‘The Purple Lady’ led a colorful, productive life advocating for Chattanooga arts, animals, education, children

Sonia Younger, higher often called “The Purple Lady,” was a colourful fixture in Chattanooga and an advocate for animals, the arts, schooling, youngsters and a lot extra. She died Thursday and is remembered as a passionate advocate for the town she cherished.

Younger was born in Chattanooga in 1934 and was simply identifiable because of her affinity for all issues purple. Her automotive, her garments and her jewellery have been a shade of purple, and callers to her voicemail have been all the time reminded, “Have a superbly purple day. Lavender love!”

Younger served on the boards of McKamey Animal Heart and Chattanooga Zoo, organizing quite a few fundraisers for each.

Younger was an energetic member of many boards through the years and based the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre and initiated a fundraising marketing campaign on her eightieth birthday to ascertain the Chattanooga’s Zoo’s giraffe exhibit.

She served as president of the boards of Chattanooga Theatre Centre, Chattanooga Ballet and former Chattanooga Opera Affiliation. She served on the boards of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Affiliation, the AIM Heart, Tennessee River Gorge Belief, Chattanooga Cares, the Allied Arts, Hamilton County Library and Youngsters’s Hospital at Erlanger. She served on the advisory board for the Chattanooga Heart for Artistic Arts.

“Sonia was one among a sort and uniquely and persistently keen about all issues cultural in our neighborhood from the primary day I arrived,” stated Bob Bernhardt, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera music director emeritus. “She made nice contributions for all of us, and I’m saddened by her loss.”

She began her instructing profession working with youngsters at Siskin Little one Research Heart and the Chattanooga Hamilton County Speech and Listening to Heart. For 34 years she served as adjunct professor within the theater and speech division on the College of Tennessee at Chattanooga, retiring from the place at age 84.

As a journalist, she lined all the things from fundraising galas to symphony and opera performances to theater productions.

Her column, “The Pen of the Purple Girl,” appeared in a wide range of publications through the years together with The Chattanooga Instances, Chattanooga Life & Leisure and at last the Mountain Mirror.

Mirror Editor Ferris Robinson stated she spoke with Younger on many events through the years.

“We talked repeatedly at size, and she or he was so encouraging in regards to the Mountain Mirror and the way it was heading,” Robinson stated by cellphone. “She all the time took a minute to say that, and that meant rather a lot.”

Robinson stated she was all the time impressed by Younger’s ardour for the initiatives she was concerned in.

“She had a coronary heart for bettering the neighborhood, and there have been so many initiatives that have been expensive to her, like Chattanooga Cares,” Robinson stated. “She helped get that going. She was additionally very energetic within the arts. She is accountable for lots of issues that are actually a part of Chattanooga.”

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

  photo  Workers photograph / Sonia Younger poses in 2010. Recognized to many as “The Purple Girl,” she was a colourful fixture in Chattanooga and an advocate for schooling, artwork, animals and kids.

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