Rita A. Milcarek passed away on January 17, 2021. Ms. Milcarek was an accomplished law professional and benefactor of many causes. Her passions were helping others, animal welfare, the city of Chicago and her nephews and great-nephews. Ms. Milcarek served with distinction as a paralegal at two large Chicago law firms: Lord, Bissel and Brook and McDermott, Will and Emery. During that time, she served as Secretary of the IL Paralegal Association and the Chicago Legal Aid Foundation. She helped countless families navigate the legal system and improve their quality of life. Ms. Milcarek was a devout Catholic, becoming the Secretary of Catholic Women at the Our Lady of Snow Church. There she continued working to help others, especially underprivileged children in families in the Brighton Park/Midway area. Ms. Milcarek was a staunch supporter of Brookfield Zoo. She volunteered there in various capacities, and was a beloved member of the Zoo community. Her love of animals extended to the many cats she housed over the years. Her dedication to her nephews was consistent and unflinching. She assisted them as children and adolescents as well as early in their adulthood. That love has extended to her great-nephews, whose educations she has helped finance for over 25 years. Ms. Milcarek was a graduate from DePaul University for both her undergraduate and graduate studies. She also was a proud Alumnus of Daley College in Chicago. Her love for the Blue Demons basketball team and Chicago professional sports teams were legendary. One of her highlights was attending Games 1 and 2 of the Chicago White Sox World Series victories in 2005 with her nephews. Ms. Milcarek is survived by her twin sister, Jeanne Lamping; niece-in-laws, Jean and Kimberly Monocchio; nephews: Joseph, Richard and Ronald Monocchio; and great-nephews: Mitchell, Anthony, Dominick, Nicholas, Scott, Jacob, and Nathanial Monocchio. All who knew and loved Ms. Milcarek, as well as those who desire to pay their respects, are invited to do so and join the family at Ridge Funeral Home, 6620 W. Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638 from 2:00 – 7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to an animal shelter of your choice commemorating Ms. Milcarek's love of animals.
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Published by Chicago Tribune on Jan. 24, 2021.