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1955 Rhonda 2024

Rhonda L. Dudley

September 4, 1955 — June 30, 2024

Sun Prairie

We are saddened to announce the passing of Rhonda Lee Dudley. Her vibrant memory will remain in our hearts forever. Rhonda was an extraordinary person known for her kindness and thoughtfulness. Like anyone, she had her virtues and failings, but it was her goodness that truly set her apart.  

Daughter, wild child, mother, nurse, wife, farmer, trucker, educator, and a civilian dedicated to serving our military members in the Middle East during wartime—these were only some of the roles and experiences that shaped her unique life. She was also a woman of deep faith, whose unwavering belief guided her throughout her life. She lived to help others.  

Rhonda graduated from Northern Michigan University in two years to become a licensed practical nurse. After a stint in that profession and some time as a farm girl, she transitioned to being a long-haul trucker, seeing much of America and eventually much of the world. She seemed to love trucking more than any other vocation she had.  

She loved to send photos to her family of exotic places she visited, like Thailand and the Middle East, as well as places she passed through or vacationed. Her perspectives on the world were colored by all her experiences. Sometimes, she shared these experiences on vacation with her family; sometimes, she simply lived in the moment.  

When her children needed her, she did what she could, as a mother does. There were real challenges, but she did what she felt was right. Rhonda was fascinating to talk to on many topics. She once engaged in a lengthy discussion with her brother Todd about the investment value of the Iraqi Dinar. Her perspectives weren't shaped by academic books and lectures but by a life rich in experience. It was this lived wisdom that made her the unique and remarkable person she was.  

Rhonda passed unexpectedly on the last day of June 2024, from complications of recent hip surgery. Rhonda raised two children, was sister to three brothers and three sisters, shared her life with husbands and boyfriends, and was a daughter. She lived for extended periods in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, and Texas. Combined with her other travels, she saw a lot.  The depth of our love for a family member often mirrors the pain we feel at their loss. Whether through neglect, disagreement, or the finality of death, each loss leaves an indelible mark. Rhonda was not perfect, but she was profoundly human. Her memory will live on in our hearts forever. Despite any differences, Rhonda was always worth the effort to understand and cherish. She earned our love simply by being herself, even when she didn’t have to. 

Private services will be held.

I'm gonna miss you forever, did you know that?

I will spend the rest of my life missing you,

In big ways and small ways and medium ways, and always

I'm gonna miss you.

There are many things that last forever,

But missing people never ends.

Even people you shouldn't miss or don't want to miss,

Or who don't deserve to be missed,

That feeling will creep in like a robber on his tiptoes,

He's in there and there's nothing you can do about it.

And it's a beautiful think because I know I'll never forget to keep missing you.

Even when the spaces between remembering and forgetting get longer,

But it's awful because you only have to miss someone when they're gone.

Sometimes I'll miss you and I'll know that's what I'm doing,

And sometimes it'll just be an emptiness or an ace that creeps in,

And takes me a moment to ponder what hurts and where it's coming from.

My body then clues into the difference between the pain of a cut on my hand,

And the grief of you being gone.

And then I'll remember,

And I'll miss you then too.

For all my days,

Not every day but in little pieces until the end of time,

I am going to miss you forever.

And I find so much peace and so much pain in that, all at once

~Josie Balka

Cress Funeral Service

1310 Emerald Terrace

Sun Prairie, WI 53590


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