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Friday, July 21, 2023
11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)
Friday, July 21, 2023
Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)
Sonia Noemi Rios Baez, 63, passed away in her home in Fayetteville, NC on Saturday, July 15, 2023. She bravely fought a hard battle against cancer and never gave up hope. Her family is deeply grateful for how long she held on and for the additional memories they were able to share with her because of her immense strength and courage.
Sonia was born on May 6, 1960 in Ponce, Puerto Rico to Dionicio Baez and Sixta Maldonado. She spent most of her childhood in Puerto Rico with her beloved maternal grandmother Natividad “Nati” Maldonado, but she also spent part of her youth in Brooklyn, New York.
In her mid-teens, Sonia met the love of her life, Nestor. He eventually wooed her with snow cones he sold in their neighborhood! Five years later, Sonia and Nestor married and started a family. Through Nestor’s military service, they lived in Germany, Texas, and Illinois.
Besides creating a loving, supportive home for her husband and children, Sonia worked at the local Golden Corral restaurant in the prep and bakery departments. In her youth, she enjoyed performing gymnastics, going to salsa parties, and playing cards & dominoes. She was everyone’s cheerleader, and she openly embraced any opportunity to make a friend. Her favorite pastimes included going to the beach, watching reality TV competitions, listening to R&B/soul and pop music, playing with her jackweenie dog Sky, and spending time with her family via Sunday game nights.
In addition to her husband Nestor and mother Sixta, Sonia is survived by her daughter Cynthia; son Nestor Jr. and his son with Terri: Ricky; son John and his daughters with Alicia: Alena and Aliya; sister Miriam Baez; brother Jose Baez; honorary sons Mario Johnson, Shawn Farmer and Sharell Farmer; and a host of cherished extended family and dear friends. She is preceded in death by her grandmother Nati, her brother Danny Baez, and her best friends Nora Johnson and Brenda “BJ” Johnson.
The funeral service will occur on Friday, July 21 at noon in Sullivan’s Highland Funeral Service Chapel, located at 610 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301. Visitation will occur beforehand from 11 am to noon.