Linda Rondolino

Obituary of Linda Kay Rondolino

Linda Rondolino (Miller) was born in Chicago in early 1959. Her parents, John and Sally Miller, were both from Wisconsin and her father worked for 3M Corporation. Because of John’s position with 3M the family moved several times during Linda’s childhood. In 1974 they relocated permanently to Clearwater Florida. She and her brother Rob went to Clearwater High School, which was only a few blocks from their house.

Linda graduated and then attended St. Petersburg College pursuing a nursing degree. In 1980 she became a registered nurse and started working in the orthopedic ward of Morton Plant Hospital. This was the beginning of a career in the health care field that spanned over 20 years, during which time she rose through the ranks and advanced to supervisory positions.

In 1997 Linda was the patient care coordinator for Independent Home Health supervising over 50 employees providing in home care for patients in multiple counties in the Tampa Bay region. On January 31, 1997 she happened to attend a party following the formal investiture of four new circuit judges. It was at this party that she met her future husband, Tony and the course of both of their lives was forever changed. As many have observed, the perfect match.

In 2000 they were living in St. Petersburg Beach and Linda found a lump. She was soon diagnosed with breast cancer and had immediate surgery. She continued to work following her operation even though she was undergoing radiation treatments and chemotherapy. Not long after, Linda became the director of Home Care Services at Neighborly Senior Services supervising more than 150 people, always drawn to service and care for others.

However, she remained on chemotherapy and eventually needed a break from her challenging work schedule. After a brief “retirement” she wanted to learn more about the legal world and in November of 2002 began a new career in a part time position with the courts. She was soon promoted to a full time senior secretary job and one year later became the executive assistant for the new Trial Court Administrator, Gay Inskeep. That was the start of a great professional combination and lifelong friendship between the two. Coincidentally, part of her responsibilities over the years was planning and coordinating investitures. Thirty three in fact. The same event that had so fortuitously resulted in meeting her husband.

On January 31, 2004 Linda and Tony were married. They continued the romance that they had enjoyed for the previous seven years. The blended family that resulted included four young daughters. Olivia, who was Linda’s child from a previous marriage and Tony’s girls; Sara, Kaitlyn and Cristina. There were interesting times with four little ladies in a small cottage on Pass-a-Grille Beach. Linda soon became “Linda Mom” a name she would cherish like no other.

A new occurrence of cancer came into their lives in 2007. After an extensive surgery Linda endured more aggressive chemotherapy. She never complained despite the difficult side effects and continued to work, excelling at her job. After 12 years with the court she retired to spend more time with her family. Then in January of 2015 more surgery and chemo. After a few years of peace, her oncologist called in November of 2018 with the devastating news that the cancer had gone into her bones. It was destroying her marrow in several areas of the spine, pelvis and ribs. That began a fight for survival and a vast array of varying treatments. Some were experimental clinical trial drugs and most with very unpleasant side effects. She would want to have noted the amazing attentive care she received for 24 years at Florida Cancer Specialists, especially Dr. Peterson. She loved the staff and they enjoyed both her kindness and the outfits she always wore to chemo appointments.

Even though she suffered incredible daily bone pain, neuropathy, multiple hospitalizations and a host of unmentionable challenges, Linda’s fight with cancer did not define her life. It served to reveal her incredible strength, positive attitude, faith, and unflagging will to live. She so dearly loved her family that she woke up each morning thinking about those closest to her. Her love for her husband, her children, grandchildren and dear friends filled her spirit and somehow allowed her to endure.

Along this journey, Linda was able to enjoy a wonderful life and was truly grateful for her blessings every day. Over the years she and Tony traveled extensively both in this country and abroad. Their trips included visiting Italy twice, an Alaska Cruise, snowmobiling and dog sledding in Quebec, stays in Victoria and Vancouver BC, Ireland, Scotland and just this Fall, two weeks in the English countryside. She loved her country and got to experience many of its wonders. In awe of the landscapes of Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains, Garden of the Gods, Continental Divide and coast of California.

Linda loved music. She was an opera fan and for over a decade had season tickets to the St, Pete Opera. One of her favorite things was seeing the spectacular production of Aida at the Met in New York. Of course she grew up with rock and so concerts were part of her agenda. She and Tony went to local venues and traveled far for great events, including seeing the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Idol (2x) and many others. Her everyday favorite, however, was Frank Sinatra. His music was always playing whenever she was in her car.

One of her longtime traits was a love of animals. Linda rescued several dogs over the years. For over a decade she doted over a feisty auburn Cairn terrier named Toto. More recently she found a fluffy white bichon frise - poodle mix, Stewie. He arrived miraculously on her birthday in 2021 and was her constant bedside companion when she was feeling bad.

She enjoyed big city life and thus their travels included the great metropolitan areas. There were multiple stays in Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Pittsburg, where her beloved Steelers played. Naturally her favorite travel involved visiting family, particularly her daughter Olivia and granddaughters who lived half way across the country. Flying several times a year to their location. First in California, then for several years in Arkansas and finally Seattle where they had settled. Sometimes Linda would fly out alone when Tony was unable to take off work. She also got to take several trips up to Wisconsin seeing her beloved Aunt, Anne Felton, and other family members.

Fortunately, she also had three daughters and grandchildren living here in Florida who she was able to see more frequently and whom she deeply loved. In fact, she was planning to be with them on Sunday….but God had other plans.

So, a strong sweet girl passed away peacefully on Easter. Now free from pain or fear. She was a beautiful person, inside and out. Always caring for others, radiating a kindness and gentle spirit. Linda lives on in the memories and hearts of many whose lives she touched. Those of us in that number are very fortunate.

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