‘We’re so blessed’: How a rural community rallied around a woman after tragedy

MT. HOPE, Wis. — Sept. 26 may have been a defining day in Robin Conley’s life. What started out as an average day turned tragic when Conley’s husband Ron was killed in a tree-cutting accident. While that day is now a somber anniversary for Conley, every day since has served as a reminder of just how many people care about her and her husband.

On Saturday, family and friends continued their outpouring of support, showing up to Conley’s farm at 6 a.m. ready to harvest 165 acres of corn.

“I have people everywhere,” said Conley. “Support from family, friends has been overwhelming.”

Others filed in later, contributing table after table of crock pots, casserole dishes, and coolers.

For this community, waking up before sunrise to lend a hand was a no-brainer.

“I’ve known Ron for about 10 years, never said a whole lot but you always knew he was there to help you,” said Chuck Schwab, a friend of the Conleys.  “That’s really what life is all about.”

With the help of multiple combines, tractors, and semis, the volunteers say they hope to gather all the corn today, and plan to carry on supporting Conley for years to come.

“I just hope that this will continue year after year,” Schwab said. “I think it just speaks volumes, again, of rural America, farmers help farmers.”

But for Conley, year after year isn’t quite fleshed out. She says she’s going to take things slowly.

“I’m just going to take one day at a time and see what it looks like in my new normal,” she said. 

While she may not know exactly what her next steps look like, one thing is for certain: She’ll never walk alone.

“We’re so blessed,” Conley said. “You can definitely tell that my husband and I were loved.”