Rhonda passed peacefully surrounded by loving family members on December 11th, 2022 at Pine Crossing Assisted Living in Parker, CO. She was only a few days short of her 85th birthday on December 25th having attained the age of 84 yrs, 11 months, 14 days at the time of her passing.
Rhonda was a Christmas baby, born in a farmhouse located in Guthrie County, IA to Henry and Lorene (Hager) Cordes in 1937. Rhonda lived through a challenged era of farm life by moving from Audubon County (Exira, IA) to another farm located between Walnut and Avoca where she and her sisters with her parents worked the land and help with all things necessary to manage a farm. She recalled many stories from her rural life including riding horses through Walnut’s main street, attempting Dale Evans’s like horse tricks and student managing the girls basketball team. Rhonda graduated from Walnut High School in 1956 and always tried to attend her class reunions as many of her classmates were very special to her. Rhonda moved to Omaha following graduation and held positions as an Executive Secretary at UNMC. Her adventuresome spirit drove her to new opportunities with a move to Denver, CO where she embraced the lifestyle; becoming an avid Denver Broncos fan, hostess to many family members visiting and traveling with dear friends she met while working at Phillips Petroleum. She experienced a great oil ‘boom’ cycle in Denver and had a deep love for Colorado. Due to these experiences, she mused at the financial markets and politics, especially some of the corporate raiders of the 80’s and big political personalities. Rhonda’s dedication to her family and friends was ever present. She traveled to many family events and was always ready for a new adventure until the time where her health wouldn’t support it. Rhonda’s family will cherish many fond and fun memories of her. When asked, how she wanted to be remembered, she responded, ‘that I was kind’. Rhonda was that and was definitely ‘one of a kind’.
Rhonda is survived by her sisters, Carmen (Wayne) Craney of Oklahoma City, OK and Cheryl (Doug) Brown of Avoca, IA, niece Julie (Shannon) Brown-Crist, nephews, Richard Brown, Kent (Lisa) Craney and Patrick (Kendyl) Craney and several great nieces, nephews and cousins.
She is preceded in death by her parents Henry and Lorene Cordes and cousins; Wayne Cordes, Byron (Butch) Cordes and Jan Mees.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Rhonda this Summer in Shelby, IA. Specific details will be determined at a later date.