It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Rhonda Van Dyk as a result of the cursed COVID-19 virus. She developed pneumonia and fought hard for several weeks, displaying her usual grit, but ultimately could not recover. For those of you lucky enough to have Rhonda in your lives, you know that she was a wonderful mother and wife as well as an avid member of the church with a kind and beautiful soul. Rhonda was a truly selfless woman whose love and volunteerism knew no boundaries.
Rhonda worked as the Event Director for Mel Trotter Ministries providing services for the homeless in West Michigan. Here is their tribute to Rhonda: "Rhonda’s spirit was one of unparalleled care for others. She exemplified selflessness. From making sure our guests secured food, shelter, and programming to making sure her fellow team members received birthday, anniversary, and frequent inspirational thank you cards - Rhonda loved others well. She showed up. She listened. She demonstrated her care and concern for others each and every day in both words and actions, which was exactly in line with her real and strong faith in Jesus."
Rhonda and her family have been highly involved in competitive water skiing. Both Rhonda and her husband Dan are 3 event Senior Judges and Scorers and have officiated at both the national and world levels. They have been avid supporters of adaptive water skiing since 1985. Rhonda served on the Board of Directors for the USA Adaptive Water Ski & Wake Sports Association, where her many positions included President, Board Chair, International Activities Committee Chair, Fundraiser, and so much more. She helped organize both adaptive National and World Championships in Michigan as well as local learn-to-ski clinics. She was always encouraging new adaptive athletes to challenge themselves out on the water. She had a hard time saying no to any water ski related event. She was inducted into the Michigan Water Ski Association's Hall of Fame in 2019 for her exemplary commitment to water skiing.
Rhonda also served as the USA Adaptive Water Ski Team Manager for 7 World Championships where the team earned 5 Gold and 2 Silver medals resulting in worldwide respect and admiration for her work ethic and loving spirit. She served as an appointed Judge or Scorer in 90% of USA's Adaptive Water Ski Nationals. When she was not an official team staff member, she was appointed as an official at the World Adaptive Championships held in Michigan, Florida and Belgium.
We will miss hearing her voice from the shorelines cheering on Team USA. We will miss the guidance she provided for so many of us. We will miss our Dear Rhonda! We thank her for all she did to make this world a better place!
In lieu of flowers, Rhonda's family would appreciate donations to USA Adaptive Water Ski & Wake Sports, one of the loves of her life. You can donate via the website usaadaptivewaterski.org/donate, leaving a note that your donation is in Rhonda's memory.