Debra (Debbie) Conrad Rondem, Colonel (retired) U.S. Army Reserve, of Milton passed away July 5, 2012, after fighting a courageous battle against complications from pancreatic cancer. She was born Sept. 15, 1951, in Lafayette, La., and grew up in Texas City, Texas. She was a 1969 graduate of Texas City High School, attended LSU in Baton Rouge, La., for over two years and received a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and a Master's Degree in School and Community Health from Sam Houston State University in 1973 and 1975. In addition, she also earned a Counselor Certification and a Leadership Certification.
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She retired from the Forsyth County School District in 2011, where she first served as a Middle School Counselor and then a Director of Student Support Services since 1990 with a total of 35 years devoted to the profession of education.
Mrs. Rondem served on numerous community boards including education, hospital, community, and charitable organizations. She was a founder and past president of the Student Support Team Association for Georgia Educators. Her continuous emphasis on always placing the child or student first, garnered her immense respect and admiration throughout Forsyth County and the State of Georgia. She was also one of the founders and a past president of the Cumming/Forsyth Council on Youth.
Additionally, Debbie joined the Army Reserves in 1975 as an enlisted solider. She received a Direct Commission to 2d Lieutenant and retired in 2007 with the grade of Colonel with 32 years of service to the country that she loved. Colonel Rondem was a graduate of the Adjutant General Basic and Advanced Course and of the Command and General Staff Officers Course. She served in the 75th Maneuver Area Command in Houston, Texas, and the Selective Service System in Houston and in Marietta. She was the Commander of the Selective Service Detachment for the State of Georgia and, upon retirement from the Army Reserves, she was appointed by the President of the United States to be the civilian State Director for the State of Georgia for the Selective Service System. Her military awards include: Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Selective Service Distinguished Meritorious Award with Bronze Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Hourglass Device, Army Service Ribbon and the Georgia Commendation Medal. She also served on the Board of the Cadets of the Ole War Skule at LSU.
Colonel Rondem's highest priorities in life were her family, her country and her profession as an educator.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Karen Conrad.
She is survived by her husband of 28 years, Colonel (ret) Ronnie Rondem; son, Christopher Conrad Rondem and fiancée Katie Ficco of Salt Lake City, Utah; father, Major General (ret) A. Harry Conrad and mother, Joyce Conrad, both of The Woodlands, Texas; sister, Susan Winkler and husband Mark Winkler, with nephews Ryan, and Kevin, and niece Kristen Romoff and husband David Romoff, with daughters Savannah and Mayce, all from The Woodlands, Texas area; stepdaughter, Monika Morton and her daughter Madeline, from Lexington, Texas; stepdaughter, Jannette Rondem and her sons Brannon and Daniel from Humble, Texas.
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 13, at 10 a.m. at Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Marietta. Interment to follow at Georgia National Cemetery. The Rondem family will receive friends Wednesday, July 11, and Thursday, July 12, from 5:30-8 p.m. at Northside Chapel Funeral Directors in Roswell.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Colonel Rondem's favorite charities: The Student Support Team Association of Georgia Educators, c/o Lynn Pennington, 110 Old Chartwell Drive, Alpharetta, GA 30022; The LSU Foundation, c/o The Cadets of the Ole War Skule at Louisiana State University, 3838 West Lakeshore Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808; or to the United Way of Forsyth County, P.O. Box 1350, Cumming, GA 30028.
Northside Chapel Funeral directors in Roswell is in charge of arrangements.
Northside Chapel Funeral Directors, Inc.
12050 Crabapple Road
Roswell, GA 30075
Published in Forsyth County News from July 6 to July 9, 2012