Funeral services for Dr. Sonja Stokes-Gildon are being held today at Haley’s Funeral Home, in Southfield, Mich. 

Dr. Stokes-Gildon, who wrote The History of The Gildons for the 1996 automotive history edition of Decisive Auto magazine’s forerunner, African Americans On Wheels, was a retired Ford Motor Company management role employee, and wife of a former Detroit Fire Department general manager, the late Weylin Gildon.  

Stokes-Gildon was one of 70 female labor historians when she received her doctorate in communications from Wayne State University.

“The Gildon family was very proud to have the history of its migration, (along with thousands of others) from the repressive South to the opportunity-filled North chronicled in this way,” says Myron D. Stokes, Dr. Gildon’s brother, and publisher of eMOTION!

Stokes continues; “In my view, her AAOW narrative brought the major contributions of African-American families, innovators and inventors to the rise of GM, Ford and Chrysler out of the shadows of suppressed history. These were people who helped establish those companies as international corporations, and correspondingly, the entire U.S. industrial base. This industrial base won World War II, and created a previously non-existent and prosperous multi-ethnic middle class.”

Dr. Stokes-Gildon succumbed to illness Dec. 18, in Sarasota, Fla.