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Born: May 13, 1963

Date of Passing: Mar 13, 2023

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rhonda on March 13, 2023.
Rhonda was predeceased by her parents, Frank and Shan Hornby and her older brother James. She will be sadly missed by her brother Phillip, sister Tracey and her many nieces and nephews.
Rhonda lived a remarkable life. She was born on May 13, 1963, and immediately stole the hearts of many.
Determined to give her a full life, her parents sought the help and guidance of St. Amant where she flourished alongside her friends and roommates. There, Rhonda was educated to be an independent woman who managed many of her own affairs. She also participated in the public school system, where she graduated with a diploma from Glenlawn Collegiate's special education program.
It was while she was at St. Amant that she discovered her passion for sport and met lifelong mentor, Mr. Dan Johnson.
She turned out to be a natural athlete and when coupled with her determination, she was unstoppable. Rhonda went on to become a decorated Olympian in both the summer and winter Special Olympics and spent decades competing across the continent.
In 1978, she won the 60m, 100m, and long jump and qualified to go to the Canadian Special Olympic Summer Games in Regina. There, she earned a position on Canada's national team that went to Brockport, New York in 1979 to participate in the International Special Olympics.
Throughout the 1980s, she participated in various sports with Manitoba Special Olympics and other sports clubs. Again, she earned a spot on the 1988 provincial team to represent Manitoba at the National Winter Games in Edmundston, New Brunswick in alpine skiing. Her performance earned her a spot on the national team to go to Reno and Lake Tahoe, Nevada for the International Winter Special Olympics.
Rhonda's laser focus and commitment to training led her to represent Manitoba again at the 1994 National Special Olympic Games, in Halifax, Nova Scotia but this time in swimming. She would repeat this in 1998 at the National Special Olympic Games, in Sudbury, Ontario. Rhonda continued to swim and train well into her 50s.
When not participating in sports, Rhonda worked at Safeway and then Norshel Inc. for over 25 years, where she worked with and met so many wonderful people.
Rhonda was a dedicated Catholic. She was one of 100 people selected in 1984 to receive communion from Pope John Paul II during his visit to Winnipeg. She was joined by Sister Rita Desrosiers from St. Amant to guide her, and, again with her unrelenting laser focus and commitment, she received communion in front of thousands of people that day in Birds Hill. It was a most precious moment for her.
Rhonda had an affinity for superheroes. However, which superhero was best was often the center of great debate at home with her siblings. Rhonda always argued Superman was the best and the likes of Batman and Spiderman just didn't cut it. It was only recently that Thor had the privilege of making it into her heart. However, anyone who knew Rhonda (or just happened to catch a glimpse at her bedroom walls) knew that she had one true real hero - WWE wrestler, Mr. Bill Goldberg. In 2013, her dream came true, she met Mr. Goldberg at the Canadian Comic Con who graciously spent 20 minutes with her, forever filling her life with joy and happiness.
A service will be held for Rhonda at the St. Amant Chapel on March 31, 2023, at 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Amant Foundation or Special Olympics Manitoba.
Condolences may be sent to

Rhonda was a remarkable woman who led a remarkable life.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 18, 2023

Condolences & Memories (5 entries)

  • Rhonda didn't know me and I only knew Rhonda in passing, but seeing her at various events over the decades like Special Olympics, Wrestling events, and even just riding the bus, she always brightened up my day. I especially loved her bold style with my favourite being when she had her yellow hair. I will miss her. My condolences to her family and friends. - Posted by: Jamerina Charbonneau (acquaintance) on: Mar 20, 2023

  • Rhonda will always be remembered about her smile and friendship with Dawn Fidler. Rhonda and Dawn swam together with Sting Rays for years. Rhonda would always joke with Chuck Fidler our dear father who passed away July 2022. Dawn would like to say that "Rhonda was such a nice person and I will miss her". "Rhonda liked to dance at our swimming wind ups". Thank you for being one of the first participants with Special Olympics Rhonda and family. You helped pave the way for generations of exceptional athletes and dedicated community leaders. Sincerely, Dawn Fidler, Lorraine Fidler, and Susan Fidler Elson. - Posted by: Dawn Fidler, Lorraine Fidler, Susan Fidler-Elson (life long friends) on: Mar 19, 2023

  • I'm so impressed with this beautiful soul. There is a place for her and she is safe and perfect. May prayer help you through this sad time, I'm thinking of you all who helped her in this life, God bless all of you the non selfish ones (there's never enough of you kind folks as we also have a special needs adult in our lives) đź’— - Posted by: Mark Ernest Castelane () on: Mar 19, 2023

  • It is with deep sadness that I learned of Rhonda's passing. My condolences go out to Philip and Tracey and their families as they grieve their loss. I had known Rhonda [aka Rhondie] all her life and was kept informed of all of her amazing accomplishments over her lifetime. Special to my family and I were the times at the cottage at Albert Beach.. We are all better people for having known Rhonda with her enthusiasm and commitment in all aspects of her life. She was an example to us all of living a full life to the best of her ability and finding joy in doing so. She was a very special person. Thinking of you, her family, in your time of sadness. Shirley Augustine - Posted by: Shirley Augustine (family friend) on: Mar 18, 2023

  • Rhonda’s parents, Shan and Frank were dear friends during our time in Winnipeg. We met Rhonda several times while visiting their home. Shan and Frank kept us up to date on Rhonda’s accomplishments of which they were very proud. We were amazed at her many achievements! Our deepest sympathies to Phillip and Tracey on the passing of their dear sister. This certainly has been a difficult year for them. Sandy and Jim - Posted by: Sandy and Jim Lambie (Friend of Rhonda’s parents) on: Mar 18, 2023

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