Tonya Sue Lyman, 44, of Memphis died Thursday, December 6, 2018 at her home following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

She was born the daughter of John Walter and Dorothy (Claireday) Logan in St. Louis on April 9, 1974.

Tonya completed her GED before attending Berkshire Community College in Berkshire County, MA.   She graduated from the East Missouri Law Enforcement Academy in 1988.  

She met Dale Lyman on September 18, 1988 while attending the academy, and they married on September 23, 2000.  He survives.  

Dale and Tonya are parents of a son, John Hunter Lyman. She loved her family and was deeply committed to her husband and son. She was in fellowship with the First Baptist Church in Memphis.

Tonya served in law enforcement for ten years and was awarded a Letter of Appreciation from the Chief of Campus Police at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO, for her tireless and dedicated service following the Joplin tornado in 2011. The Lymans opened up their home to two young girls from Joplin – Karly and Kaity Davidson – who lived with them during a difficult period in their lives.

She had a great love for animals. Tonya enjoyed raising,breeding and selling tropical birds in addition to her great love for dogs and cats. She was known for rescuing injured and neglected tropical birds and nursing them back to health.   Tonya rescued a cat while serving in Joplin that still lives with them today, which she and Dale named “Baby J”.  

Tonya had a creative side also. She enjoyed painting and sculpting, making jewelry, fairy houses and other crafts.   She used her love and keen eye for crafts to create a small family business of buying local curios and selling them on the internet.  

She was a person who was filled with life and a joy to be around. She was creative, resourceful and passionate about the things she enjoyed.  Tonya will always be remembered for her compassion toward others because she was one of the rare people whose compassion was met with action, making her an inspiration to those who knew her.  She is deeply loved by her family and friends who will dearly miss her.

She was preceded in death by her father.

She is survived by her husband, Dale, son, John, and mother, Dorothy Claireday Logan, all of Memphis; and a brother James Logan of St. Louis.

A celebration of life in Tonya’s honor will be held at a later date. Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Cancer Fund and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.