Rhonda Bowen, RMR, died on March 26, just five days short of retiring as an official court reporter for the state of Missouri, after 21 years of exemplary service. Rhonda’s career included freelancing for 10 years as well. She was a member of NCRA for 26 years.
She was born Oct. 28, 1954, in Kansas City, Mo., and attended the University of Missouri–Columbia before going to court reporting school. Rhonda joined the court in 1977 and served as the official court reporter for four judges. I first met Rhonda in 1983 when she was looking for a substitute. She had suffered a broken arm from a motor scooter accident while visiting Martha’s Vineyard. I subbed for her for three weeks, and it didn’t take long for me to realize what a wonderful person she was. Rhonda was not only a fast and accurate reporter, she was good at spelling. One year at a state convention, she won the spelling bee. Her thoughtfulness, sense of humor, and professionalism will be dearly missed.
Rhonda had a passion for traveling. She followed her dreams to many destinations in Europe and the United States. She took several family vacations with her mother and nieces and nephew. She was especially fond of the Southwest, especially northern New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Utah. Monument Valley was one of her favorite destinations. Her last trip was a family reunion cruise in Alaska. Never having married, her dogs were like her children, and Wayside Waifs animal shelter was one of her favorite charities.
Rhonda was not only my dear friend, but my co-worker, just two doors away, for many years. We covered for each other and commiserated about the attorneys together. We took many memorable girls’ weekend trips, and we always had a great time. I regret I had to miss the trip where Rhonda scored tickets to see The Rolling Stones in Las Vegas. She was so good at planning trips, she could have been a travel agent. Since she was born close to Halloween, she had a fondness for spooky things, and one of my favorite trips she planned was the ghost tour of Atchison, Kan., which included attending a seminar hosted by a woman who could cross over to the other side, and a tour of the historic homes along the Missouri River.
Rhonda was one of those people who could remain calm and tranquil in spite of the storms of life. Her generous spirit and cheerful disposition are missed by us all.
Nancy A. Fox, RMR, CRR
Jackson County, Mo.