Tonya Oaks smith Death, Obituary – A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Monday, April 10th, in honor of Dr. Tonya Oaks Smith, who served as Executive Director of Communications and Marketing at Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Tonya Oaks Smith will be remembered for her contributions to the university. University Hall, which can be found on the campus of Louisiana Tech University, will serve as the venue for the event that will take place there.
Visiting will begin at 10 in the morning, followed by a service at eleven in the morning. The visiting will end at one in the afternoon. Tonya lived till she was fifty years old when she passed away on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. On June 23, 1972, in the city of West Monroe, Louisiana, her mother, Becky Oaks, and her father, Butch Oaks of Calhoun, welcomed their daughter into the world.
Tonya acquired a Bachelor of Arts in English from Louisiana State University, where she completed the final two years of her secondary school and earned her diploma. She graduated in the year 1990, making her part of West Ouachita High School’s very first graduating class. Her year of graduation was 1990. After first meeting in Baton Rouge in 1995, Tonya and Keith Smith decided to be married and start their lives together.
The year 1997 was significant for them because it was the year that they became parents to their daughter, Rebekah Marshall. During the brief period that she resided in Ruston, Tonya was employed by the Ruston Daily Leader and made contributions to the paper. After relocating with her family to the city of Little Rock, which is situated in the U.S. state of Arkansas.
Tonya was able to successfully complete her education at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and graduate with a master’s degree in communication. Tonya worked in public relations and communications at both the University of Little Rock and Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. The family relocated to Ruston, Louisiana, in 2017, where Tonya was offered a senior position in the department of communication shortly after the transfer.
She earned her doctorate in education from Louisiana Tech University in 2023 after completing all of the criteria for the degree. Tonya devoted her professional life to enhancing the standard of higher education because she was certain that this would lead to improvements not just in the lives of students but also in the lives of members of the teaching staff.
Tonya based her professional life on the credo that “Education is not the filling of the pot but the lighting of a fire,” which is a quotation credited to W.B. Yates. This credo guided her through each day of her working life. Because of the work that she conducted with organizations all around the country, such as the HEWeb program, her enthusiasm for education was the spark that sparked a fire that motivated her employees all over the country.
Thanks to her labor, the fire spread all across the country. She was known affectionately by the majority of people online as “Marley’s Mom,” and she possessed a wickedly high IQ, an extraordinary amount of charisma, and a great desire to inspire educators to utilize their gifts to make the world a better place.
Before Tonya was born, both of her sets of grandparents—her maternal grandparents, C.W. and Mary Aswell, and her paternal grandparents, Emerson and Dorothy Oaks—had passed away. Her loving husband of 28 years, Louis Keith Smith, their daughter Rebekah Marshall (Marley), her father and mother, Butch and Rebekah Oaks, her brother Emerson Oaks V, Kristen Oaks White (Landon), and her nephew Theodore White, as well as her brothers-in-law, Marshall Gregory Smith and James Andrew Smith, survive her.
She was married to Louis Keith Smith for 28 years. In addition, she leaves behind her husband’s parents, Marshall Gregory Smith and James Andrew Smith, as her surviving relatives. Instead of sending flowers, Tonya’s family requests that memorial contributions be donated to the Louisiana Tech University Scholarship Fund. This was the cause that Tonya cared about the most in her life.