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December 21, 1955 - August 26, 2021
In accordance with Rhonda’s wishes, there will be no funeral, burial, or celebration of her life. Instead, an open house/informal gathering where people may come and go and connect and reflect with Rhonda’s friends and family will be held on Sunday, September 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Chimney Shelter directly across from Blessed Sacrament Church in Canyon Lake Park.
Face masks requested.
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Rhonda Jean Snow, formerly known as Rhonda Buck and Rhonda Osborne, 65, passed away unexpectedly in Rapid City on August 26, 2021, surrounded by her sisters and some of her close personal friends following complications from four surgeries within less than 30 days.
Rhonda was born on December 21, 1955, in Middletown, Connecticut, to Arnold and Jean (Reichenbach) Buck. She received her primary education in Deadwood, South Dakota, and a B.S. in elementary education K-8 and special education K-12 from Black Hills State University in 1981. In 1998 she received a M.S. in Guidance and Counseling from South Dakota State University and in 2005 she received a reading specialist K-12 certification from the University of Sioux Falls.
Rhonda was a devoted teacher and gifted reading specialist who taught in the Rapid City School District for 40 years. She retired on June 30, 2021, after serving in several capacities, including as an elementary resource teacher at General Beadle Elementary School and Black Hawk Elementary School; a second and third grade classroom teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School; a literacy teacher for the South Dakota Reads program where she was assigned to the Valley View, Pinedale, Horace Mann, and General Beadle elementary schools; and most recently as an English and writing teacher at East Middle School. Rhonda is credited with creating and establishing the Forum of Famous Faces, an academic competition held in the Rapid City public schools for several years. Like many teachers, Rhonda had to supplement her teacher’s salary by working secondary jobs at such places as the Hilton Hotel, the Hotel Alex Johnson, and the Holiday Inn. For many years, Rhonda was also an aerobics/step aerobics instructor at several locations.
Self-reliant, independent, compassionate, faithful, and forgiving. These are a few of the words that describe this beautiful curly haired woman who forged a successful career for herself and surrounded herself with a network of supportive friends and colleagues. Rhonda was passionate, opinionated, full of creative ideas, and generous with her knowledge and good counsel. Those who knew her well were aware she harbored self-doubt and was devoted to self-reflection and self-improvement and making amends for real and imagined trespasses. She was a loving friend and confidant who will be deeply missed.
Rhonda is survived by her sisters, Karen (Randolph) Haynes, Gail Buck, and Rena Case of Spearfish, her brother Randall (Sherry) Buck of Indianapolis, Indiana, several nieces and nephews, her large family of friends, and her beloved dog Emma. She is preceded in death by her parents, her niece Olivia Buck, and her dogs Rossi and Scheherazade.
In accordance with Rhonda’s wishes, there will be no funeral, burial, or celebration of her life. Instead, an open house/informal gathering where people may come and go and connect and reflect with Rhonda’s friends and family will be held on Sunday, September 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Chimney Shelter directly across from Blessed Sacrament Church in Canyon Lake Park. Face masks requested.
Rhonda sincerely appreciated—but never got the chance to personally thank—everyone (you know who you are!) whose actions (both big and small) following each of her recent surgeries showed how truly loved she was. She was humbled, and said so often.
Rhonda’s family and close personal friends wish to extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Robert Miller and the staff at Monument Health, particularly the surgical ICU staff, for their compassionate care and treatment of Rhonda. Rhonda struggled with an eating disorder most of her adult life. Rhonda’s family and friends would encourage anyone who has an unhealthy relationship with food to immediately seek professional help. Don’t wait. It can literally be a matter of life and death.
Rhonda was a fierce advocate for captive and abused elephants. Memorials may be given to The Elephant Sanctuary located in Hohenwald, Tennessee, by check or online at elephants.com.