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Thomas W. McNamara

October 31, 1931 June 15, 2014
Thomas W. McNamara
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Obituary for Thomas W. McNamara

Thomas W. McNamara, son of the late Bernard and Helen McNamara, died peacefully on Father's Day, June 15, 2014, at age 82. His cherished wife, Rita Rigney McNamara, and their infant son, Thomas W. McNamara, Jr, preceded him in death. He is survived by six children-Margo (Gerry) Chadwick, Maureen (Brent) Stratton, Kathleen (Kevin) Conroy, Robert (Suzanne) McNamara, Mary Rita (Steve) Skrine and Michelle McNamara (Patton Oswalt). He was a doting grandfather to 17 grandchildren-Kate (Mike) Vriner, Maureen, Claire, Brian, Connor, Dylan, Brendan, Liam, Maggie, Elizabeth, Tommy, Colleen, Sean, Katherine, Steven, Patrick and Alice and one great grandchild, Rita Vriner. He was a beloved brother to Jeanette (the late Jack) Dan, Marilyn (Tom) Schaub, Jerry (Sue) McNamara and Eileen McNamara. Tom was raised and spent most of his life in the Oak Park and River Forest area. He attended Fenwick High School, the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern Law School. He practiced law his entire career at the firm now known as Jenner & Block, specializing in real estate, zoning and other business related matters. Tom also handled many Pro Bono cases and argued before the United States Supreme Court in the case of "Organization for a Better Austin v. O'Keefe." The greatest joy in Tom's life was the 50 years of marriage that he spent with Rita. Together, they shared the challenges of raising six children, the blessings of having a special group of friends and the deep tragedy of the loss of a child. Their love was special. As a person, Tom was slow to anger and quick to forgive, always ready offer help, but reluctant to ask for it, and, simply put, gave much more back to the world than he took from it. Later in his life, he recognized that he had developed a problem with alcohol. He took it upon himself to get help for and overcome this problem. He enjoyed many years of sobriety, helped others with similar problems and made a number of great friends in his group. Tom had a fine sense of humor and often referred to himself as an avid "indoorsman", and, admittedly, he was extremely comfortable at a card table or in a casino. Despite the "indoorsman" claim, he was an itinerant golfer who was a member for many years at Oak Park Country Club and Point O' Woods Country Club, where he served as club president. He had countless friends, some of whom he had known since grade school, and he loved spending time with them, catching up on their families, and reminiscing about the good old days on the west side. He was a truly great father whose love, support and guidance cannot be replaced. If heaven happens to be a reflection of our most joyous times on earth, he is with Rita and Tom, Jr., enjoying a warm, gentle breeze and watching the light of a fiery orange sun disappear on the horizon of a great lake. Visitation Wednesday 3 to 8 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Prayers Thursday 9:15 a.m. to St. Luke Church for Mass at 10 a.m. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, donations to Fenwick High School ( or Hazelden ( are appreciated.


Thursday, June 19 10 a.m.

St. Luke Church 528 Lathrop Ave., River Forest


Wednesday, June 18 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home

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