Heaven rejoiced and earth had sorrow on December 7, 2020 when Tonya Barnes was called
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home. Tonya was born on August 3, 1965 to Doretha Rodgers and John Cartwright at Genesee
Hospital here in Rochester, New York
Tonya was baptized and dedicated her life to the Lord at Reynolds St Church of Christ on
After graduating from Edison Tech High School, she continued her education at the State
University of Buffalo where she graduated with a degree in Sociology. Tonya also received her
Family Development Credentialing from Cornell University in 1999. In 2007, Tonya became a
proud member of the African American Leadership Development program. Tonya was always
sure that she wanted to work in and give back to the community. In her early career she
counseled at Salvation Army, Center for Youth Services and the Urban League of Rochester. In
most recent years Tonya held several positions in her 20 years at Planned Parenthood
including, Prenatal Counselor, HR Administrator and Regional Systems Trainer to name a few.
She was also responsible and known for fabulous diversity celebrations and if you know Tonya
they included great food, fun and cultural education. Tonya served on the Sojourner House
Board of Directors, a transitional home for women affected by addiction and mental illness for
six years. She also sat on REOCs Perkins Advisory Board.
Tonya met her husband Anthony Barnes here in Rochester and they wed on August 22, 1998.
One of Tonya's greatest passions was the STAR program. She was one of the founders and
Program Coordinator for the debutante program where she touched the lives of 100s of young
ladies in the Rochester Community. Tonya also enjoyed entertaining, cooking and feeding folks
which fueled her desire to start a successful full service event and catering service, Events and
Catering by Design.
Tonya is preceded in death by her Husband, Anthony Barnes, Mother, Doretha Rodgers, Step
Father, Robert Rodgers, Grand Parents Elnora and Leroy Boykins, Grandmother Rose
Cartwright, and special Aunt and Uncle Josh and Altha Lofton.
Barnes. She leaves to cherish her memory, father John Cartwright, sisters Altha (Roger) Desue,
Anita Brown, Sonya Graham, brothers in law Zebedee Barnes, Danny (Toni) Barnes, sister in
laws Cynthia Barnes Adell, Joyce (Horace) Little, Ma Ophelia Monroe, Goddaughter Chelsea
Washington, Godson Henry Gray, special cousin Cassandra Hams, Executive Assistant and
special friend Courtney Nathan and a host of nieces, nephews and those that loved her more
affectionately known as her tribe. She will be sorely missed.
Visitation , Saturday December 19, 2020 from 11AM to 12NOON at the funeral home 109 West Avenue. Funeral service is for immediate family ONLY. Riverside cemetery