SALAMANCA - Rhonda L. (Sipe) Blakesslee, 58, of Drake Run Road, Salamanca, died unexpectedly, Thursday (Jan. 2, 2014), at her home. Born Aug. 6, 1955, in Salamanca, she was the daughter of the late Earl Sipe and Erla Kay (Magee) Sipe.
Rhonda was a graduate of Little Valley High School Class of 1973. She worked at Griffith Energy for over 30 years, and was most recently employed with Blue Collar Workwear in Olean. She married the love of her life, Fred Blakesslee in 1982, and they made beautiful music together until his untimely passing in 1985. In her spare time, Rhonda enjoyed playing the guitar and writing music, her kitty cat, Bob, her family and friends, and especially spending time with her daughter, Jenny. Rhonda was also an avid Buffalo Bills fan, despite their record.
Rhonda leaves behind her mother, Kay Sipe of Little Valley; daughter, Jenny Blakesslee and Jenny's fiancé, Chad Herrick, both of Salamanca; sister, Heidi (David) McCausland of Mount Vernon, Maine; nephew, Ian White of Little Valley; and step son, Jesse Blakesslee of Salamanca.
She was predeceased by her father, Earl Sipe; husband, Fred Blakesslee; stepson, Adam Blakesslee; and a sister, Doriann (Sipe) White.
From the Lyrics of Rhonda herself: "Maybe when all of us get to the pearly gates God already knows all our strongest traits. All the musical souls want to know where to play and the new ones need to be shown the way."
There will be no visitation. A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation at their website: http://bafound.org, or sending a check to Donations at The Brain Aneurysm Foundation, 269 Hanover Street, Building 3, Hanover, MA 02339.
Published in The Olean Times Herald on Jan. 5, 2014