Sondra Elise Banfield Dailey was the first born of the late Dr. Gilbert Leslie Banfield and Marion Elza Martin Banfield, God- Daughter of the late Howard Thurman. Born on December 29, 1944 she was educated in the Baltimore city public schools and graduated from Forest Park Senior High School in 1962. Sondra’s parents were founding members of the Baltimore Ethical Society where she attended and later taught Sunday school. She attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Masters of Art in Teaching in elementary education. She also earned a Masters of Business Administration in international business from the University of Baltimore. Sondra developed a passion for the arts and dance at a young age. She was proud to have danced with George Faison during her years at Howard. She pursued her lifelong love of dance through Joyworks Ministries and as the director of Dance for Joy, the dance ministry of Faith Christian Fellowship in Owing Mills, MD. As a co-founder of Sandbox Empowerment Group, she counseled abused women about making productive choices in life and helped prepare them for future job etiquette, offering guidance on speech, dress and professional presentation skills. While employed as a counselor at the Calvert School, she wrote a first grade American history book and a fourth grade Texas history book, both of which were published and distributed as part of the school’s premier home school curriculum.
Her son Jason remembers, “My mother remained poetically obsessed with education, literature. She had obligatory charge to open doors of opportunity for young students and troubled adults alike. There was a time, long after Garth and I had left the ‘carpool’ days wherein my mother would drive clear across town for 2 years every morning to pick up a child who had been accepted to St. Paul’s school but had no means of transportation to get there. She was an early riser and a fundamentally offering person”.
After graduating from Howard, Sondra married Dr. Eli Anthony Timoll. Out of their union, two sons were born, Jason Anthony Lloyd and Garth Andrew Leslie who were her pride and joy.
During the 1980’s, Sondra owned and operated Banfield Design Group, an interior design firm that successfully completed projects for a number of residential clients, business’, and educational institutions in the Baltimore area. From 1992 – 2000, Sondra served on the board of trustees of St. Paul’s School where both her sons were students.
After reconnecting with her high school sweetheart at a class reunion, Sondra married Dr. Maceo Crenshaw Dailey, Jr. in June 2003 and joined her new husband in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso, Sondra served on several boards including Kids Excel El Paso and the FEMAP Foundation, organizations respectively engaged in health and educational development for marginalized populations in the El Paso/Mexico border region. Her board activities resulted in bringing in significant donations to both organizations and learning the basics of Spanish to communicate effectively. In her last fundraising event, Sondra helped raise over $120,000 for the FEMAP Foundation and delivered her speech completely in Spanish after having studied the language for only a brief time.
In pursuing another of her passions, Sondra founded Loopworks, a hand-knit accessories and specialty clothing business. She was recognized for her work being featured in the 2004 winter edition of Interweave Knits magazine.
Sondra was co-founder and publisher of Sweet Earth Flying Press, a company established in 2008, which already has published Boy of the Border by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps and Burning Horses by Agatha Hoff. Two other books on which Sondra worked are forthcoming.
Sondra transitioned peacefully on February 27, 2011. She will be remembered with love by her husband, Dr. Maceo Dailey, her sons, Jason and Garth Timoll, siblings Gilbert Leslie Banfield, Jr., Karen Evans, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, daughter-in-law Phyllis Timoll, nieces and nephews Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany White, Brett Evans, Whitney Karimah and Gilbert Leslie Banfield IV (Trey) and a host of other relatives and friends.
Services will be held at St. Paul’s School in Brooklandville, Maryland, on Monday, March 7 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to St. Paul’s school in her honor.