Celebration.
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