Can you save the planet and meet your soulmate at the same time? Sure can! Brian and Rhonda Fuery met in 1978 during their 30 minute carpool to the then GM Auto Plant in Fremont (now the Tesla plant). They were both working there for the summer and were lucky to stay on the road most days, since they spent their time driving, talking and laughing together – add this to the pro column for carpooling!
Now, more than forty years later they have two adult children, a son-in-law, and a two-year-old granddaughter. Looking back at their life together, they’ve found it so beautiful to find nostalgia and grace in those moments that seemed hard to get through at the time, as well as pure joy during the plentiful happy memories.
After meeting in 1978, they spent the next seven years on opposite ends of California. Rhonda was in college down in San Diego and Brian was in Berkeley also finishing up his degree. “We spent those years connecting with letters, phone calls, and holiday visits while finishing our college years and beginning our adulting phase.” Early in 1985 Brian wrote “The Letter” – the one that changed the course of both of their lives. Rhonda recalls the “whopper of a letter… telling me he kept comparing me to other women he was dating and realized it was me he wanted to spend his life with and did I feel the same about him?” She says that although she was caught off guard, it took but a moment to confirm that she knew she would spend the rest of her life with this man. Rhonda still has that show-stopping letter to this day! Once she journeyed back up north to the Bay Area, they married in a small church in Pleasant Hill. In fact, this month they are celebrating their 36th Anniversary!
What’s their secret to such a successful marriage? Lucky for us, Rhonda shares, “we agree that our faith, our commitment to being close as opposed to being right and a deep enjoyment of and appreciation for one another are the elements that have kept our relationship thriving and strong (plus he thinks I’m really funny!)”
They further stay connected by partaking in hobbies and activities that appeal to both of them. Hiking and biking (with a little electric boost!) are their favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors. But what really inspires the Fuerys is their faith and involvement in their church – Creekside Community Church in Alamo. There they mentor younger and new parents and have made many friends throughout Danville in doing so. “We love laughing, we love getting to know people, we love giving and serving. It’s what our creator, our Heavenly Father is like and because of His unending, intentional, relational love for us through His son Jesus, we copy what He does, knowing that is how families, neighbors, communities and countries will experience the peace we all long for.”
A bit farther from home, they love to travel around the United States- “We have a lifetime goal of seeing every national park in the country. We’ve been to 14 out of 62, so we have got a way to go!!!” And when the US gets a bit status quo, they travel (via their tv) to England, where they get lost in watching British detective shows. To date, they’ve happily admitted to binge watching dozens of them!
Brian is described as a bit of a Renaissance Man, “He loves history and science, he has a beautiful tenor voice and has written music, He loves to garden and has a flourishing fruit orchard and 80 olive trees. He has written a book about his life entitled Liz Here Now and hired a professional to write the screenplay and is pursuing having it made into a movie.” Rhonda enjoys spending time volunteering with The Clean Up Crew – a local organization that keeps our streets and roads clear from litter.
It is the understatement of the year to say that their favorite way to spend time is with their adorable two-year-old granddaughter, Roma. The Fuerys love living so close to her (and her parents, of course!) so that they can watch and be a part of each stage of her life. Down the hill from their home also lives Rhonda’s 90-year-old mother – “having 4 generations in such close proximity is a wonderful blessing. Being retired allows me the time to enjoy being with them all, helping in whatever way I can.”
Brian and Rhonda live in the hills of Las Trampas – a gorgeous piece of property they moved to and built on nine years ago after spending the previous 24 years living off Del Amigo. The Fuerys say of their dream home, “We have the most supportive, gracious, and fun neighbors… We feel blessed to live in such a beautiful and peaceful community and every friend or family member who visits from out of town says, ‘I want to live here!’”
By Alexandra Sullivan, Resident since 2017