Rhonda Marie VanSickle, age 53, of Lee's Summit, Missouri, was born August 16, 1960 in Van Nuys, California, the daughter of Bill and Marie (Seward) VanSickle. She departed this life at 6:05 a.m. Sunday June 15, 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer, at the Kansas City Hospice house surrounded with love and family.
Rhonda was a 1978 Pleasant Hill High School graduate. She furthered her education at the University of Central Missouri where she ran cross country and track.
She was a Physical Education teacher and Coach for the Pleasant Hill, Raytown and Lee's Summit School Districts. Rhonda's love, energy, fighting spirit and laughter touched many lives. She was loved and respected by her students, friends, and fellow teachers. Rhonda's positive attitude was an inspiration to all during her battle with cancer. She taught us how to live life to the fullest and approach each day with a smile. She was always able to see the humor in every situation and could always make others laugh, even in the most difficult times. A counselor at the KU Med Center remarked that in her 35 years of counseling, she had never met a more positive and inspirational patient.
Rhonda was a member of the Lee's Summit United Methodist church, who supported her with prayer, gifts, meals and even a home renovation during her illness.
Her three boys were her greatest pride. She never missed a game or a track meet, even in the midst of her struggle. Her son remarked that she will now have the best seat in the house (and will always be on time). Rhonda was an avid KU fan who longed for another National Championship.
Rhonda is survived by her three sons, Alex Burau, Austin Burau, and Blake Burau of Lee's Summit; and her sweet Emily Proulx of Lee's Summit. She is also survived by the love of her life, Roger Wendel of Kansas City, Missouri; parents Bill and Marie VanSickle of Pleasant Hill; one sister Deb (and Scott) Deatrick of Rogersville, Missouri; one brother Dan (and Becky) VanSickle of Greenwood; nieces Abbie, Jessica, Dana, Staci, and Danae and their families; other relatives and a host of many, many friends.
Visitation was held Wednesday evening, June 18, 2014, at the Lee's Summit United Methodist Church.
Funeral services were held Thursday, June 19th, 2014, at the Lee's Summit United Methodist church. Reverend Jim Preisig minister of the church officiated. Interment was in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Casket bearers were Bradley Williams, Rodney Williams, Chris Williams, Terry Kliethermes, Randy Cassmeyer and Jeff Cowan.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Rhonda's sons' Educational Fund and may be sent in care of the funeral home.