Morse, Tonya

Tonya Anne Morse, 48, of Ft. Collins, Col., died May 8, 2009, at the Pathways Hospice in Loveland, Col., of complications resulting from severe brain trauma.

Tonya was born May 21, 1960, in Adrian, Mich. She graduated from Morenci Area High School in 1978 and from Michigan State University in 1982, summa cum laude, with dual degrees in criminal justice and psychology.

Shortly after graduating from M.S.U., Tonya moved to Houston, Texas, where she worked as a security guard and then a parole officer. Tonya graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1988 and became an attorney. She served as an Assistant Attorney General in Victoria, Texas, for the child support enforcement division.

Tonya moved to Wyoming in 1997 and worked for several years as an attorney and Director of Family and Child Services for the State of Wyoming. In 2005, Tonya began working as an instructor for the Institute of Business and Medical Careers (IBMC) in Ft. Collins, Col., and she worked there until her death.

Though she battled chronic illnesses throughout her life, including glaucoma and severe depression, Tonya enjoyed fishing, hiking, camping, her Sheltie dogs (Sprite and Sam), spending time with family and friends, the music of Bruce Springsteen, the acting of Gale Harold, participating in her favorite internet communities, travel, plays, science fiction books and movies, and her students and fellow workers at IBMC.

Tonya worked throughout her life not only for legal justice but for social justice, frequently giving her time, talent and treasure to organizations like Boys Town, Amnesty International, Sheltie Rescue, Locks of Love and her alma mater, Michigan State University. Tonya also frequently worked pro bono for those could not afford an attorney but needed legal help.

Tonya is survived by her mother, Verlaine Sanford Morse of Cheyenne, Wyo.; four sisters, Terese Morse and Tara Morse, both of Westminster, Col., Tina Kerin of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Telaina (and Andrew) Eriksen of East Lansing, Mich.; two brothers, Tracy (and Julia) Morse of Hudson, Mich., and Trent Morse of Waldron, Mich.; three nephews, four nieces, three grand-nephews and two grand-nieces.

Her father, Gerald Keith Morse, preceded her in death in 2006.

A memorial service is scheduled at 1 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Eagle Funeral Home in Hudson, Mich., with Father Richard Eberle officiating.  Interment will follow in Sand Creek Cemetery.  Visitation is planned from  11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the day of the service.

Donations in Tonya’s memory can be made to the Longmont Humane Society, 9595 Nelson Road Longmont, CO 80501 or