In a blaze of glory, Toni Ely’s life was celebrated on the night of New Year’s Eve. There is no doubt, Toni left us loud and proud as fireworks lit her path to Heaven. She touched the lives of so many, to know Toni was to love her.
Toni graduated H.B. Plant High School and went on to attend Florida State University. Later in life, she chose to complete her associates degree at Hillsborough Community College. Toni was a self-made woman and remarkably balanced work, school and raising children. After working in Real-Estate and Finance throughout her career, she went on to build her own credit card processing business from the ground-up.
The simple things in life mattered to her most; bike riding with her dog Kealie and talking to anyone who crossed her path! Toni Ely was a millionaire in friends, becoming everyone’s confidant.
Helping children was her true passion; Her girls, Jessica and Maggie, were her entire world and more. She also loved her companion of five years, Bob Geist. He loved cooking for her, and she loved eating his vegan cuisine.
A free spirit, Toni marched to the beat of her own drum. She relished art shows and traveling which took her hiking on the coast of Italy, sailing in Belize, and camping in the Grand Canyon. She found a passion for Yoga at the North Tampa YMCA, and became very talented at practicing even the most difficult positions. Toni’s strength and bravery will forever live in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to know her.
Toni has inspired so many to be more loving and appreciative of each other every day. She wants to remind us all to be present with the ones we love, choose to be happy and most importantly to forgive each other.
Now, God has recruited her to help others on a broader scale - he needed a powerful force for this important job, and a special soul whose love can move mountains, whose light can shine through the darkest of sorrows, lifting a multitude of people up around the world. Whose roar makes evil crumble, his Tiger Angel - Toni.
She is survived by her brother Steve Oppenheim (Debi) and sisters Lori Fitzgerald (Mike) and Vicki Schnurr (Mike); Her children, Jessica Ely (Christopher) and Maggie Ely; Her niece and nephews, Lindsey Culver (James), Padraic Fitzgerald, and Ryan Pratt (Hannah). She is also survived by her dear cousins Cathy Gittleson (Tony), Lisa Tomalin, and Jay Karahan (Cynthia).