Rita Dorothy Conroy (McNamara), 97, passed away on Christmas Day, 2022. Rita was born on April 30, 1925, on her family farm east of Minonk, IL. She attended public school for elementary education and then graduated from the Academy of our Lady Catholic High School in Peoria in the spring of 1943. Right before WWII, Rita met Jack Conroy at a movie theater by chance. Jack soon left to serve in the Navy, but when the war was over, he hurried home to ask her to marry him. Their wedding was on April 3rd, 1948 and they were married for 72 years until his death October 8, 2020.
Jack and Rita bought their first farm in Bradford, IL in 1949 and had their first 2 children (Janet and Edward) at that location before purchasing a farm in Gridley. They continued farming there for a few years until 1954 when they bought a 160-acre farm in Minonk to be near the Catholic school. Their children Patricia, Timothy and Mary were born while they lived in the Minonk area.
Rita lived a long and beautiful life. She was a faithful Catholic and actively involved in the community. She was a member of St Patrick's Altar and Rosary Society and also taught Catechism for several years. Rita enjoyed participating in several groups with her neighbors including Home Extension and card club. She also enjoyed bowling, dancing and playing piano. She was an avid reader often going through several books a week and held one of the longest memberships to the Filger Public Library in Minonk. At her winter home in Tucson, she sang for the women's choir, The Coconuts, for more than 30 years. She was known as Rita, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma and Grandma Great by her family.
Rita worked as a secretary for the Minonk State Bank for several years. Rita was also a hardworking wife and mother known for a special gift with babies. She seemed to always be able to soothe them to sleep. She was a skillful cook and quilter and made many beautiful gifts for her family.
She is survived by three of her children, Edward (Kathy) Conroy of Minonk IL, Patricia (Otto) Harms of Tucson, AZ, Mary (Roger) Palmore of Royse City, TX, 12 grandchildren, as well as 24 great-grandchildren (and counting â€¦next one is due in just a few weeks).
She joins her husband Jack, parents Matthew and Margaret (Fehring) McNamara, her siblings Joseph "Bud" McNamara, Sister Francis Regis (MaryAnn)McNamara, and her children Timothy Conroy and Janet (Craig) Miggins in peaceful rest.
Her faith, inner strength, wry sense of humor and devotion to her husband will live on as a beautiful testament to all those who knew her. Funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 30th, 2022 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Minonk. Father Patrick Greenough, OFM Conv. will officiate. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church on Friday. Burial will be in the St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Minonk. Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Minonk is handling arrangements for the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Minonk. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.ruestmanharrisfuneralhome.com.