Toni Marie Starry Thomas, age 63, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, surrounded by family.\n\nBorn in Fontana, CA on August 7, 1960, she was the daughter of the late Florence Angie Martin and Paul William Carey. Toni graduated from Fontana High School in 1977. She lived in San Diego County for 37 years. Toni loved being in and near the water: in her youth she was a fiercely competitive swimmer, and later she could often be found enjoying the beach–especially at Torrey Pines. Toni completed a BS in math at BYU, where she was one of the first women ROTC Air Force cadets. She also pursued graduate studies in math at CSU San Marcos. \n\nToni liked to wryly explain that she “turned to writing after the onset of children and rheumatoid arthritis limited other activities.” She wrote and edited many song lyrics, poems, books, playscripts, and stories, with wide-ranging credits, including “A Time for Gathering”; From Grandma With Love: A Legacy of Values; Jimi Hendrix: Voices from Home (editor), and “Company B.”\n\nShe loved to collaborate with her community of composers, musicians, actors, and other creatives to express love, light, faith and hope. These dear friends seemed to come running when they got her call: “Come and play or sing or study with me!” Their collaborations led to countless concerts, theatrical productions, and moments of joy. Toni’s expressive skill with language made her an honored lyricist in the music competitions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In her last years her passion was her work on the forthcoming hymnbook for the Church. She worked tirelessly on these projects until her death.\n\nIn her long-time home of Poway, CA, Toni made dear friends through her kids’ schools and activities, church service, and community volunteering. She volunteered at the Monarch School for homeless children in San Diego, gave talks and lessons at church, and held scripture study in her home. When her own children left the home, she welcomed and loved lots of other young people with her tutoring and mentoring. Through family history research she discovered cousins and extended family worldwide–especially in England, Ireland, and Australia. She loved to gather with them in online groups and individual visits. Toni is widely known for her fearless leadership, great sense of humor, quick wit, spiritual insights, resilience, listening ear, and tremendous force for good. She held nothing back.\n\nToni prioritized her family and was a remarkable wife, mother and grandmother. She was married for 42 years to the love of her life, Norman. They raised three children, and Toni became a fun and loving grandmother of 10. She wrote books to teach her grandchildren how to read, about their family history, and about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. She loved doing math and puzzles with her grandchildren, thinking of presents to delight them, and videoconferencing with them wherever they went. \n\nToni is preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Frank, Kathryn, Elizabeth, and Leroy. She is survived by her husband, Norman Louis Thomas; siblings, Lawrence, Darlene, Wanda, and Paul; daughter Guinevere Woolstenhulme; son Evan Thomas; daughter Claire Child; and ten grandchildren.\n\nToni was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ whose faith gave her strength through difficult trials. Toni wrote:\n\nThough now the weight of darkness press\nThy Light, O Lord, yet pierces all.\nThough hatred grieve and sin oppress\nIn Thee we shall not fail nor fall.\nWe shall not fear; we shall not doubt\nThough storms of opposition rage,\nBut look to Thee in ev'ry thought\nAnd in Thy peace, abide the day.\n\n “I do not know when your sorrows will end and your reward begin; but my experience speaks to say: your sorrow will be more than recompensed in the Lord’s time. It is well worth the trouble.”\n\nA funeral service will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, September 8, 2023, at 4300 N Canyon Rd, Provo, UT 84604. \n\nPlease share any memories or tributes with the family by emailing them to ToniThomasMemorial@gmail.com.