Rhonda Zillig

Rhonda Zillig (Baltimore Sun / July 23, 2014)

Rhonda F. Zillig, a graphic artist who worked in marketing for The Baltimore Sun, died Thursday of lung cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. She was 61.

The daughter of Dr. Morton Koff, a podiatrist, and Jean Koff, a homemaker, Rhonda Francine Koff was born in Washington and raised in Arlington, Va., and Silver Spring.

She was a graduate of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. She attended the University of Miami and earned a bachelor's degree in 1971 from the University of Bridgeport.

For 12 years, Ms. Zillig worked as a special sections designer for Patuxent Newspapers, and in 2001, she joined The Baltimore Sun Media Group's Creative & Special Sections, where she was a marketing designer.

"We had worked side by side at Patuxent and recently at The Baltimore Sun. She was a marketing designer working in advertising, digital and marketing advertising," said Julie Pettit, creative services manager of The Baltimore Sun Media Group.

"She had lung cancer and managed to survive five years anyway. She only stopped working a few weeks ago. She was a trouper," said Anne Lepore, director of The Baltimore Sun Media Group's Creative & Special Sections.

"Rhonda was so dedicated. She loved to work and she loved her co-workers," said Ms. Lepore. "She never felt sorry for herself, she just did what needed to be done and she fought so hard. She lived long enough to see both of her kids married."

The former Columbia resident, who moved to Hampden six years ago, enjoyed painting in a variety of mediums and had been a member of an improvisational comedy troupe. She also liked studying the guitar.

Funeral services were held Sunday at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.

In addition to her mother, who lives in Silver Spring, Ms. Zillig is survived by a son, Bryan M. Zillig of Parkville; a daughter, Jessica L. Frank of Halethorpe; a brother, Warren Koff of Silver Spring; and a sister, Diane Fine of San Francisco. Her marriage to George Zillig ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com