Tonya Nichole Ferguson Chams, wife, mother, daughter, friend, and warrior earned her wings on March 3, 2022, at her home in Lake Mary, Florida.
Tonya is survived by her husband, David Chams; her daughters, Naomi Ferguson and Sophia Chams; stepdaughter, Mariana Chams; stepsons, Daniel and Juan Chams; her mother, Janie Ferguson; her brother Richard A. Ferguson (Alta); and nephews, Royce and Ryland Ferguson. She is preceded in death by her father Richard Ferguson, paternal grandmother Dona Ferguson, paternal grandfather Lowell Ferguson Sr., and Uncle Lowell Ferguson Jr., maternal grandparents Dangler and Dolores McKenzie.
Tonya was born on August 28, 1983, in Lake Wales, Florida, to parents Richard and Janie Ferguson. She grew up in Avon Park, Florida and graduated from Avon Park High School in 2001. After working various professions from the School Board of Highlands County to pharmacy tech, she returned to school. She graduated from South Florida Community College in Avon Park with a Nursing degree in 2012. As a graduate nurse, she accepted a position as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Florida Hospital Heartland Division, Sebring, Florida. She then obtained her Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree from Chamberlain College of Nursing in 2014 and was actively working on obtaining her Master’s Degree. After earning her BSN, Tonya then transferred to the Operating Room as a Nurse. This is where she met her husband, David Chams.
Winning Tonya’s heart was a task that could have seemed insurmountable for someone who did not take the time to understand how complex she was. She loved all things Disney and was also a huge fan of Dr. Who. She could throw on a costume and attend MegaCon with her daughter, Naomi, but would also be sure to educate her on the importance of God in your life. She despised squirrels and loved bacon. She would dance her “happy dance” whether she was brought an all-organic homemade meal from her newfound love, or even better, we ordered out for some Taco Bell. She loved her food. She could be sarcastic and sassy, but empathic when you needed a shoulder to cry on. David took the time to know her and love her. She looked at David and saw a man with a huge heart who loved his family. She married him in 2016 and the couple had their beautiful daughter Sophia that December.
Tonya was a fighter, a warrior. She was small but mighty. She endured a long, hard battle that most couldn’t imagine. She was determined to stay with us as long as possible and make as many memories as she could with her family and friends. She was an inspiration to all and exuded strength and perseverance every step of the way. She was passionate about her family and was fiercely protective of all the children. She adored her friends, and she made so many in her time on this earth. It was easy to love her. This we want to share with you, always remember the light and life she would bring into any room, remember the joy you felt when in her presence. When you feel the warmth of the sun’s rays or you see a child look up and smile at their mother’s face, remember Tonya. We will carry on her legacy and fight as Team Tonya. With her inspiration Team Tonya will remain strong, and forever bound with love.
There will be a private burial on March 12, 2022, only attended by family and close friends. A Celebration of Life for Tonya will be held on March 25th, 2022, 6pm at First Baptist Church of Avon Park. Pastor Keith Carringer, of Lake Placid will officiate alongside Tonya’s brother Richard. Everyone who knew and loved Tonya are welcome to attend and celebrate her life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Tonya, to the Ronald McDonald House for Advent Health Children’s Hospital Orlando. Check should be mailed to Ronald McDonald House: 2201 Alden Road, Orlando, Fl, 32803