Grace Soka

December 3, 1921February 20, 2013

Grace Soka, age 91, peacefully went on to Glory February 20, 2013, surrounded by family and friends at her residence after a valiant 8 year battle with Alzheimer’s. Grace was born in Dubuque, Iowa to the late Henry and Ada Betsy Campbell Herrmann. After the tragic loss of her first husband, Carroll Robinson Wilson in Okinawa during World War II, she began her personal work for peace and reconciliation at the Girls’ School of Hiroshima Jogakuin teaching music and English. While on furlough from her mission work in Japan, she met and married Bob Soka, and they embarked on a lifelong partnership serving United Methodist churches all over the Florida Conference. Over the years, Grace worked as a church musician, organist, singer, and choir director and as a public school teacher, and librarian. She has lived in Johnson City since 2006. Grace is survived by her husband of 58 years, Reverend Robert Soka; two daughters Mary Carefoot and husband David of Seminole, Florida, Christina DowlingSoka and husband Joe-d of Bristol, Tennessee; four grandchildren, Rebecca Carefoot, Megan Carefoot, Joel DowlingSoka and wife Chelsea Rye, Ryan DowlingSoka; two sisters, Ruth Clark of Dubuque, Iowa and Marjorie Rickert of Hudson, Florida; and a host of caregivers who brought comfort and joy to her last days. A celebration of life service will be held Friday, March 1, 2013 at 1:00p.m at Belleview United Methodist Church with visitation beginning at 12:00. In lieu of flowers, Grace specially requested that memorial contributions be made to the Music department of the donor's church. East Lawn Funeral Home is honored to serve the Soka family. Please visit to leave a condolence for the family.


  • Celebration of Life Sunday, February 24, 2013

Grace Soka

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Tom & Annie Otto

March 1, 2013

Today we were honored to attend the Homegoing Service for Grace Soka. What a tribute was made by each one that spoke, and we were reminded of the LOVE theme that encompassed her life, and that of husband Bob. The poetry Bob wrote was tribute to how at age 91, he is still able to minister and lift those around him. God bless you and your delightful family, Bob.
Grace will not be forgotten and neither will you.

February 28, 2013

I will never forget Mrs. Soka and the love she had for everyone. Rev. Soka, Chrissy and Mary, my heart and love goes out to you in your time of sorrow.
With love, Terri Bullock Stanford, Neptune Beach, FL

February 24, 2013

Dear Bob and family,
Many wonderful memories of you and Grace. We extend our sympathies to you Bob and your whole family. Much love, Nora and Hobie Burleson (Browns Summit, NC)

Lynn Thompson

February 24, 2013

What a lovely lady, and a half of one of God's best "power teams"! It was an honor to have known her and the entire Soka family. May you all rest in the palm of God's hand during this difficult time. Peace and love to you all!

Jennie Wolfe (Templeton)

February 24, 2013

Bob and Family,
I will forever think of Grace and Bob and how they inspired me with music. My favorite all time song was "The Lord's Prayer" and I've never heard it done quite the same. Grace was a sweet and caring person. I will forever remember her smile. Praying for the family during this difficult time. Know that Grace is celebrating in the heaven's above and will be our angel now.

February 24, 2013

Dear Rev. Soka and Rev. Christina; I learned about your dear wife/mother's passing this evening, and I extend my sympathies. She sounds like an amazing wife/mother/humanitarian. Know that she has entered her rest surrounded by what she contributed so much in life--heavenly singing, praise, and music. Think of you. Love in Christ, Shirley Barwick

February 23, 2013

Bob and family,
What a blessing to have known Grace.
To know she is with the Lord is a joy and a comfort. My heart and my thoughts are with you all.
Humberto Santana

Martha and Dick Lammers

February 23, 2013

Dear Bob and Family,
All God's other angels are even more 'graced' while we who love Grace live on with our own memories of the ways she, in daily life and relationships, brought us closer to knowing God.

Diann Miracle

February 23, 2013

Dear Bob and Family, Grace was truly loved by all of us. We were saddened by her passing. The beautiful music the two of you made is still at times playing in our heart. We truly missed you both when you retired as our music has never been the same. You are the sweetest and most loving couple we have ever met. God Bless and peace to you in Jesus Holy Name.
We love you, Burt and Diann Miracle

Robin Edman

February 23, 2013

Grace made an everlasting impression on my life. She was every morsel of what her name means, gracious and loving. Thank you for inspiring and loving me as a member of your choirs at Asbury UMC. I will always cherish our times together. May God Bless the family as you find peace in knowing that all is well in Heaven. God Bless.