Rhonda Whittenburg Holton

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rhonda Whittenburg Holton, age 63, of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, died at her home on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. Daughter of Ralph and Elizabeth Whittenburg, she grew up in the Flat Creek Community in Williamson County. She learned early in life the value of a good work ethic and the rewards of country living. Throughout her life, Rhonda treasured most her family, friends, co-workers and her students.

A 1970 graduate of Forrest High School, Rhonda graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1975. Later, she would return to MTSU to earn both a Master's and an Educational Specialist Degree.

An educator for more than 35 years, Rhonda joined the faculty of Forrest School in 1976. At Forrest, she taught numerous grades including kindergarten, sixth grade, and eighth grade math. She was one of the first 21st Century Classroom Teachers in Marshall County, served as a Technology Co-coordinator at Forrest, and achieved Career Ladder III status. In 2000, she was elected by the citizens of District One to serve as a member of the Marshall County School Board. She held this position until 2004.

In August of 1996, Rhonda accepted a position with the Rutherford County School System. From 1996 until May of 2004 she held the position of assistant principal at Eagleville School. In June of 2004, she was elevated to the position of principal. She held this position until May of 2011. When hiring new teachers, Rhonda always told prospective faculty that she would "never ask them to work harder or longer than she did," and she didn't. In her capacity as principal, she was instrumental in establishing Eagleville's first football team and spearheaded Phase I and II of the building program at her school.

Not content to enjoy retirement, Rhonda became a Teacher Evaluator for the Rutherford County School System. In this position, young teachers had access to her vast experience as a classroom teacher and thus she continued to impact the lives of students throughout Rutherford County.

In 2012, she was hired by the Bedford County School System as a consultant working with math teachers to raise test scores. Rhonda successfully held this position for one year.

She was a member of the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.

Rhonda is survived by her husband of 45 years, Greg Holton, Chapel Hill; her daughter and son-in-law, Becky and Tom Ruban, Canton, Georgia; her son and daughter-in-law, Will and Shannon Holton, Chapel Hill; her sister and brother-in-law, Fay and Philip Brown, Madison, Tennessee; an aunt and uncle, Dorothy and R.C. Edmonson, Flat Creek Community; an aunt, Emma Goodwin, Donelson, Tennessee; and numerous other family members. Four wonderful grandchildren who were the "light of her life" also survive: Elizabeth, Caroline, and Jack Ruban; and Stella Kate Holton.

Visitation was from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, at Lawrence Funeral Home in Chapel Hill and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, at the Eagleville School gymnasium in Eagleville, Tennessee. A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the school gym at 2 p.m. on Sunday with Rev. Jimmy Hendricks, Bill Tollett, Michael McClaran and Bruce Haley officiating. Burial followed in Swanson Cemetery in Chapel Hill.

Active pallbearers include: Jerry Rzemieniewski; Lucas Holton; Michael McClaran; Bruce Haley; Chad Leeman; Todd Warner; David Delk; and Floyd Walker. Honorary pallbearers include: Bill Tollett; T. Wade Holton; Carlton Flatt; Philip Brown; Tom Fivash; Mike Vaughn; Clinton Edmonson; Leanne Smith; Gail Vick; Sheila Bratton; and the faculty and staff of Eagleville School.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Rhonda W. Holton Memorial Scholarship fund at Eagleville School, 500 Old Hwy. 99, Eagleville, 37060.

Lawrence Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.