SAC Loses ‘Shining Star’, Kesha remembered

Portrait of Professor Kesha Curtis-Hondo, smiling happily.Family, friends and faculty gathered at the Second Baptist Church of Santa Ana July 15 to celebrate the life of Santa Ana College speech communications professor Kesha Curtis Hondo. The service was highlighted by touching eulogies and concluded with a powerful sermon, urging those in attendance to remember the life she lived.

“It’s important for us to remember and honor the way Kesha lived,” said Pastor Marv Fogleman, “not that she is gone.”

Police found Kesha Curtis Hondo, 39, and her husband Andamo, 51, in the second floor of their La Sierra home after responding to a call at 6:30 a.m from a person who discovered the bodies. Police have not determined her cause of death but she was not shot, Sgt. Darwin Hudson said. Andamo died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Kesha and Andamo had been married for about 10 years and have two daughters. The children were not in the house when their parents died, and are now living with relatives from her side of the family.

Mike Henderson, who lived next door to the Hondos, described Andamo as somewhat introverted. “He didn’t really have many friends. Guys need that, you know, other guys to vent to,” Henderson said. He went on to say how Andamo had recently suffered a broken leg, and had been cooped up inside his house for weeks.

Students from her summer classes gathered with grief counselors the Monday after her death. “She was just such a beautiful person,” said Todd Williams, Curtis Hondo’s student. “She never let the energy down.”

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She was described by speech professor Mary Huebsch as “an amazing person, and a true leader at our college.” Curtis Hondo was supposed to co-chair the curriculum committee, and was the speech communications department chairperson.

College President Erlinda Martinez had the difficult task of informing the faculty. “As a college, we are going to lose her potential. But we are going to move on,” Martinez said.

Curtis Hondo’s death was especially hard on Martinez because she was one of the president’s first hires in 2005. Martinez said that it was her personality, positive attitude and stellar credentials that compelled her to hire Curtis Hondo over other candidates who applied.

“I considered her one of my own,” Martinez said.

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