Rita Jean Lacina

Rita Jean Lacina

Rita Jean Lacina

West Branch

Rita Jean Lacina, 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 a.m. Friday, April 21, 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 to 7 p.m., with a rosary beginning at 3:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has established in her memory with the Regina Foundation. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.gayandciha.com.

Rita Jean Lorack was born Sept. 9, 1936, to Arthur and Cecilia (Draker) Lorack in Iowa City. She attended St. Mary’s School in Riverside through the eighth 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, Iowa, accordion band, as well as playing for many events and weddings. She was also a cheerleader for the St. Patrick’s High School basketball team (coached by Father Raymond Pacha). Father Pacha chose the cheerleaders and Fran was a member of the basketball team. Francis and Rita ‘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 Feb. 8, 1956, at St. Patrick’s Church in Iowa City, Father 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’s 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 and Grandpa Lacina at their farm, they were a big influence on their grandchildren and many of their friends. After retirement, Fran and Rita cherished spending time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, traveling with them, camping, and attending their high school and 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 and Daniel (Hailey) Pacha; 15 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.

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