By Miriam Raftery
February 20, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Rhonda Burt, 57, died doing what she loved most – hiking. On Saturday, Feb. 15, the hiking leader was on the trail with the Jacumba Hikers group through rugged terrain in the Anza-Borrego desert when she suffered a fatal heart attack.
She had stopped to rest several times. Another hiker looked back, saw her lying on the ground and rushed to assist her. 911 was called, A Sheriff’s helicopter and ambulance responded, but efforts to resuscitate her failed. Burt, a resident of Imperial, was pronounced dead at the scene, on McCain Valley Road in Boulevard.
Greg Curran, administrator of the Jacumba Hikers group, posted on Facebook Sunday, praised Burt as a “wonderful woman and hike leader” who was “passionate about many things: hiking, water skiing and her faith! She was kind and loving and always ready with a hug.”
Curran concluded, “Rhonda is now Hiking New Trails and soaring on to new adventures. We LOVE You Rhonda and you will be on the trails with us always. Our West Butte & The Slot hike on 3/14/20 will be dedicated to the memory of Rhonda. We will have a Memorial Ceremony before the hike.”
In addition, Burt’s family will hold a memorial service to celebrate her life on February 29 at 10 a.m. at Christ Community Church, 590 W. Orange Ave. in El Centro. Born in 1962, she is survived by her children, Ryan and Rachel.