Rhonda Renea Parmley
4 December, 1962 – 23 October, 2019
The world has lost a shining light. On October 23, 2019, Rhonda Renea Parmley lost a four and a half year battle with brain cancer, defying the odds until the very end. In spite of her long illness, Rhonda never wanted to be known as a patient. She lived life to the fullest right up to the end, running a marathon with her youngest daughter Rebecca just weeks before it was discovered that the disease that ended her life too soon had recurred and was spreading. Rhonda’s life was characterized as much by her passions - nature, family and friends, music, faith, travel and helping others - as it was by her many professional and academic achievements. Born on December 4, 1962 in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Nashville, Rhonda was president of her high school class and captain of her cheerleading squad before going on to achieve multiple higher education degrees, including a B.A. in Religion, an M.S. in Special Education and Rehabilitation and, later in life, a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Colorado State University. Rhonda’s professional accomplishments were many but all characterized by her desire to help others and improve the world. Early in her career she was a counselor in worker rehabilitation. She later became a private practice therapist. After receiving her Ph.D. she found a passion for teaching and subsequently taught at Colorado State University and Front Range Community College. She taught Women’s Studies at FRCC up through spring semester of this year. One of her most notable and cherished accomplishments was founding and serving as Executive Director for Healthkind Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing health services for women and children in Sudan, Africa.
Rhonda and her husband, Mark, shared passions for music, travel, nature (especially the Colorado Mountains), customizing their home together and running. They met while training together for their first triathlon in 2006 and have been inseparable ever since. Both have been politically active and volunteer workers on several campaigns. Both had children from former marriages that became part of their blended family with their loving commitment to each other. She brought three beautiful daughters, and Mark a daughter and son to their family unit. Rhonda was a loving wife, mother and friend to many, and was loved and admired by many in return. Given an initial prognosis of less than two years to live, she lived life to the fullest for four and a half more years, defying the odds and setting an example for a life well-lived. She focused on her relationships with family and friends, maximizing her health and pursuing her passions. She was called a miracle by her doctors and the many who loved her were grateful for the long grace period before she took her final breath, with her beloved dogs at her side.
Her legacy lives on in the many lives she touched. Rhonda is remembered in love by husband Mark Forsyth; daughters Rachael, Anne and Rebecca Hamner (father Wentzell Hamner); step children Grace Forsyth Church (spouse Nick Church) and Charles Forsyth; grandchildren Jaxson Swick (mother Rachael Hamner) and Jack Church (parents Grace and Nick Church); mother Janie Parmley; sister Melissa Parmley Smith (husband Greg Smith); and loving canine companions Lily and Little Bear. Rhonda was preceded in death by her father, Forrest Parmley.
A memorial service will be held on November 23rd, at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. The service will begin at 10am and will be followed by a lunch/reception from 11am to 1pm, also at St. John’s. In lieu of flowers please make donations to St. John’s Cathedral, Denver, Co and Friends of Warner Parks, Nashville, TN.
Saint John's Cathedral
1350 N. Washington St. , Denver, Colorado 80203
- Friends of Warner Parks
Saturday, 23 November , 2019
Saturday, 23 November , 2019
Rhonda Renea Parmley
14 August 2020
I loved working with Rhonda in the FRCC Writing Center. She was so vibrant and eager to help everyone. It was a pleasure to work with her.
21 November 2019
I was so sorry to learn of Rhonda's death. She was always a wonderful person to work with. I enjoyed our discussions about women's subjects, perhaps even more so when we didn't agree (which was rare) because I always felt that she listened.
18 November 2019
I got to know Rhonda when she, Wenzell and 2 oldest girls moved to Colorado from Washington state. They became members of Trinity Episcopal Church and Rhonda played bells in our bell choir, beside me. We shared Thanksgiving their first year here at our house with my family. We stayed close throughout their stay in Greeley and still when Rhonda moved to Ft. Collins. I was honored to celebrate with her when she received her doctorate degree. My daughter provided respite for Rhonda and Wenzell when Rhonda was confined in the hospital for several weeks to give Rebecca the best chance of a healthy arrival into this world. My daughter watched Rachael and Anne so the two adults could have a short break. I was able to talk to Rhonda about many things in my life, and although we didn't agree politically, we were still close and I considered her a good, spiritual friend. I am beyond heart broken as I was not made aware she was even ill. I pray God's blessings on her and her family. Take care of your child, oh Lord, and guide her to your loving arms.
11 November 2019
Rhonda inspired me. I admired how hard she worked to achieve better conditions for adjuncts which lead to my further involvement in politics within the school but also in the larger picture as well. I will miss her and am so sad to hear of her passing, she made the world a better place.
5 November 2019
Rhonda's kind and gentle spirit will be missed. She would always stop to chat a bit and was good at listening and making one feel comfortable, welcome and valued. I shall miss working with her at FRCC. My condolences to her family-she always spoke of you fondly and with love as we shared our chats.
Diane MacKay Abner
26 October 2019
Rhonda and I were childhood friends from elementary through high school. I have fond memories of her sweet personality and visiting with her family. She was kind, smart, and beautiful inside and out. She was remarkable in so many ways; but I guess the way she included everyone and treated them the same regardless of their "popularity " in school stands out to me. What an example for all to follow. Her smile would light a room and I know her family and friends are hurting. Prayers to you all! With Love, Diane MacKay Abner
26 October 2019
You were always a beautiful person.