Friends may unite with the family on Monday, March 7, 2011 from 10 am until time of service 11 am at Liberty Baptist Church 527 Kentucky Avenue S.E. Washington D.C. Interment to follow at Harmony Memorial Cemetery in Landover, MD.
Tonya Denise Wheeler-Burton was born on December 18, 1964 in Washington, D.C. to the late Arthur Burton, and the late Linda Wheeler-Sprufero. After an extended illness, Tonya quietly departed this life on Friday, February 25, 2011 at her home in Temple Hills, MD, surrounded by her love ones.
Tonya was educated in the District of Columbia Public School System, and was a graduate of Ballou Senior High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Southeastern University. In continuing her education, Tonya was attending Strayer University to earn her Master degree, and was on schedule to graduate until she became ill in 2008. Her passion for teaching children propelled her towards a career in elementary education. Tonya began her working career as a teacher for the District of Columbia Public School System and later transitioned to the Charter Public Schools System.
In her early years, Tonya joined the Liberty Baptist Church of Washington, DC, where she publicly confessed Christ as her personal Savior and was baptized. Tonya was a dedicated and loyal member of Liberty for many years. She served in several ministries, namely the Senior Missionary Ministry, Pastor’s Aid Ministry and the Nurses Ministry. She was also active in the Music Ministry, singing with the Voices of Liberty and the Gospel Chorus. In addition, she served as an advisor for the Youth Ministry.
Tonya was a devoted mother who taught her daughters the value of family, education, and integrity. She inspired each of them to reach their highest potential and led by example. She enjoyed football, but only when the Dallas Cowboys were playing; she was an avid Cowboys fan. She was thoughtful and never speechless ~”she said what she meant and meant what she said!” Tonya had a zest for life, a happy and playful demeanor, and she loved her Pepsi sodas and chocolate. She had a unique way of showing how much she cared for her family and friends. If you were one of the lucky ones, she affectionately “nick-named” you and you quickly learned to respond!
The memory of Tonya will be cherished by her three loving daughters, who were her world, Charmice September LaJuan Burton, Carlise Rena Burton and Elisha Charlise Bradsher; her dedicated step-mother, Mary L. Burton; her devoted god-mother, Addie Thrower; five brothers, Robert Burton, Vincent Burton (Helene), Steven Wheeler (Cheryl), Kim Wheeler and Kevin Burton (Avis); four sisters, Karla Barlow (Ronnie), Donna Burton, Brigette Burton and Patricia McFadden (Marion); one step-sister, Pamela Suttle; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and other loving relatives and friends.