Resident Feature

Meet Rhonda, Makena, and Jett

Family First

Living in Danville for the last 10 years has been a wonderful experience for Rhonda DeMoss, Makena Nelson (18) and Jett Nelson (16). Rhonda is a single mom and works from home, specializing in business development and enterprise sales in the Bay Area and west coast. She is also a professional photographer.

Growing up with a father who was in the Navy, brought Rhonda’s family all across the United States. In fact, Rhonda and each of her three siblings were all born in different states (CA, WY, ID, HI)! They landed in Antioch in the 70’s, where Rhonda went on to graduate high school and then attend business school. 

In 1997, Rhonda and her eldest son, James, went on to live in Tiburon and later Petaluma where Rhonda got married to Makena and Jett’s father. After James graduated high school and began his career as a firefighter, everyone else moved to Discovery Bay. Unfortunately the marriage wasn’t meant to last, but both parties co-parent so well that they all moved to Danville where they could live near each other and have Makena and Jett’s paternal grandparents nearby in Alamo.

It was in 2000, with her young kids at home that Rhonda picked up photography. “I was a stay at home mom with the kids and this allowed me to work a flexible schedule, have a creative outlet and take care of the kids,” says Rhonda. She’s done a little bit of everything, first starting with family portraits, then moving into weddings, corporate events, commercial work, and even destination events. Her passion for photography passed on to all of her kids and it’s something that she loves to do even now, outside of her 9-5 sales job.

James DeMoss is a firefighter with Marin County Fire. He lives with his wonderful wife Stacey and their amazing son Cooper (7 months old). They both have solid careers in fields that help people; Stacey is a Radiology Technologist with Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Danville/Dublin and James is a Heavy Fire Equipment Operator. 

Makena graduated from San Ramon Valley High School in 2020, is working in town, and attending DVC. She is planning to transfer to a four year university in the pursuit of a degree in Psychology. Her goal is to continue working with children and be able to use her artistic abilities and creativity in her everyday life. 

Jett, who is set to graduate high school in 2023, is also working in town, and taking guitar lessons at Danville Music. Jett is most interested in technology (IG: jettnel), skateboarding and dirt bikes. Rhonda says, “He is my IT guy when I have issues with my computer!” Everyone enjoys being outside, traveling, and the kids love hanging out with their friends. Rhonda and the kids like to say, “Work before play, then play hard.”

With Danville being centrally located in the Bay Area, this allows Rhonda and the kids to also be close to immediate family with a short drive. Rhonda’s parents live in a retirement community in Brentwood and James and his family live in Oakley. Family is very important to all of them and they have fun getting together with family from all over California. The main gathering usually happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas… making a new holiday known to them as “Thankmas.” 

Like many people, they had a variety of struggles with the pandemic in 2020, but the bright side for them was Rhonda’s grandson Cooper’s early arrival (5 weeks premature, and “the happiest and cutest baby in the world”), Makena’s virtual graduation, and purchase of their new home. All these things during a pandemic was a real challenge, and they worked it all out and persevered. In 2021, with school just getting back to in-person learning, things are looking good for Jett for his Junior year. 

The family is looking forward to traveling again with everything finally opening back up…first stop, the ever so popular Hawaii or SoCal/Disneyland. Everyone loves Disneyland, they’re a big “ride” family! In 2018-19, Rhonda took some fun trips to Spain, France, London, and Mexico. London stood out as a favorite destination for her: she loved exploring recommendations from friends, and although her dream tea with the Queen never panned out, she would love to go back. 2020 was the year of no travel, unless you count Safeway or a walk down the trail. They are planning some international travel with Makena and Jett sometime soon. 

Now living on the west side of town, Rhonda just loves the vibe of the whole area. The neighborhood they live in is so peaceful, just like Tahoe with all the Redwood trees. The location is perfect for a nice walk to downtown for a meal or to shop. The Iron Horse trail is conveniently located for easy access. Their two rescue dogs Russell, a 5-year-old Shepard/Husky, and Sunny, a 7-year-old Chiweinie, also enjoy the area and all the walks they get to go on. These two love their human family members with their whole hearts. 

Living in Danville has provided Rhonda and her family with the central location, safety and security, and all the fun, outdoor activities they could want! They’ve loved going through the SRVUSD school system and look forward to spending even more time in this top-notch town! 

 


By Alexandra Sullivan, Resident since 2017