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Friends Mourn Loss of Senate Staffer Lisa Radogno (Video)

Lisa Radogno, executive assistant and scheduler to Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., died Wednesday of a massive pulmonary embolism that may have resulted from complications following a car accident earlier this year. She was 31 years old.  

One former colleague captured the mood of all who knew her: “shock and devastation.”  

Radogno joined Kirk’s staff in 2008 and previously worked in the office of ex-Rep. Jerry Weller. Friends and colleagues describe her as vivacious, loyal, dedicated, and unusually kind.  

In a written statement, Kirk called Radogno “the most vibrant member of my team and an ardent Chicago White Sox fan.”  

Richard Goldberg, Kirk’s former Washington deputy chief of staff said, “Lisa was one of the kindest, most generous and freest souls I have ever encountered. In a profession that all too often engenders jealousy, distrust and deceit, Lisa peddled unconditional love, joy and friendship. … Her memory, her legacy, her unbridled spirit [remind] us to live life to its fullest with each passing day.”  

In a joint statement, three friends who met Radogno while working on the Hill said, “Lisa … was larger than life itself [and] inspired everyone around her with her smile, her loyalty, and of course her love of the Chicago White Sox.”  

Radogno was also deeply committed to her work. Kirk’s Press Secretary Danielle Varallo described Radogno’s role in the office as “limitless … the cornerstone of our office.”  

“She loved Mark Kirk … she loved that office like it was her second family,” said Bailey Hall, who associates describe as one of Radogno’s best friends. In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday, Kirk called her “one of the brightest lights of our DC office” and “somebody that I will miss with every fiber of my being.”  

Kirk’s fellow Illinois senator, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, said in a statement, “I was deeply saddened to learn that the Illinois Delegation has lost such a beloved and dedicated member of the team … It is with a heavy heart that Loretta and I express our deepest sympathy to her parents, Christine and Nunzio. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, their family and all who knew and loved Lisa.”  

According to her Facebook page, Radogno graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2005 and Lyons Township High School in 2001. She is survived by her mother, Christine Radogno, her father, Nunzio Radogno, and sisters Becky Radogno Braun and Jessica Radogno Sahady. Christine Radogno is the leader of the Illinois State Senate Republicans.  

Arrangements for a formal memorial service are pending, but Kirk’s office will host an open house at 4:30 p.m. for friends, family, and colleagues.  


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