The loving and giving heart of Rhonda Frances Day was stilled over the holidays at her residence in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She lived her life giving to those who needed love and support. She will be long remembered and missed by family, friends and the many she worked to help and support.
Rhonda was born in Bay Village, Ohio in 1953 to James Day and Evelyn Cooper Day, in an era when girls had limited and narrowly defined acceptable role models. Rhonda’s tall, athletic, extremely smart, and very funny self, stretched those limits considerably. She graduated from Bay Village Ohio High School which had no women’s sports programs. Nevertheless, Rhonda took up Rugby in college at Indiana University, and rose to lead the Midwest Women’s Rugby Union where she played fearsomely and with wonderful enthusiasm. She also achieved a Suma Cum Laude with a double major in Psychology and Sociology, setting her professional course in the helping professions.
One of Rhonda’s early jobs was at NASA’s Lewis Research Center in Cleveland where for 7 years she led the fitness and wellness programs for their 2,000 scientists and jet propulsion. There she combined her love of fitness and well-being by developing new programs and activities for all those equally smart and energetic people.
Then her big heart found it’s true passion in helping people with more challenging issues. After completing her MSW from the University of Wisconsin, she worked for 13 years for the City of Lakewood, Ohio where he led child abuse prevention programs and counseled children, adolescents and families.
Rhonda moved to New Mexico when her New Mexico native mom moved back to live in 1999. Rhonda again took up her passion for helping people at a number of programs including the Rio Rancho Health Center, as Wellness Director at Jewish Family Services, as Clinical Director at the Domestic Violence Resource Center, and most recently as a therapist at Healthy Families of Albuquerque where she found both valuable colleagues and good friends.
Rhonda is survived by her brother Alan Day and his wife Nancy Vescuso of Massachusetts, brother Barrett Day of Louisiana, niece Megan Day of Colorado, nephew Adam Day of Massachusetts, uncle John Cooper of Tyler, Texas, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and their children. Please join us in remembering Rhonda at a Celebration of Life Ceremony Saturday, March 3rd, 2018, 2:00 p.m. at the Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107 and at a reception for family and friends afterwards. We hope you will share your memories of her wonderful sense of irreverent humor, and her big and caring heart. Her ashes will be placed at Sunset so we all can continue to visit with her in a warm and caring setting.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in honor of Rhonda’s love for her cats and animal rescue to CARMA (Companion Animal Rescue & Medical Assistance}, P.O. Box 1233, Corrales, NM 87048, which helped rescue Rhonda’s cats and helped the family immeasurably after Rhonda’s passing, or to Animal Humane New Mexico, 615 Virginia St. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108.