Obituary of Rita Lacina
Rita Jean Lacina, age 86 of rural West Branch went peacefully home to the Lord and her Husband, Fran; son, Tom; and daughter, Diane on Wednesday April 12, 2023.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am, Friday April 21, 2023 at St Patrick Catholic Church in Iowa City. Burial will follow at Old St Joseph Cemetery in Iowa City. Visitation for family and friends will be held at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home from 4:00 – 7:00 PM, Thursday, April 20, 2023, with a rosary beginning at 3:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has established in her memory with the Regina Foundation.
Rita Jean Lorack was born September 9, 1936, to Arthur and Cecilia (Draker) Lorack in Iowa City. She attended St Mary’s School in Riverside IA through the 8th grade and graduated from St Patrick High School in Iowa City in 1954. It was at St Patrick’s that she met the love of her life, Francis Jacob Lacina. Rita enjoyed playing the accordion and directing the Washington IA accordion band, as well as playing for many events and weddings. She was also a cheerleader for the St Patrick HS Basketball team (Coached by Father Raymond Pacha) Fr Pacha chose the cheerleaders and Fran was a member of the basketball team. They ‘met’ on the stairs at St Patrick’s where they ‘ran into each other’ and Fran said with a smile, “well, hello there!” The rest is history. They were married on February 8, 1956, at St Patrick Church in Iowa City, Fr Pacha took their wedding photos.
Rita was a life-long farm wife, assisting Fran with the chores, planting, livestock, and harvest over the years. After the passing of her daughter Diane, she worked outside the home for Gringer Feed & Grain, Shelly Lynn Figure Salon, St Patrick Church, Hawkeye Medical Supply and ACT. ‘Grammy’ was an amazing cook and will always be remembered for her fried chicken, dressing, and Christmas baked goods.
The six grandchildren spent many weekends with Grandma & Grandpa Lacina at their farm; they were a big influence on their grandchildren and many of their friends. After retirement Fran & Rita cherished spending time with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, travelling with them, camping, and attending their high school & college sporting events. Rita continued this after Fran’s death in 2013, as well as babysitting for her great-grandchildren.
Rita’s family includes her daughter, Elaine (Matthew) Pacha; daughter-in-law, Rhonda Lacina; six grandchildren, Ben (Amanda) Lacina, Diana (Joe) Bandow, Stephen (Amanda) Pacha, Will (Kat) Lacina, Jeffrey (Molly) Pacha, Daniel (Hailey) Pacha, fifteen great-grandchildren and sister, Patricia (Loftus) Silvestri.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Francis; daughter, Diane; son, Thomas; sister, Arlene Armbruster (Cowell) and brother, Kenneth Lorack.