Open Modal

Obituary: Rhonda Wilson Dickey


Rhonda Wilson Dickey died peacefully on June 9, 2024, in Batesville AR, following a long illness. Rhonda was born on September 19, 1955 in Malvern, Arkansas the daughter of the late Artemus and Wilma Thornton Wilson.

Rhonda graduated as Valedictorian of her class from Gentry High School Gentry, AR, in 1973 and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Education and a double major in biology and general science. After teaching at Prairie Grove High School, Rhonda attended Air Force Officer’s Candidate School and in 1980 she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the USAF.  She first served as a vehicle maintenance officer, then as an aide to the USAF Flight Test Center Commander at Edwards AFB, Ca. During that time, she was involved with the first six (6) landings of the Space Shuttle. Rhonda left the Air Force as a Captain. Upon leaving the Air Force, she worked for Flowind Corporation, building wind mills in Tehachapi, CA and then finished the year teaching physical science at Mojave High School, Mojave California. When she left Mojave, she taught at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles, where she taught biology, physical science, AP biology, and human anatomy. Rhonda earned her master’s degree in school administration at California State Long Beach, and continued her education at the University of Southern California. Rhonda’s work paused in 1986 for the birth of her son. After returning to work, she was assistant principal at Santa Anna High School, dean of students at Yucca Valley High School in Yucca Valley, and then, assistant principal at Foothill High School in Orange County, California.

Rhonda returned to Arkansas and worked as a school principal at Cedar Ridge High School in Newark. Later she was the director of secondary education at North Little Rock School District. Upon leaving North Little Rock School District, Rhonda held three positions at the Arkansas Department of Education. She was Director of ERZ, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and, finally, Director of Migrant Education until her retirement.

Rhonda had many talents. She loved music and often sang in church choirs. She played the violin and the piano. She played violin two years in the Arkansas Children’s Orchestra. She was an animal lover, always bringing home stray dogs and caring for them. She loved raising gourds which she finished with detailed artistic paintings and designs. She enjoyed painting, including a couple of portraits of family and friends. She made quilts, crocheted afghans, and knitted Christmas stockings for her family.

Rhonda leaves behind a husband, Randal Fee Dickey, a son, Robert James Friedman (fiancée Blanca), step-son, Joshua Fee Dickey (Candice), granddaughter Faith LeeAnn Friedman, grandson Robert William Friedman, step-granddaughters Dani Hope Dickey and Braelyn Faith Dickey. She is also survived by a sister, Jwan Wilson Joslin (Randall), nieces Melissa Joslin and Megan Joslin Rutell (Ethan), and great-nephews, Caleb Rutell, Houston Rutell and Xavier Rutell.

Recommended Posts