Sonya Kay Gardner

Wednesday 10th of January 1968 - Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Sonya Kay Gardner


Private Graveside Service

Nov 23, 2020 (Private )

Lexington Cemetery

833 W. Main St., Lexington, KY

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Sonya Kay Gardner, 52, passed away at her home under hospice care on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.  She was born to Barbara J. Sewell Gardner and the late Rev. Larry B. Gardner on January 10, 1968 in Somerset, Kentucky.  She was a Christian, United Methodist by denomination.

Sonya received a double-major B.A. in history and art B.A. from Asbury University.  After she earned her undergraduate degree, she worked as a guide at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort.  While working there, many tour guests told Sonya she would make a great teacher.  That experience encouraged her to pursue her M.A. degree in education, which she earned at the University of Kentucky.  She went on to have a successful 27-year teaching career at Franklin County High School.  One of her many contributions to her students was in taking multiple groups overseas, including many rich destinations in Europe and to Morocco in North Africa.

Sonya was an avid UK fan.  She was also an artist who crafted pottery.  Her hobbies also included her enjoyment of Kentucky craft history and her work tracing her family’s genealogy.

In addition to her mother, she was survived by her two brothers, Mark Gardner and Kelly (Tricia) Gardner; her pride and joy nephew and niece, Michael and Liz Gardner; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Due to new state covid restrictions, a private graveside service will be held at Lexington Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the Kentucky United Methodist Children’s Homes, at or to Access Soup Kitchen-Frankfort, at

Guest Book

Gary Gregg


What a wonderful teacher and friend. She was generous and that laugh and smile were contagious. So sorry for the family’s loss.

3 days ago

Benjamin Gies


We have lost a truly kind, generous, and caring soul with the passing of Sonya. I had the pleasure of knowing Sonya through the McConnell Center and our many trips around the nation and throughout Kentucky learning more about our nation's history and honing our crafts as history teachers. Sonya left behind a legacy in the care she bestowed on everyone who was fortunate enough to come into contact with her. Sonya was a great teacher, friend, and scholar. She will be missed.

3 days ago

Christy Valentine


Peace, Love and Prayers, Christy Baiamonte Valentine With memories of our marvelous adventures 20 years ago.

4 days ago

Beth (Bevins) Duncan


I am so saddened to learn of Sonya's early passing. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. There are so many childhood memories of mine that include Sonya: swimming at Devil's Garden and Glenstone Lodge, sledding, riding bikes, climbing trees, and playing in your sandbox. It's almost impossible for me to think about my past without thinking of her and your whole family, really. Kelly and I spent a lot of time playing football, and I remember all of you working in your garden in the backyard. I am very thankful that you were my neighbors at that time of my life, and I couldn't have asked for a better friend than Sonya.

5 days ago

Patty Veirs


I had the pleasure of meeting Sonya at University of Kentucky basketball & football games. She was one of the sweetest & nicest persons I have ever met. It was always a pleasure to see her sitting with her friend Paulette in the row behind me. As the mother of a teacher we shared a common interest. I have thought of & prayed for her during this illness. I will miss seeing her yell for our Wildcats. My heart goes out to her mom & brothers. Rest in Peace Sonya, God has added a rose to His garden.

5 days ago

Tommy and Rhonda Tribble


Love and prayers for the family🙏💕

6 days ago