Ronda Provost

WANTAGE - Ronda Provost, 70, of Wantage, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Aug. 18, 2013, after a 24-year battle with Parkinson's disease.

Born Ronda Lynn Crossett on April 13, 1943, in Miami, Fla., to Lillian June Parker Roberts and John E. Crossett, she grew up in Miami with older siblings, Sharon and David. Ronnie graduated from high school in Birmingham, Mich., and in 1965, from the University of Michigan.

After college Ronnie joined the United States Peace Corps, teaching English at Tehran University, Iran. In Iran she met and married her husband of 46 years, Eugene (Gene) Provost, also a Peace Corps volunteer. Ronnie and Gene lived in New York City and Ann Arbor, Mich., before settling in Nutley for 32 years and raising their three daughters.

Ronnie's creativity and entrepreneurial spirit led to a 23-year career in the craft business. She founded "Kookaburra Puppets" named in honor of her Australian ancestry, and worked as a designer and product manager for Tri-Chem Inc., an international craft company. Ronnie retired in 1995.

Despite her struggle with Parkinson's, she remained vibrant and moved to Wantage in 2004. She was a member of the Parkinson's Support Group of the Greater Ridgewood Area and the Sussex County chapter of SWIM Inc., which provides aquatic exercise to the movement impaired.

Ronnie is survived by her husband, Gene; their daughters, Devon Gieger and husband, David Gieger, of Vernon, Sarah Provost and husband, Eric Novak, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jordan Provost and husband, Jason Wong, also of Brooklyn, N.Y. Also surviving are Ronnie's grandchildren, Kristyn, Chance and Charlie Gieger, June and Kai Novak, and Callum Wong. She also is survived by her sister, Sharon and husband, Patrick Reardon, of Maryland, and brother, David A. Crossett and wife, Becky, of Virginia, and by many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father, John E. Crossett; mother, June Roberts Crossett Willson; stepfather, O. Harry Willson; aunt, Mary Josephine Roberts Rahn; and beloved niece, Shawn Crossett Benegar.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 5, at noon, at the Warwick Center's Mulder Chapel, 62 Warwick Center Road, Warwick, N.Y., with repast to follow immediately.

Donations may be made to the following charitable organizations: the Parkinson's Support Group of the Greater Ridgewood Area, c/o Helen Markey, 10 Twinbrook Court, Ramsey, NJ 07446; the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, PO Box 4777, NYC, NY 10163; and SWIM Inc., 120 Finderne Ave., Bridgewater, NJ 08807. Online condolences offered through

Published in The New Jersey Herald on Aug. 25, 2013