Adam Ringa first began working as a funeral director in 1895, operating out of a home office on Bosworth Avenue in Chicago, IL. At this time, funeral services were typically held in the deceased’s own home, with wakes often lasting several days as the families visited with friends and relatives. Adam’s son Frank joined him in the business after graduating from mortuary school in 1911, but had to put his career on hold to fight in World War I. Following the war, funeral practices had evolved; wakes and funerals were increasingly being held in funeral homes dedicated specifically to serving the needs of families who had lost loved ones. As a result of this trend, Adam Ringa built the first Ringa Funeral Home at Lawndale and Roscoe shortly after the war.
After working in funeral business and politics during much of the 1920s, Frank Ringa eventually opened two additional funeral homes in Chicago, one on Elston Avenue and another on Grand Avenue. The family was also operating a small storefront location on Milwaukee Avenue. By the end of the Depression, the Ringa family was operating five funeral establishments. As neighborhoods changed, however, the family eventually sold the properties at Milwaukee and Bosworth, consolidating operations out of the Lawndale location.
Frank’s two sons, Bob and Frank Jr. graduated from St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin and then attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science becoming licensed funeral directors in the early 1940s. However, their careers as funeral directors were interrupted when the United States became involved in World War II. Both served as officers during the war, Frank in the 101st Airborne and Bob in Army Air Corps.
After the war, the two brothers went to work with their father at the funeral homes on Elston and Grand. By the mid 1950s, the Chicago suburbs were growing quickly and the family decided to build a funeral home in Lake Villa, Illinois, our current location. The family opened the doors of its new facility in 1959, with Bob Ringa Sr. serving as head funeral director for most of the latter half of the century.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Bob Ringa Jr. took over the funeral home in Lake Villa in 1994 where he proudly served the families of Lake Villa, Lindenhurst, and its surrounding communities until his retirement in 2015. Bob Jr. graduated from St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, WI, earned a B.S. from the University of Denver in 1971, and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1972. Before taking over the funeral home in Lake Villa, he served as Vice President of a major furniture manufacturing company for twenty years. Bob also served as president of the Lindenhurst-Lake Villa Chamber of Commerce for four years and has served on boards of directors for many additional community organizations in Lake Villa and the surrounding communities. Bob passed away in 2016 after many years of good stewardship.