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Ila Robin Onofrio

1962 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Ila Robin Onofrio Obituary
NOVEMBER 10, 1962 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 Ila Robin Cook Onofrio lived a life of love, laughter, and friendship. Born in Chicago Illinois on November 10th 1962, Ila was greeted with boundless joy by her parents Karyl and Gerrold Cook. Her life as an only child changed a short 2 years, 1 month, and 6 days later, with the arrival of her brother Marc. Although many would have seen this as a threat, Ila became her brother's friend, teacher, protector, and greatest fan. A pattern she would repeat her entire life. Ila grew up in Skokie and attended Sharp Corner grammar school, Old Orchard Junior High, and Niles North High School. She was known for her bright smile, dangerously feathered hair, and writing her married name of any potential suitor in her Chandler's to test it out before she would invest too much time dating in the event that she didn't like the way it sounded. Ila put herself through college, eventually getting her degree from Northeastern University, as well as becoming a CPA where she joined the hard drinking, wild and crazy, living on the edge world of Public Accountancy. Over the years she made lifelong friendships that she maintained throughout her life. She hoarded friends. She never discarded any of them, even if she didn't play with them for a long time, she always knew where they were and saw a value in each one, so she could never part with them. This was also a pattern with other things in her life, such as keeping the tissue she used to dry her tears when Elvis Presley died, every single one of her children's drawings, every photograph, and even their old hockey pads. It's almost as if one day she knew she would be leaving behind precious artifacts for future generations to treasure. Ila made new friends with ease and grace. She could walk into a restaurant for a quick bite and leave with a doggie bag as well as 3 new friends. She was so disarming, breaking down any walls with people opening up to her, sharing secrets they wouldn't tell anyone else. She had such warmth and kindness that once in her orbit, her personal gravity kept you there forever. But she had a naughty side as well. She was prone to say hilariously shocking things that somehow came off as charming, never offensive and genuinely funny. You could talk to her for hours about anything, and however bad your day might have been, a chat with Ila would leave you laughing and unable to remember why you were upset in the first place. She was introduced to her future husband George Onofrio at the wedding of her friends Pat and Maria Fioretto. Having just ended a long term relationship, George was not looking to get into another one, but he didn't stand a chance. The two married and began a romance that was the envy and example to all that knew them. Even after 24 years of marriage she told people that her heart still fluttered every time she saw him. And George was equally devoted which he would demonstrate for their entire marriage. They brought two remarkable children into the world, Jeremy and Kevin. She raised them with infinite love, patience and understanding, somehow able to straddle the line between parent and best friend. But although she only gave birth to two children, there would be literally hundreds of them that would think of her as a second mother. Throughout her life, friends of her sons', children she met at school when she became a teacher's aide, hockey teammates, and even nieces and nephews would come to her with even their most personal problems for her honesty, unconditional love, and sage advice. After over 40 years in Illinois, George's work took them to Michigan. Ila was saddened leaving behind a multitude of family and friends, but her entire life served as a model where she was equally successful creating a rich tapestry of love and friendship in record time. Soon she had close friends in Michigan as if they had all known each other for decades instead of months. And 8 years ago when she received the news of her illness, all of her friends and family proved to her that the bonds she built, and the love she had shared were stronger and deeper than even she could have imagined. People rallied around her and did whatever they could for her and her family, never for a moment doubting that if the situation was reversed, she would be the first to be there for them. Cancer never defined Ila or dimmed her spirit. And incredibly, she was always more interested in what was going on in your life than wanting to complain about her own. No matter what she was going through, she never made you feel like your problems paled in comparison to her own challenges. Even as things got harder for her, she would be the one that called to remember a birthday, anniversary, or special event. If there was a contest to be named Ila's best friend they would have to hold it in a stadium because she made everyone feel as if they were the most important person in the world to her, because they were. Ila will forever be remembered for her love of Rock and Roll, desire for Peace, and ferocious loving spirit. In addition to her husband and sons, she is survived by her brother Marc, her sister Patti Teichman. Sisters-in-law, Anne Halston Cook, Maria Lina Ventimiglia, Joy Onofrio and Roselyn Onofrio. Mother-in-law Rosina Onofrio. Brothers-in-law Mario Onofrio, Claudio Onofrio, and Salvatore Ventimiglia. Nieces and nephews include Kayla Cook; Nick, Anthony and Cara, Isabella, Mario Onofrio; Rosa and Antonino Ventimiglia, and Anna and Jesse Simon, along with aunts, uncles and army of best friends that will strive to live up to her legacy of selflessness, awe inspiring courage, and eternal kindness. There was no one like her before, and there will never be another like her again. Ila, may you find the Peace you loved so much. A memorial visitation for Ila will be held Friday, September 14, 2018 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Harry J Will Funeral Homes, 37000 W. Six Mile Road, Livonia, Michigan 48152. A memorial in state will occur Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM with a memorial service at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ila's memory may be made to , 20450 Civic Center Dr, Southfield, Michigan; and ASPCA, PO Box 96929, Washington, DC.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Sept. 13, 2018
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