Sonya Livingstone McShane passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, September 21, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. Aptly nicknamed “Sunny”, there was nary a day that wasn’t made brighter by her presence in it.
Sunny was a native, lifelong Miamian born to Walter and Gertrude Livingstone on September 24, 1932. Sunny was the youngest (and saintliest) of four children who were raised in a small pine house just blocks from the Miami River. She held the affection- and affliction- of her three older brothers Wally, Tony, and Don, whose constant teasing and devilish antics set her on the early path to canonization.
To say her brothers were protective of her would be an understatement. A brown eyed, cherub-faced beauty with a heart of gold, the Livingstone brothers vetted her dates, rejected her suitors, and physically removed hopeful prospects from their home as Sunny helplessly stood by. This process was all carefully designed to make room for their top pick, a fellow Gesu classmate and Notre Dame graduate, Dr. William McShane. A 65-year love story ensued, and her brothers were finally redeemed.
Bill and Sunny were married December 28, 1954 at the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Miami, FL. Ten months later, their first child was born, followed by nearly a child a year for the next five years, and a bonus girl and boy several years later. Terry (deceased February 2017), Tom (deceased October 1968), Mac, Kevin, Mary, Sue (Mike), and John would fill their home with love and laughter up until the moment of her passing… just as she would have it.
Sunny was an athlete. She was a Gesu High School basketball star, a circus performer (yes folks, she spun from the foothold of the Spanish web for FSU’s Flying High Circus in the early 1950s), and avid bowler. She found the sport of tennis in her early 40s and a lifelong obsession was born. She considered tennis in any form or in any capacity as time well spent. For decades, Sunny played tennis daily (twice on Thursdays) and closely followed the careers of her favorite players. Sunny was a volunteer for the annual Miami tennis tournament for more than three decades.
Sunny loved tennis almost as much as she loved her family, but never more than she loved her church. A 50+-year member of St. Thomas the Apostle parish, she fulfilled nearly every volunteer position they could find for her- from room mother, to field trip chaperone, to stagehand, to Eucharistic minister. Impromptu pool parties at the McShane house were legendary not only for the number of kids who attended, but for the smiling hostess who always had a pitcher of Kool-aid and a stack of dry towels on hand for such occasions.
As much as Sunny loved her children, she considered her grandchildren her greatest gift. Megan, Michael, Tommy, Sunny, Shane, and Maria were her pride and joy… and she was their “Bebe”. They will miss her, and her signature noodles, very much.
It would be remiss to not mention Sunny’s deep affection for her brothers’ children, the eleven nieces and nephews that she adored as her own. She was very honored to be their Aunt Sunny.
A wake will be held Friday September 27th from 6 to 8 PM, at Stanfill Funeral Home, 10545 South Dixie Highway. The Funeral Mass be held Saturday September 28th at 10:30 am, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church at 7377 SW 64thstreet.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for random acts of love and kindness to be performed on her behalf. Go forth and spread some sunshine.