Rhonda Rae Schendel was born from the loving union of her parents, Raymond and Connie (Hill) Hadley on April 9, 1957 in Beloit. Rhonda spent much of her youth between the Kickapoo Valley, Beloit and briefly in Minnesota with her family. Through a chance meeting at a relatives house Rhonda was introduced to Tom Schendel, and after a brief courtship they were joined in marriage in Readstown on October 7, 1978. Rhonda took great joy in children and was a strong mother figure to many in her life including her youngest brother, Dustin. In 1989 Tom and Rhonda welcomed their first child Emily, into their lives, and shortly after in 1990 their son, Patrick.
Rhonda was a fiercely strong woman, who always spoke her mind, but her heart was intensely soft. Her compassion led her to a long career in nursing. Rhonda began working as a C.N.A. in the 1970’s and later graduated from Black Hawk College in Janesville as a Registered Nurse. During her career she took many different paths, working at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Ill.; Rock County Health Care System in Janesville; Franciscan Skemp in La Crosse but it was at Vernon Manor in Viroqua where her work was most fulfilling with the care of elderly adults, something she always truly enjoyed. Rhonda is remembered as a hard working and loving nurse. Always ensuring dignity, respect and care for her patients. One of her often heard quotes was “always remember this is someone’s family member and you should treat them how you would like your own to be treated.”
Throughout her life, Rhonda’s greatest pleasures came from spending time with her family. Many summers were spent in Hayward with her husband and children where you could usually find her sitting on the dock, book in hand and pole in the water. Rhonda was an avid reader and it was a pass time she was proud to say she passed on to her children.
In 2008 Rhonda suffered a stroke, which left her disabled. Through this hardship though, Rhonda never lost her sense of humor and could usually be heard cracking jokes, playing with her beloved Jack Russell “Frankie” and never letting people forget that she was still a RN. Rhonda passed away at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 6, with her loving husband Tom by her side, after a bout with illness that had plagued her for months previous.
Rhonda is survived by her father, Raymond Hadley, Sr.; husband, Tom; daughter, Emily and son, Patrick; sisters, Barb Edge, Eve (Terry) Alexander, Heidi (Brian) Lawrence, and brothers, Raymond (Lois) Hadley, Jr. and Dustin Hadley as well as many nieces, nephews, extended family, friends and her special dog, “Frankie.”
Rhonda is preceded in death by her mother, Connie Hadley; niece, Johanna Hadley; nephew, Todd Alexander; mother and father-in-law, Bonnie and Tom Schendel, Sr., close friends, Deb Sagmoen and Rona Turnmire as well as aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Services for Rhonda were held at the Sime Funeral Home in Readstown on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral at 1 p.m.
The Sime Funeral Home in Readstown assisted the family with arrangements.