How to describe and pay homage to Rhonda? The word that best describes Rhonda is maternal -- in the context of a proud, loving, independent woman. Rhonda was dedicated to her son, her husband, her family, her friends and making her community a better place.
Rhonda was the first of seven children born to Bill and Vivian Stern. Rhonda was born in River Falls, Wisconsin and spent her early years on the family farm. The Sterns moved to California, settling in San Jose, where Rhonda spent her formative years through high school.
Rhonda was graced to grow up in a big loving family. As the oldest, she learned responsibility early on. She relished in memories of the simplicity of farm life, visiting national parks, camping trips and taking care of her younger siblings (but not the part about the diapers...).
Rhonda started college at Cal Lutheran and completed her studies at UC Davis. Her penchant for science was reflected in her studies. While at college, she met and married her first husband, Jeff.
Shortly after leaving college, Rhonda gave birth to her only child, Daniel. At about the same time, Rhonda and Jeff were divorced.
Rhonda met her second husband, Dick, at a Planned Parenthood Wine Tasting. Together, they helped raise Dan, giving him love, comfort and making sure that he experienced horizons -- from the opera to King Crimson, art museums to the Oakland A's, cooking to the ocean and, always, family.
Rhonda was proud to work for the City of Stockton, California in various capacities where her jobs were geared to improving the community she lived in. Rhonda also worked for her community as an active member of the Democratic Party.
Rhonda relished in her friends, old and new. She loved the opera, an adult night out, good food, the odd dram of single malt, art and a good book.
Rhonda is on this flight because she early on developed an abiding love of Star Trek and its values. Rhonda was there from the original series on. She actively tried to incorporate the Trek philosophy into her work and life. She made sure Dan and Dick attended their fair share of conventions.
Rhonda is survived by Dan, Dick, her parents, five brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and in laws who loved her and miss her.
On a personal note, I hope that this paints even a faint picture of my love and my best friend. Rhonda is thrilled be sharing this adventure with all of her fellow participants, their families and friends. -- Dick