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Lemont Mourns Loss of Beloved, Longtime St. Al's/St. Pat's Teacher

Rita Szum left a lasting impression on all her students. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 2 to 9 p.m. Funeral services Wednesday.

Former students of retired teacher Rita Szum are grieving the loss of the beloved member of the St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick family.

Rita Szum taught second grade at the school for 16 years, leading students in preparation for First Communion—one of their fondest memories of her. Szum touched many lives during her teaching career.

"Whether you remember learning the parts of the Mass for the First Communion, or the way she always pointed with her middle finger or sometimes turned out the lights, gave us candy and put a movie on because her blood sugar was low, or throwing awesome birthday parties for Jesus Christ at Christmastime—she was a damn good second grade teacher and an awesome woman," wrote former student Anne Fox of her former teacher.

Beloved wife of Fred, loving mother of Tom (Kristi), Katie (Daniel) Caldera and Peggy (Bill) Egner. Cherished grandmother of Ema, Antonio, Alex, Isabella, Ethan and Jimmy. 

"A small group of the class of 2007 and I went to her retirement last year, and she still hugged each of us and addressed us by name even after not seeing us for five years and not teaching us for 14," Fox wrote. "Take a minute to remember her, she always remembered you."

Visitation Tuesday from 2 to 9 p.m. Funeral Wednesday 10 a.m. from Lawn Funeral Home, 7732 West 159th St. in Orland Park. Funeral Mass at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, at 11 a.m. Interment Good Shepherd Cemetery. 

Read the full obituary.

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