November 5, 1930 - April 21, 2022
In Loving Memory of Rondi Gordon Rondi Gordon age 91 of Waukegan, IL passed away on April 21st, 2022 at Condell Hospital, Libertyville, IL. Being an extremely strong and healthy person, like a true Norwegian Viking, Rondi fought a long and hard battle for over two years fighting cancer. Born as Randi Andersen, on November 5, 1930 to Josef and Hjordis (Gulbrandsen) Anderson in the town of Notodden, Norway. Her father was an engineer(even building their clothing washing machine) and her mother was an executive at a Norwegian telegraph operator in it's early days. Rondi was an only child, however was surrounded by many cousins in Norway. Rondi’s parents separated and later divorced (both later remarried other lifelong partners), with her mother moving to Sweden. World War II directly impacted daily life in Norway, as the Germans engaged in a brutal occupation and targeted Notodden, as it was thought to be the source of heavy water for manufacture of nuclear weapons. As a child Rondi remembered German soldiers coming to their residence to use the Telegraph where her mother was the operator. After this Rondi had moved to Sweden during the war, initially to stay with her mother. At the tender age of 13, Rondi lost her mother Hjordis, who unfortunately passed in 1943 at the age of 43 losing her battle with cancer. Rondi remained with cousins in Sweden until the end of the war, before returning to Norway. Rondi was thought to be ambitious in her younger years and held the position of Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Kongsvinger (Norway). While in Kongsvinger Rondi met her first husband, Kristian Sonju, who was stationed in Kongsvingser as a Military Police officer. Both Rondi and Kristian were eager to explore new things, and mutually agreed to migrate to the United States in 1955, where they first stayed with Kristian’s relatives in Two Harbors, Minnesota. Rondi and Kristian ultimately moved to Chicago in search of work, where Kristian took a job as a sales manager for a commercial glass company and Rondi became an assistant at WGN’s television headquarters. During the early years in Chicago Rondi also did part time modeling, including working as a model for the local department store Carson Pirie Scott. Rondi's first child, Christian Grant, was born in 1961 and her second son, Ted, followed in 1962. During this time Rondi became a full time Mom, and she also helped to care for, her then husband, Kristian’s mother when she became ill and stayed with them for 18 months in Chicago. Rondi had a key eye for fashion and clothing design and displayed quite a talent for sketching. She never pursued beyond the hobby level, although her sketches were of high quality and impressive given her lack of formal training. She also began to buy clothing kit patterns, such that she could sew clothes for herself and the boys. In 1967 Rondi brought her children back to Norway to live, as her eldest suffered from severe asthma and the pollution in Chicago was, according to doctors, a contributing factor. During this time Rondi and the boys lived with her father, Josef, and his wife, Margarethe, who was originally from the island of Gotland (Sweden). While in Norway both boys attended Norwegian pre-school and became fluent in Norwegian. In 1968 Rondi and the boys returned to Chicago via ocean voyage on the Norwegian-America Line. This was an 8-day crossing of the Atlantic in sometimes very choppy seas. During the voyage Rondi met her soon to be second husband, Robert (Bob) Gordon, a Chicago native, who had been staying in Norway practicing art, and even having a small part in a small film. His art included sketches he would do of pedestrians on the streets of Oslo. This type of street sketching was considered a novelty at the time in Norway. Upon Rondi’s return to Chicago, she and Kristian decided to divorce, and Rondi and Bob later rented a place in Chicago that expanded to a household that included Rondi’s kids and sometimes Robert’s children from his first marriage. Robert was an accomplished artist who got a job at WBBM television, while Rondi helped to manage some of his expanding portfolio that included street sketches and formal portraits that were many times done at the apartment. Rondi welcomed her third child, Stephanie, in 1969, and everyone settled into the apartment on Burling Street, which was always bustling with activity. Rondi, Bob, Grant, Ted, and Stephanie would ultimately move to several locations in Chicago, and Bob’s work continued to gain notoriety thanks to his courtroom sketches and undeniable artistic abilities. Bob ultimately was offered a job in the art department by the Chicago Sun Times, which allowed him to expand on his creativity to better showcase his talents. While working at the Chicago Sun Times Robert and Rondi had a small role as extras in a bar scene in the movie “Continental Divide” as John Belushi's character was a Newspaper (Sun Times) reporter. In 1975 Rondi moved with the children to Waukegan, IL, and Bob later followed. In 1976 they purchased their home on Sheridan Road, which has remained in the family ever since. Rondi did work for a brief period in Waukegan after attending Sawyer Secretarial school, and also had an entrepreneurial side, selling Avon cosmetics door to door, which was popular at the time. She also traveled with Bob to New York, helping to represent his artistic abilities and securing the sale of his artwork to a publishing company for a paperback noel cover. Rondi and Bob were collectors of antiques, and it was not unusual for them to frequent stores in Chicago, purchasing items such as a brass bed, Tiffany Shades, or a marble ice cream counter and that was originally located in an ice cream parlor in Chicago in the 1920s. Rondi was known as a creative person and friendly to everyone. She was also an accomplished pianist thanks to taking lessons as a youngster in Norway. She continued to manage Bob’s portfolio as he found customers for some of his many sketches. Rondi always displayed an inquisitive mind that was non-judgmental and kept an open attitude towards trying new things. This led to finally learning to drive late in life, as she wanted to be as independent as possible. Rondi also never gave up her Norwegian citizenship, which she maintained until her passing. In life Rondi had a love of gardening where you would often find her working outside alongside helpers and friends like; Johnny, David, Mike, and Miguel to name a few over the years. Rondi had a great talent and appreciation for music and art. She also wrote poetry and always remembered family birthdays with creative verses. As a creative artist herself, Rondi had a great talent and appreciation for music and art and any of her qualities and talents continue on in her children, grandchildren, a great-grandchildren. Rondi left this earth on April 21, 2022, having lived a full and rich life. She was preceded in death by Robert Gordon and is survived by her children; Christian Grant Sonju (& wife Michie), Ted Sonju (and wife Cindy), Stephanie Gordon-Godina (& husband Juan). And her step-children; Robert Gordon the III, Cary Gordon (& wife Bobbie), and Brenda Gordon. She is also survived by her numerous grandchildren; Austin and Anna (Grant), Kyle, Aislynne Dylan, Ryan, and Evan (Ted), Ryon, Savanah, Navarre, Sienna, Sophia, Landon, Gavin-Logan (Stephanie). Shante (Robert III), Christopher, Nakita,Trey (Cary), Dellah, Jessica (Brenda) and many great-granchildren as the family line continues. As family, friends and neighbors remember Rondi Gordon God bless all in Jesus name. Please sign our online guestbook at www.waukeganfunerals.com.
In Loving Memory of Rondi Gordon Rondi Gordon age 91 of Waukegan, IL passed away on April 21st, 2022 at Condell Hospital, Libertyville, IL. Being an extremely strong and healthy person, like a true Norwegian Viking, Rondi fought a long and... View Obituary & Service Information
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