Miss Tonya Lynette Chester - SAVANNAH - Miss Tonya Lynette Chester was born on January 12, 1963 to Luvenia W. Gordon and Layfattee Chester. She lived her entire life in Savannah, Ga. and departed this life on November 17, 2011. Tonya was a product of the Chatham County Public Schools first attending Florence Street School and Hubert Middle School and then on to Savannah High School where she enjoyed cheering with the Varsity Cheerleaders. After graduating from Savannah High in 1981, Tonya briefly attended West Georgia College in Carrolton, Ga. and continued her studies at Savannah State College (now University) where she was proudly crowned Miss Alpha Phi Alpha shortly after arriving. Early in her career Tonya worked hard in many areas. She has been employed with Norfolk Southern Railroad, Chatham County Sheriff Department and Terminal Investment Corporation. She eventually transitioned into the Chatham County Public School System first as a Paraprofessional and for the last 15 years as an Administrative Secretary, serving Shuman Middle and DeRenne Middle, where she was currently employed. She learned all she knew about the school system from her dear friend and mentor, Mrs. Dora Myles. Tonya also extended her extraordinary organizational skills to the Mutuals Benevolent Society as a part-time Office Manager. Tonya discovered her faith at Palen United Methodist Church and her spiritual journey took her through First African Baptist Church and on to First Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church where she was currently a faithful member. She enjoyed spending time with her family, friends and her beloved Cocker Spaniel Brandi, who shortly preceded her in death. Her only brother, Keith David Gordon, also preceded her in death. She will also be welcomed into heaven by her maternal grandparents, Johnny Harris and Mozetta Harris Blige and paternal grandmother Ethel Frazier Chester along with an uncle, aunts and cousins. Tonya is survived by her daughter: Ashlee Denise Rhodes; mother: Luvenia W. Gordon; father: Layfattee Chester; stepfather: David L. Gordon; sister: LaShawn W. (Steven) Terry; aunts: Louise Cuthbert, Hazel Lester, Edith (John) Merritt; nieces: Taylor Terry and Alanna Terry and a canine nephew: Patches. She is also survived by her god-daughter: Shantai Hutchinson Rogers; specially selected grandson: Gavin Dotten; father-figure: Perstine Wesley and special friends: Tonia Rudrow, Jannis Glover, Cathy Butler and Gregory Pinkney, along with a host of cousins, other relatives and special friends. Savannah Morning News November 21, 2011 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries.
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Published in Savannah Morning News on Nov. 21, 2011