William “Tony” Tyler went home to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 4, 2021 with the love of his life by his side, his wife, Joni.
Tony was born on October 16, 1948 to William and Lucille Tyler in Richmond, Indiana. Tony graduated from Richmond High School in 1968 and enlisted in the Army directly out of high school, where he proudly served his country for over 32 years. Tony was recruited by the CIA shortly after joining the Army. Tony served in Vietnam for 2 ½ tours and served in the Granada War. During his years of service, Tony was in the 82nd Airborne Division, a Ranger and attained the rank of Sergeant Major in the Intelligence Division of the CIA. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was highly decorated throughout his career. He worked in the CIA Black Ops Division and spent the final 10 years of his Military career working at the Pentagon.
Tony spoke five languages including Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and German. He was an avid body builder, and owned his own gym for many years, and earned the title of “Mr. North Carolina.” He was a Master in Kuk Sool Won Korean Martial Arts and he obtained his Samurai status in 1980-1982 in Nagano, Japan after attending Matsushiro Samurai Academy.
Tony met Joni at the gym where they became great friends. She did not know that he fell in love with her at first sight. In July 2012, Tony was in need of a kidney transplant and Joni chose to be tested and was a 100% match! They married in July 2013 and remained a perfect match together. Tony was a Mustang enthusiast and enjoyed his retirement working at Lowes in the paint department. He loved his life; he was a proud Patriot and loved his Lord and his family.
He is survived by his wife, Joni (Finkbeiner); his 4 children, Tonya “Nikki” Young (Grant) Stuttgard, Germany, Trier Nigal Mosley (Melanie) Zandovoort, Netherlands, Cassie Tyler, Hopewell, Virginia, and Natasha Jackson (Monty), Tampa, Florida; Stepdaughter, Lacy Bleu Holmes, Williamsport, PA; brother, Gary Tyler, Indianapolis, Indiana. He has five grandchildren, Delilah, Amelia, Josiah, Liliana, and Hannah.
Memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021, at 10 a.m. at Heath Funeral Chapel, 328 S. Ingraham Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801. Inurnment to follow at 1:30 p.m. at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida with Military Honors. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.