Toni Tabor Oyler

Born: Pleasanton, CA on 15 February 1954

Passed away: Round Rock, TX on 30 July 2015

Aged: 61 years

Funeral Date: 22 August 2015

Service Details

A memorial service celebrating Toni’s life will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection on Saturday, August 22 at 11AM in Austin, TX; all are welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to help with funeral expenses (please select the Donate in Memory link to the left or at the bottom of this page), or donations in Toni’s memory to the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

The Story

Toni Tabor Oyler, beloved wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, and friend, passed away on Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Round Rock, Texas, following a brief battle with cancer. Toni passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by the love of her husband and daughters. Toni was predeceased by her mother whom she greatly admired, Joan Luton Higgins. She is survived by her devoted husband, Kenneth W. Oyler; her three daughters Kelly Elizabeth McKee Brednich and husband Brig, Chelsea Erin McKee Delbar and husband Nick, and Austin Lee McKee; her treasured “beebees” grandsons Tabor Stewart McKee, Caden Paradise Brednich, and Jack Jean-Calvin Delbar; her father Lt. Col. John D. Tabor and wife Georgia; her step-father Hugh K. Higgins, Jr.; as well as numerous other friends and extended family members.

Born on February 15, 1954, in Pleasanton, CA, Toni was an only child, adored by her parents and grandparents Stewart LeMoyne and Mary Grace Smith Luton. She graduated early from Reagan High School in Austin, and then attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received her Bachelors in Radio, Television, and Film. In 1975, Toni started working as the advertising traffic director at KNOW, a hip radio station in Austin, TX. There she met Calvin Randall McKee. They married in 1977 and had three daughters, Kelly, Chelsea, and Austin. In 1992, she married Kenny, whom she affectionately referred to as her "Kenman." Together they cherished each other’s company while gardening, playing Scrabble, and spending time with friends and family on their back porch. While her girls were growing up, Toni was not only a mother to them, but to countless other children who found their way into her heart and she into theirs.

Toni was a well-respected and driven professional. To list all of her professional accomplishments would be impossible. She was the first woman to serve as Executive Director of the Pharr Chamber of Commerce and she was the only female Chamber Director representing the Rio Grande Valley at an international expo promoting trade between U.S. and Mexican companies. Early in her career with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, she conceived and implemented the first McAllen Candlelight Posada, which continues as a major Christmas festival in the Rio Grande Valley today. For the last 23 years, Toni was a valuable member of the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality family. She first joined the commission when it was known as the Texas Air Control Board in 1992. Over the years, Toni served in various positions related to air permitting. She supervised, led various groups and teams, and was recognized on multiple occasions as an outstanding employee for her customer service, work ethic, attitude, professionalism, and production. Toni was a source of information for all internal and external customers, especially those she mentored and trained over the years. Even after her diagnosis, Toni remained dedicated in her work.

Toni was a woman of faith. As a member of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, she demonstrated her love, patience, and kindness by leading a ministry involved in feeding the homeless. Together, with her husband Kenny, she changed the way those less fortunate were served, by bringing food to their tables, rather than having them wait in line. She also organized entertainment in the form of music and poetry for them to enjoy.

Like her mother, Toni was a brilliant Scrabble player. It was through Scrabble that she taught Kenman how to spell, and her daughters the secret of two-letter words and where to carefully play your ‘S’. She was an avid reader and loved the theater where she volunteered her time as an actor in feature plays. Later in life, she enjoyed her annual mother/daughter trips, where, together, she and her three daughters shared special talks and hours of laughter.

Above all else, Toni was a woman of compassion. She will be remembered for her ability to find the positive in any situation, her sense of humor, her willingness to forgive, and for the unconditional love she shared with all who knew her.

The family wishes to thank all those that loved and cared for Toni. While her life here on earth has ended, and ours will never be the same without her, she will continue to live through us as we carry her memory in our hearts. To close, we share a poem written by her husband in her honor.

My Toni Girl
Can be this beast named death
Only awakening
The joy of my sweet wife’s
Quieting, bequeathed breath
Toni’s eyes
Toni’s arms ever wide open
Peacefully purposely perched
On this precipice of life
Smile upon us
Gently guiding us away
From our singular
Bleak bridges of sighs
Teaching us
All who knew her
To ease your minds
Leave your troubles and
Cares behind you
Life can be unkind
Know I love you
I love you
I love you
Light a Candle

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Sam Sapsky introduced me to Toni. I only knew her a short time but in that time a saw a beautiful and happy lady. I am grateful to have know such a special person. I will miss her.

Melissa Beissner


Toni was a beautiful soul inside and out. She was intelligent, witty, charming and possessed a caring heart. She greeted everyone with a warm smile and a willingness to extend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. She spoke of her family often with deep love and affection. Toni was truly an inspiration to all that knew her and one of my dearest friends. I will miss her for a short time; by God's grace, I will see her again. Friends are forever.

Brenda O'Brien


Toni was a loving and caring person. Always patient and always helpful. She will be missed here at the TCEQ for her knowledge and skill, but mostly for her kindness. I will miss my true friend greatly but know she is still watching over all of us. My love to Kenny and the girls and let me know if there is aything I can help with. Love you all.

Lisa D'Amato


What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. Toni loved her family and lit up each time she spoke of you. She was a great mentor and leader and I'm lucky to have worked with her at TCEQ. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. She will be missed.

Stephanie Ross