Rhonda Lea (Kidwell) Clem, a force of a woman, died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Dec. 22, 2023 after battling recurrent cancer for the last seven and a half years. She was 64.
Rhonda was born Dec. 8, 1959, in Winchester, Virginia as the second, and middle, child of Roxanna Lea (Haugh) Kidwell and Donald Gene Kidwell. She spent most of her childhood growing up in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she began her quest for learning and forging many lifelong friendships. She graduated from Berkeley Springs High School in 1978.
She then went on to graduate from West Virginia University with a degree in journalism education. She worked for AT&T and later the Marriott Corporation, but she most notably enjoyed working for Wakefield School in The Plains, Virginia, where her children attended school. She was the school’s registrar, the yearbook advisor and was someone they could count on.
She had many achievements and joys in her life, but none compared to raising her children, Anna and Nicolas. She so enjoyed watching her daughter compete in equestrian events and cheered from the bleachers when her son scored his 1,000 point for the Wakefield Fighting Owls’ high school basketball team.
She was a master at finding the best sales, enjoyed pulling over to see what treasures a garage sale or antique shop had to offer, and loved snuggling up with her grandsons to watch a movie or play a board game. With a keen eye for detail and deep determination, she loved working on crossword and sudoku puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles were no match for her. She also enjoyed making cross stitch pieces for her family and photographing the world around her.
Her family is eternally grateful to the Duke Cancer Center’s staff, whose medical expertise gave her many more fighting years.
She is survived by her daughter Anna Grace Marie (Clem) Strouse and her son-in-law Justin Strouse of Great Cacapon, WV; her son Nicolas Paul Coleman and her daughter-in-law Blake Coleman of Mebane, NC; her older sister Kista (Kidwell) Hurley and her husband Kevin Hurley of Chapel Hill, NC; and her younger sister Donna (Kidwell) Patrick of Canaan Valley, WV. She is also survived by her niece Anna Patrick of Seattle, Washington; her nephew Matthew Patrick of Canaan Valley, WV; and her very beloved grandsons, J.R. Strouse and Jude Strouse of Great Cacapon, WV, whom she so enjoyed spending time with and watching them grow. She is also survived by a number of aunts, uncles and cousins whom she dearly loved.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Roxanna Lea (Haugh) Kidwell and Donald Gene Kidwell.
In lieu of a funeral service, the family will hold a celebration of life ceremony in the months to come. Instead of flowers, we ask that you hug your loved ones tight.
Memorial donations may be made to the Duke Cancer Center at giving.dukehealth.org.
You may send condolences and sign the online register at www.lowefuneralhome.com.