Rhonda Lou “Purple” Drake of Fayetteville, NC, left the earthly world on September 22nd, 2019 to become one with the moon and stars. Rhonda was born January 6th, 1962 in Lexington Kentucky. At a young age, she left out on her own and took life by the horns. No, seriously… who gets kicked out of Key West before they turn 15? Yep, that was our Rhonda. As many young ladies in Naval towns, she thought she was in love and married a sailor. Though the marriage ended, she was blessed with a daughter that would grow up to be so much like her and who would, in turn, give her handsome grandsons and a beautiful and warm-hearted granddaughter.
Life was never easy for Rhonda but she bit and clawed her way past the obstacles before her to ensure a better life for her family. She kissed a few more frogs before finding a nice older man that helped tame a little of her wild side before he passed away. We never know God’s plan for us in the moment, but in this case it was to make Rhonda ready to tear down her walls and receive the gift of her greatest love, her husband Deryk. They met at one of her favorite past-times, Karaoke, and though she swore she would never be interested in a younger man, he knew how special she was and took the time to win her over. Though they would only have the next 13 years together, they lived and loved and weathered all storms together as one.
Two of her proudest non-Mom moments were trying out for The Voice and when she and Deryk were able to buy a home of their own. She was extremely happy and grateful when her daughter and family moved close by and she was able to get closer to all of them. Rhonda was a proud Wiccan and Christian, and recently rededicated her life to Christ. She had an exterior shell made of granite but a wonderfully soft heart which she used to care for people and animals. She was fiercely loyal and protective and prepared to whoop up on anyone who hurt those for whom she cared.
She was preceded in death by her brother Ronnie Wells and mother Wanda Sullivan. Her spirit is carried on by her loving husband of 13 years, Deryk Drake, her beloved daughter Aundrea Penny and son-in-law Brandon Penny, her three precious grandbabies, Brendon, Bradley and Addison Penny; her chosen father Michael Sullivan; her two surviving siblings Greg Smith and Dawn Chrisman along with a very large and extended family of relatives and friends. Though small in stature her personality commanded the attention of those surrounding her. She was funny, generous, kind, beautiful, silly, a warrior, and she will be missed tremendously and loved forever.
Rhonda’s ashes will be scattered during the spring equinox as we work to bring light to our dark days once again.
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