Memorial set for Duarte Mayor Pro Tem Tzeitel Paras-Caracci

PHOTO: City of Duarte

A memorial service will be held Saturday for Duarte Mayor Pro Tem Tzeitel Paras-Caracci, who died last month following a nearly three- year battle with lung cancer.

Paras-Caracci died June 25 at age 49.

A host of elected officials, friends, relatives and Duarte residents are expected to attend the memorial, which will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Duarte Community Center, 1600 Huntington Drive. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m.

Among those set to attend are Duarte City Council members; Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte; and Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Glendale.

Paras-Caracci was first elected to the council in 2001. She was the first Filipino-American to be elected to the Duarte City Council and the first Duarte High School graduate. She served as mayor in 2006, 2011, 2015 and 2019.

Paras-Caracci was also a member of the National League of Cities Board of Directors, the League of California Cities Board of Directors and president of the Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials. She was also a director for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, a governing board member of Foothill Transit and a board member of the Duarte Community Coordinating Council.

"We have suffered a huge loss in our city and I am profoundly saddened as Tzeitel was an immensely capable member of our council, as well as a great personal friend to me, as well as many others," Mayor Margaret Finlay said in announcing her death last month. "Her smile and energy were infectious, and it was an honor to serve on council with her.

Born Aug. 8, 1972, in Quezon City, Philippines, and named for the eldest daughter from the Broadway musical, "Fiddler on the Roof," Paras- Caracci and her family moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and to Duarte in 1985. She graduated from Duarte High School in 1989 and Woodbury University in Burbank.

Paras-Caracci died at her home surrounded by family, Finlay said.

She is survived by her parents, Lino and Russel Paras, her husband, K.C. Caracci, stepdaughter Dr. Blake Caracci, and their son, Jack Russell, and her brothers Bertrand and John Paul George. In lieu of flowers, the family asked those that wish to honor Paras-Caracci to donate to the City of Hope at