Rhonda Joyce Kraft, 61, of Taylorville passed away at 2:52pm, on Friday, March 25, 2016 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield following a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She was born on September 16, 1954 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the daughter of Byron Clark and Doris Lincoln Clark Dancy.
Rhonda graduated from Lincoln Community High School in 1972. She attended Lincoln Christian College and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Sangamon State University.
She was a devoted homemaker before beginning work as a librarian at West Elementary School. She also served as a substitute teacher in the Taylorville School District. In 1998, Rhonda began her career as a Branch Office Administrator for Edward Jones in Taylorville where she assisted hundreds of clients, many of whom she considered good friends.
She later expanded her long-time interest in nature and horticulture by earning a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from University of Illinois at Springfield in 2010. She served on the Taylorville Tree Board where she spearheaded raising funds and organizing volunteers to replace trees in various public areas around the town. She also volunteered as a guide for the annual Oak Ridge Cemetery Tree Tour in Springfield.
Rhonda diligently pursued home improvement projects, proudly making every house a home for her family. She took great pride in her yard and provided a depth of knowledge to her family, friends and neighbors on nearly all plant life, specifically flowers.
She was an active member of Taylorville Christian Church for many years and recently attended Grace Baptist Church. She also enjoyed poetry, philosophy, playing the piano and in recent years, learning about health and diet issues related to her fight with cancer. She was an animal lover, especially to her beloved cat, Poppy. Most of all, she was a devoted mother and Christian who loved spending time with her family and friends, following all of life’s developments with faith, wisdom and love.
She is survived by her beloved children: Alison Nottmeier (Kyle) of St. Louis, MO, Nolan Kraft (Katie) of Villa Park, IL, and Landon Kraft of Taylorville; grandson: Jack Kraft of Villa Park; mother and step-father: Doris and Mac Dancy of Lincoln, IL, siblings: Neil Clark (Cynthia) of Atlanta, IL, Tim Clark (Pam), Reva McFadden (Kevin), and Stan Clark (Lisa) all of Lincoln, IL; sister-in-law: Gail Clark of Lincoln, IL; step-sisters: Ruth Todd of Springfield, IL and Joyce Dancy of Lincoln, IL. She is also survived by her former husband, Kelly Kraft of Taylorville. They were married on April 7, 1979 at Westside Christian Church in Springfield, IL. She was preceded in death by her father Byron Clark and brother Norm Clark.
The funeral service will be held at 11a.m. on Thursday, March 31 at Lincoln Christian Church in Lincoln, IL with Rev. Ron Otto officiating. Burial will be in Zion Cemetery in Lincoln. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 30 from 4 until 7p.m. at McClure Funeral Home in Taylorville and from 10-11a.m. in the church on Thursday. Memorials may be made to the Christian County Mental Health Association Foundation in Taylorville or the Starhill Forest Arboretum in Petersburg, IL. McClure Funeral Home in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories of Rhonda, or condolences to the family may be left online at www.mcclurefuneralhome.com