Rhonda was born on Dec. 20, 1922, in Anamosa, Iowa, the oldest of three children to Loyd W. and Sybil (Berger) Burns.
The family moved to Toledo when she was a young child. Rhonda attended school in Toledo and graduated with the class of 1941. While in High School, she enjoyed being a cheerleader, participated in theatrical productions and sang 2nd soprano in vocal groups. She was always proud of the one rating her vocal ensemble received in state competition. After graduating from high school, Rhonda was clerk at the Tama County Court House.
On March 9, 1944, she married E. Chester McEltree in Marshalltown, and the couple celebrated 64 years of marriage. Chester passed away April 10, 2008. Rhonda was a very devoted wife and mother. She moved her family to Chet’s duty stations all over the world and USA. She always had a twinkle in her eye as she shared memories of being the wife of a career military man and each place they lived.
In 1974, Chet retired from the United States Air Force and they returned to Toledo to the McEltree family home to care for their parents. Rhonda took the position as head Librarian for the Toledo Public Library upon returning to Toledo and held that position until retirement.
Over the years, Rhonda enjoyed entertaining, baking and accompanying Chet to many state and national Fireman’s conventions, as well as many functions of the Toledo-Tama Kiwanis.
Reading, genealogy, knitting and crafts as well as making beautiful Japanese dolls and collecting thimbles were favorites of Rhonda as well as delivering Meals on Wheels with Chet to the shut-ins.
Rhonda received several service awards serving the Red Cross as Grey Lady. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth Circle, enjoyed singing in the choir, Toledo American Legion Auxiliary and bowled on the Sparkettes Bowling team.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Chet; one brother, Gilbert; a niece, Penny; and a daughter-in-law, Suzi.
Survivors include two sons, Bruce (DalLynn) McEltree ,Toledo and Kelly B. McEltree, Dothan, Ala.; one sister, Shirley Fritz, Des Moines; one granddaughter, Amy (Matt) Garringer, Des Moines; one great-grandson, Micah Garringer; one step-great-grandson, Cameron Garringer also of Des Moines; and several nieces and cousins.
Memorials may be contributed to Iowa River Hospice.
The family would like to thank all of the staff, caregivers and volunteers at Iowa River Hospice for the wonderful care Rhonda received while a resident at the Hospice Home.
Rhonda Lorraine (Burns) McEltree