Tonja Handley Eckman passed away in her home after a hard-fought battle with cancer in the early morning hours of December 2nd, 2018 with her son Matt and dear friend Tammy by her side.
Tonja was born on May 9th, 1947 to Howard and Erma Handley. Tonja grew up on the family ranch just outside of Gonzales California with her older brother Tim and older sister Susan. A true daughter of the Salinas Valley, Tonja spent her childhood farming, ranching and par-ticipating in 4H. She graduated from Gonzales High School where she met the love of her life and husband of 48 years, Greg Eckman.
Tonja moved on to Hartnell Junior College but eventually followed her heart to Berkeley California where Greg was attending college. While in Berkeley she graduated from Heald Business College and then took a position with Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laborato-ries. Following Greg’s completion at UC Berkeley they were mar-ried March 23rd, 1969 and soon moved back to the Salinas Valley.
Tonja dedicated her life to providing for her family. She was an amazing full-time mother and wife. Tonja and her family relocated to Ventura California, and eventually Peoria, Arizona as Greg pur-sued a lifelong career in Human Resources. Tonja loved her Arizona home which she shared with her family and friends.
Following the passing of her husband Greg she shared her home with her two dearly loved dogs and her close friend Tammy Frazier. Tonja became the beloved grandmother to her granddaughter Taylor Eckman.
Tonja passes into the loving arms of her husband Greg, parents Howard & Erma, brother Tim and nephew Pat, but will be sorely missed by her remaining family; Sister Sue, son Matt and daughter in law Alicia and granddaughter Taylor, brother and sister in-laws John & Linda Eckman, nephews and nieces Darren & Mark Amaral, Kristen Handley, Eric &Terry Eckman, Christi Aldrete, and all their extended families.
Memorial Services will be held April 20th, 11am at Handley Ranch, 25485 Iverson Rd., Gonzales.