Rita Anne Zralek
July 16, 1932 – August 26, 2019
Rita Ann Zralek, 87, of Chicago, Illinois, died peacefully in her sleep on August 26, 2019. She loved the symphony, the opera (oh, she loved opera!), the Art Institute, the White Sox, swimming, yoga, and her parakeets. She made delicious chocolate chip cookies, and loved Scotch, a nice glass of wine, a good beer and The Beatles. She also loved Charles Dickens, Shakespeare and traveling, visiting many parts of Europe, both by herself and with her sisters. As recently as last fall, Rita and her brother took a walking tour in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She adored her 18 nieces and nephews and their children, attending almost every baptism, first communion, graduation and wedding. Rita was humble, funny, kind and generous, and she will be deeply missed. She loved all creatures great & small. She always greeted every dog and cat she saw.
Rita was born on July 16, 1932 in Chicago, the youngest of five children. She had a happy childhood on the South Side, walking to school and spending summers at the lake in Indiana. She graduated from Visitation High School, worked in the children’s department of the Harold Washington Library, and then earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Loyola University, as well as a master’s degree, after 12 years as a part-time student. She later attended the University of Vienna, beginning what would later inspire countless nieces and nephews to study and live abroad. She worked with Illinois Bell until she retired in 1984, after which she worked on a doctorate in English and volunteered for years with Literacy Chicago. Rita was the daughter who lived unselfishly with her parents through health, sickness and death.
She is survived by her brother Jim Zralek of Nashville; 17 nieces and nephews: Chris Halm of Charleston, Mary Halm Small of Boston, Joan Halm Welbourn of Nashville, Carol Halm of Austria, Jimmy Halm of Chicago, Kathy Halm Elinsky of Denver, Laura Halm of Chicago, Barbara Halm Rangel of Chicago, Marty Halm of Austin, Janet Halm Sambor of Chicago, David Halm of Denver, Michael King of Mohave Valley, Arizona, Barbara King Casablanca of Mohave Valley, Jim King of Los Angeles, Laura King Valdiviez of Los Angeles, Stephen Zralek of Nashville and Brian Zralek of Buffalo; 26 great nieces and nephews; and 13 great-great nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, Mary Cecilia Casey Zralek and Stephen Joseph Zralek; her sisters Marguerite Zralek, O.P., Marie King, Helen Halm; and her nephew Charlie Halm.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Nicholas of Tolentine, at 6200 S Lawndale Ave. on Saturday, September 7 at 9 a.m. Visitation will be held at Kenny Bros. Funeral Home, at 3600 W. 95th St. on Friday, September 6, from 3-8 p.m. Memorials may be made to Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly, www.homeseniors.org, a charity that Rita generously gave to, which helps older adults with low incomes.
- Visitation Friday, September 6, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burail Saturday, September 7, 2019
- Interment Saturday, September 7, 2019
IN THE CARE OF