Rhonda L. Stanley, age 64, of Northfield, passed away at her home with her family at her side on Monday, March 21, 2022.
Rhonda was born January 6, 1958, to Gordon Sr. and Doris (Mrotz) Herrig, in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. She graduated from Columbia Heights High School in 1976, and then attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she received her two-year degree. When her grandmother suffered a heart attack while wintering in Arizona, Rhonda spent time there helping her grandfather and caring for her grandmother. During what was to be a brief stay in Arizona, Rhonda met Knight Stanley who was serving in the armed forces. Their relationship blossomed and the two were united in marriage on June 25, 1982. The couple continued living in Arizona where their first daughter, Damara, was born. The family then moved to Eagan, Minnesota, where Rhonda worked as a waitress, but most of her time was focused on being an at home Mom for their growing family. The couple later welcomed two more children, Ilana and Colin. After moving to Idaho then Texas, the family moved to Northfield Minnesota. Rhonda returned to college and studied at Mankato State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Education. She first substitute taught and later took a position as an Educational Assistant at Greenvale Elementary. In 2018, Rhonda was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and given only a few months to live. With continuous treatments, wonderful and caring hospital staff, and the will to fight, Rhonda made the best of her life and continued to be active doing the things she loved.
Rhonda enjoyed camping with Knight, as well as canoeing and long walks. Most recently, the couple traveled to Colorado where they went whitewater rafting, zip lining, and horseback riding. She was a dedicated grandmother who loved to do as much with her grandchildren as time allowed. Rhonda was a ray of sunshine for so many of her family and friends. She kept a positive attitude even as she fought through her illness. Rhonda was known for her honesty and sound advice. She was the best mother to her children, and best friend and loving wife to Knight.
She is survived by her husband Knight of Northfield; her children Damara O’Malley of Saint Paul, Ilana (Adam) Forsgren of Dundas, Colin (fiancé Mary Murphy) of Northfield; four grandchildren Curran and Lysander O’Malley, and Vincent and Zephram Forsgren; and her brother Gordy (Judy) Herrig of Buffalo. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Michael.
Services will be at Bethel Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 2, 2022, beginning at 2:30 PM with Reverend Inger Hanson officiating. Visitation will be a half hour prior to the service in the church. To watch the service livestream go to https://www.bethelnorthfield.org/ Arrangements by Bierman Funeral Home and Crematory. biermanfuneralhome.com.