Tonya Anntoinette Cooper was born September 21, 1968, to the late Velma P. Daniels and Emma Jean Cooper in El Dorado, AR. Tonya was the baby of her family and had a good life growing up in the neighborhood of Douglas in El Dorado. Tonya accepted Christ at an early age and joined Douglas Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. After leaving El Dorado, Tonya made sure to find a church home wherever she went.
Tonya graduated from El Dorado High School in 1986. Shortly after she graduated high school, Tonya moved to Ruston, LA to attend Louisiana Tech University. In 1995, Tonya received her Diploma of Nursing from Baptist School of Nursing in Little Rock, AR. In 2007, she received her B.S. degree in Nursing from the University of Texas Arlington. In 2012, Tonya received her Master of Arts degree in the Nurse Executive Program with a focus on Healthcare Administration from Columbia University in New York, NY.
Tonya’s extensive career as a nurse began in 1996 in Little Rock, AR. She later moved to Dallas, TX to further her career. She worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Fort Worth and later transferred to New York, NY. In 2008, Tonya became an officer for the United States Public Health Services. In 2013, Tonya moved to Rockville, MD and worked for the Office of the Surgeon General as an Administrative Officer (Lieutenant Commander) for the Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness. In 2017, Tonya relocated to back Dallas where she was Lieutenant Commander for The United States Public Health Services doing work for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Tonya was a pillar of the community. She coordinated an collaborated with non-profit organizations to provide wellness screenings for the community-based health fair at Douglas Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in El Dorado, AR. She raised money for the annual Breast Cancer Walk at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, NY. Tonya’s passion in life was to help others. She always tried to give back to the people in her hometown of El Dorado, which is one reason she bought and refurbished nice homes to rent. She helped others without any reason and gave without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Tonya empowered and uplifted women. She always had time to lend an ear and a hand no matter what she may have been going through.
Tonya was a risk-taker, a go-getter. She lived life to the fullest and always encouraged others to do the same. She inspired many. Tonya was always the life of the party. She made life-long friends wherever she went. She always enjoyed hosting parties and cooking for family, friends, and co-workers. She was a fashionista and her dream job was interior design. She loved to travel. Jamaica was one of her favorite places to go to. During final months, Tonya found comfort in her home in El Dorado with close family and friends.
Tonya departed this life at the age of 51 on Monday, April 20, 2020 at Life Touch Hospice House in El Dorado, AR. She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents Willie Mack and Christine Champion Daniels and Jewel and Evelyn Hawthorne, sister Carolyn Montgomery, and brother Keenan Daniels.
Tonya’s memories will be forever cherished by her four sisters, Sesan Williams, Tequila Smith (Artis James), and Velena Stewart of El Dorado, AR, and Zeeda Daniels of California. She has one brother, Quentin Cooper (fiancé Lolita Hearns) of El Dorado. She has a host of nieces and nephews, and other relatives and special friends. Cheri Cox was her best friend since childhood.
Graveside services entrusted to Sims Mortuary. Sign the guestbook at simsmortuary.com
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