Ronda Hall’s body, after many years of sustaining her in spite of being damaged with symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, tilted from scoliosis, and broken from a fall in 2015, finally gave in and she died Feb. 21.
She was born in Attalla, Alabama, Oct. 30, 1946, a daughter of John Louie and Mary Frances (Baughn) Guest. She was an outstanding student in Etawah High School, earned a B.A. from Samford University, then studied in Madrid, Mexico City, and the University of Alabama to earn an M.A and gain experience. She lived in small towns in Mexico and in Acapulco for two years as a journeyman in a Baptist mission program, then came to OBU to teach Spanish in 1974.
She received the OBU Distinguished Faculty Award at the age of 34 and became the chair of the Spanish Department soon after, serving in that position for over 25 years. She was chair of the Faculty Council twice and chaired several committees. At the same time, she earned a Ph.D. in linguistics at OSU, where her dissertation was chosen as the best dissertation written in 1999.
She was loved by her students and peers, receiving the highest evaluations possible from students and faculty. She became a full professor in 1999. After retiring in 2009, she was chosen to be in the Faculty Hall of Fame.
She was a longtime member of University Baptist Church, and in 1980, married Joe Hall, an English professor at OBU. Warren McWilliams presided over the service on a mountianside in LeFlore County, launching 42 years of a warm and constructive relationship.
Ronda is survived by her husband and by her brother and his wife, Doug and Liz Guest of Vestavia, Alabama. She was admired by numerous nieces and nephews, who had produced some grand nieces and nephews of Ronda’s.