Java, one of the beautiful gems in the Emerald Girdle, where Ronny was born on December 26 in 1938, was conquered by the Japanese when she was barely three years old. She spent most of her early childhood in concentration camps. She survived.
When Ronny was seventeen, she graduated from high school and earned a degree in English from Leiden University, the Netherlands. She met her future husband Mike when she was eighteen and got married in 1961. Their eighteen-month honeymoon took them to New York and Los Angeles for Mike’s business exchange program. Unfortunately, they could not stay after that and returned to the Netherlands, where they were blessed with two daughters and a son.
America the Beautiful remained always in their dreams. In 1972 they made those dreams come true. Pasadena, California became their new hometown where their three children grew up. Ronny supervised the building of an addition to their home while working part-time as secretary for a NASA contractor in La Cañada-Flintridge. Then, she fulfilled yet another dream. Classes at Pasadena City College, Cal State LA, in Hollywood and in Beverly Hills led to fashion shows, print jobs and acting jobs. She ultimately chose commercial acting so she could spend enough time with her precious family.
Today, Ronny’s daughter calls her a multi-tasker. In those days, her mother called her a centipede. She accomplished many things and made time for them all. Six years as a patient-care hospice volunteer were extremely rewarding for her soul. Meanwhile, she translated her mother’s journal, written during their years in captivity, from Dutch into English. From just a translation for her children it became a manuscript that was published in 1992 by Vanderheide Publishing Co. Ltd. in Canada as In the Shadow of the Sun by Ronny Herman. Promoting it became her focus and joy for years.
By the time that happened, they had moved to the Big Island of Hawai’i. In 1990, when their last child left the nest, they moved west and bought a beautiful house north of Hilo, in a small settlement of homes called Onomea. Amidst a tropical rainforest and at first surrounded by sugar cane fields, Ronny became a Hawaiian at heart. She learned the art of dancing hula and often danced to the music of live musicians at the big resorts on the Kona side, the dry side of the island.
Moderator of her church, she also served for six years as secretary to the Board of Hospice of Hilo.
Kilauea volcano, continually spewing dangerous gases into the air, blew her right out of Paradise and back to the mainland after almost twelve years. Would you believe that after a year or so, she found a halau, a hula school (www.arizonahula.com) with a fabulous kumu, or teacher, so and resumed dancing until her feet told her to stop four years later. In July 2005, another dream became a reality when she was sworn in as a United States citizen. And as of 2014, she is proud to say that four handsome grandsons and three pretty granddaughters call her OmaRon.
Ronny loves to swim and snorkel in tropical oceans. She loves to write and edit. Creative projects often get priority over necessities. She loves reading in a comfortable chair with her feet up, surrounded by pillows.
Ronny also loves to walk and explore trails in jungles and forests; the beautiful colors of the desert and the sharp and smooth black lava fields which resemble the surface of the moon. And on a larger scale, she loves cruising on small ships to tiny islands in the South Pacific. Her favorite words are Joy and Love.
Ronny lives by a strong motto:
Reach for the stars! You might not quite get one,
but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either!