Rhonda Best

Thursday, April 29, 2021
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Rhonda Best, born April 25, 1957, in Casa Grande, Arizona, but who called Joliet, Montana, home for nearly thirty years, passed away April 10, 2021, from COPD-related illness at the age of 63. 

She ventures into the hereafter to join her parents, June Smithurst and Otto Cook, her sister June Cheney, her cousin and lifelong best friend Vicki Schlosser, and husband Marvin English. 

Always a strong, confident presence, she gave everyone she ever met the courage to keep fighting, no matter how dark things seemed, and those she leaves behind carry on and honor that brave spirit. Those of us still shining bright here on Earth and keeping that fire lit include her sister Mona; her cousin Chuck Schlosser; her children Angel (Ron) Steffan, Amanda, and Tim Best (Cody Glenn); her grandchildren Michael, Kiera (John Burgess), and Serena Steffan, many more nieces, nephews and cousins, and one very special dog, Herbie.

Working at the grocery store in Joliet for many years, Rhonda touched so many people’s lives in her own, genuine way. Even after she no longer worked there, the impact she’d had on people was felt deeply by all those close to her. Folks would stop us in the streets, ask how she was doing, offer sympathy if we let on that she wasn’t always doing well, often regale us with a story of how she made their lives just that little bit brighter.

Rhonda loved vacationing and seeing the wonderful sights of nature, but she could be happy anywhere as long as she was with family. Young at heart her whole life, she enjoyed playing games of all kinds and focusing on having fun and making sure everyone else around her was having a good time too. Around Christmas and birthdays, she worked tirelessly to get everyone thoughtful gifts, to ensure that each family member felt all the love and appreciation she had for them. She was someone who took no guff, but spared no love, and she always tried to see the best in humanity, trying to impart the knowledge that people are mostly good, even when the world seems its cruelest.

Rhonda taught her loved ones many lessons, often needing to teach the same lesson more than once. She would inevitably tell those seeking her advice not to sweat the small stuff, and following that would be the proclamation that it was all small stuff. In her strength was the capacity for limitless compassion, the ability to discover solutions to the thorniest problems, and the bravery to take on everyone’s woes, fears, and troubles, to shoulder any burden and carry that weight along with you. You could tell her anything, and she’d give it the consideration it deserved, do her best to lessen the things weighing on your mind, support you in your decisions, and offer any help that she could.

There are so many things you could say about Rhonda, but giving her a compliment more often than not had her turn it right around on you, let you know that no matter how much she helped or inspired you, you helped and inspired her just as much. Those of us lucky enough to have called her family will honor her memory, live lives she would be proud of, remain close with each other and focus on the good in the world. No words could express the love she felt for those close to her, or the love given to her by the same. She will be missed fiercely, but anyone who knew her knows that she’s never really gone, that wherever they go, she goes with them.

No funeral services will be held.