By Philip Holzknecht
This is to advise you that Rhonda's funeral will take place here at the farm on Wednesday 5th December 2012 beginning at 2 pm.
Following the service, Rhonda will be buried in the Marburg Trinity Lutheran cemetery near Marburg, about 15 minutes from here, where her parents are buried and where most of her mother's family - Berlin and Zechen - are buried
You are invited to participate in both ceremonies and join in with all singing that occurs during the service and at the burial site.
If you are able to sing in parts as many Lutherans do, that too would be appreciated.
Following the burial, you are invited to come back home for tea/coffee and a light supper and interaction with the family.
There will be limited time available during the service to share your memories of Rhonda, but there may be more time during the supper to do this more informally.
Should you wish to do so, I would be grateful if you would write down your memories of Rhonda and what she meant to you.
In time I would like to put these in a tribute blog, with your permission over your name or your initials.
I have also decided to plant a 'Rhonda's Garden' or grove in an area where her chicken customers used to come to buy or look at her chickens.
If you wish to participate in that event or just observe and be part of it, you will need to come by noon to allow time for planting and clean up in time for the service.
The Fernvale Holzknecht family is grateful to all of you who have expressed your shock, grief and wishes to us individually and generally.
It has been a harrowing experience for which healing will take some time and please forgive me if I don't immediately respond to your texts and thoughts.
Rhonda's ICU doctor rang yesterday with the results of a final outstanding test, which, like all the others, proved negative.
This leaves us with the conclusion that her pneumonia and scleroderma combined in the final days in an immune attack against which her body was unable to respond.
We as immediate family were at her bedside during her last breaths and sang for her as we do.
Her doctor expressed that he and the ICU staff were deeply moved by this and we hope that this experience too will help them in their lives too.
We send you our love and thanks as you have sent us yours.
Rhonda touched many many people during her life - I was privileged to know her for 43 years, to share 41 of those as companions, lovers and parents to three wonderful children, and as grandparents to 6 more interesting, challenging and loving grandchildren.
Thank you all for making our lives richer.