6-27-2020-11-17-01-AM-10834709

Colleagues remember former lawmaker Robert S. Molaro

By Tim Hadac

For decades, Robert S. Molaro served Chicago’s Southwest Side and nearby

suburbs in a number of roles, most notably as a legislator and a Democratic

Party official.

A resident of the Southwest Side’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood, Mr. Molaro

died at home on June 15, just two weeks before his 70th birthday.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Mr. Molaro graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep

in 1968, Loyola University in 1972 and John Marshall Law School in 1976.

He began his career with the City of Chicago Corporation Counsel. He then

established and maintained his own law practice. Today it is headquartered in

Garfield Ridge.

In 1984, Mr. Molaro became Democratic committeeman of Chicago’s 12th Ward,

based in the Brighton Park neighborhood. It was the start of a political career

that spanned three decades. He served as a delegate to the 1988 Democratic

National Convention and later began his service in the Illinois State Senate

from 1993-2003 and the Illinois House of Representatives from 2003-2008.

As a leading legislator, Mr. Molaro served as the Democratic spokesman of

various committees. As an accomplished orator and avid student of history, he

debated proposals in Springfield “with the passion brought by those who believe

in the issues they sponsor,” an online obituary noted.

Mr. Molaro championed animal protection issues and was a leading advocate

for Illinois horse racing and gaming expansion.

Although he retired from politics in 2008, he remained close to the public

arena as a lobbyist.

Mr. Molaro “had a remarkable passion for life and had the ability to see

an issue from a purely logical perspectiveÉhe offered advice that was rarely

not taken,” according to an online obituary. “He was a caring and compassionate

friend to many. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family and his

11 grandchildren.”

In a statement, Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan said, “Bob Molaro

was well known for his jovial spirit, positive attitude and innate ability to

bring people together and build consensus. He had a way of making everyone

comfortable, even in challenging times and debates. Bob will be greatly missed

by all who knew him. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

State Rep. Michael J. Zalewski, a Democrat who succeeded Mr. Molaro, said

he will miss him “beyond words.”

“Bob Molaro might have had more charisma than anyone I’ve known,” said

Judge Ed King. “I always had a better time when he arrived and I never wanted

him to leave. He was funny, smart and a loyal friend. He had the most engaging

combination of intellect and street smarts. Truly, he was one of a kind.”

The son of the late Angelina (nee Spizzirri) and the late Samuel Molaro,

Mr. Molaro was the husband of Barbara (nee Teska); father of Samuel, Robyn

(Timothy King), Miranda (Daniel Diaz), Michael (Jane Middleton) and Alexandra

(Daniel Stell); “Pops” of Rocco, Luciana, Francesca, Enzo, Daniel, Angelina,

Evelyn, Felix, Jethro, Contessa and Isabella; brother of the late Peter (late

Michelle) Molaro; brother-in-law of Nancy (Charles) Lunon; uncle of Nicholas

(Rachel) Lunon.

A Service of Remembrance will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by

Zarzycki Manor Chapels Ltd.

The Molaro Family appreciates memorial donations to the Pancreatic Cancer

Research Program at the University of Chicago in Mr. Molaro’s name. Checks may

be made payable to the University of Chicago Medicine and sent to: University

of Chicago Gift Administration and Business Data, Robert S. Molaro Memorial,

5235 S. Harper Court, 4th Floor, Chicago IL 60615.

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