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Rhonda Kantola

July 2, 1944 – October 27, 2022


It is with deep sadness and much love, that we mourn the passing of our beloved mother Rhonda Kantola. Rhonda is survived by the father of her children Brian Kantola, son David (Brenda), daughters Kathy, Karrie, and her grandchildren Emily (Greg Holland), Max and Raquel, great grandchildren Asher, Adalee, and Jesse, sisters Dot Metail and Debbie Vandenheuvel, as well as nieces and nephews near and far.


Rhonda was predeceased by her parents Nick and Gerry Vandenheuvel, sister Pat Vandenheuvel, and by her grandson Sean Kantola, whom she dearly loved and missed. 


Mom was born on July 2, 1944, in Zaandam, Netherlands. With her parents and younger sister, she came to Canada in 1947 landing in Gladstone Manitoba. When she was eleven years old mom and her family moved to Kenora where she attended North Ward School and Lakewood High School. As a teenager she enjoyed figure skating and belonged to the local club. Mom also attended many social events at the Ukrainian Hall where she loved to dance, and especially jive. 


Mom raised her three children on Rabbit Lake Road. She was mostly a stay-at-home mother, but also worked at various jobs over the years including the Paramount Theatre, the Log Cabin Tavern, and finally as the Lunch Room Lady at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. When her children were young, mom taught figure skating outdoors at the Rabbit Lake Community Club rink.  She was also the Junior Pro at the Kenora Figure Skating Club for the 1975/76 season.


Mom continued her sporting life as an adult, as part of the Kenora Ladies Fastball League, where she made lifelong friends. Mom was a strong fastball pitcher, with a fierce yet friendly competitive streak. For many years mom was the captain of the Northern Lights baseball team and helped to bring home many pennants, tournament trophy’s as well as yearly championships. Mom also enjoyed an occasional trip to the casino having a passion for the slots. Wherever mom went, she made people smile, always stopping to chat.


Mom had a great sense of humour, she was beautiful, smart and friendly. Mom loved to shop (and was always well turned out). She enjoyed the outdoors, especially fishing on the Winnipeg River which held a special place in her heart. She loved spending time with her family whenever she could. Mom was also instrumental in helping to raise her grandson Sean and granddaughter Emily.


The family wishes to express our sincere thanks to all the staff at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital for the care and compassion given to our mom.


Cremation has taken place and as per mom’s wishes, there will be no service. Online condolences may be made at Because she loved to participate in as well as watch various sports, donations can be made in Rhonda’s name to Triple PLAY Kenora.


When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me,

I want no rites in a gloom filled room

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not too long

And not with your head bowed low,

Remember the love we once shared

Miss me but let me go.

For this is the journey we all must take

And each must go alone,

It’s all part of the Master’s Plan

A step on the road to home.

So when you are lonely and sick at heart,

Go to the friends you know,

And bury your sorrow in doing good deeds

Miss me, but let me go

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