PEORIA — Michelle Ann Rathkamp, 39, of Peoria died on April 1, 2021, after a valiant battle against cancer.

Ms. Rathkamp was born on Jan. 25, 1982, in San Mateo, California, and was a daughter of Barry E. Rathkamp and Cheryl A. Meador. She was a veteran criminal defense attorney for the indigent who was a passionate and relentless advocate for her clients in particular and the disadvantaged in general. She would often work late into the evening hours developing mitigation and drafting deviation requests in order to obtain the best possible outcomes for her clients. Outside of work, she served on the Board of Directors for the Homeless Legal Assistance Project. She selflessly put the needs of others in front of her own in every context of her life.

She brought a razor sharp — albeit often gallows — sense of humor that would evoke riotous laughter from those around her. To her friends (of which there are many), she was fun to be with in the good times and a reliable supporter in the bad times. She always brought goodness to the world. She was not only an advocate for the indigent but a great ally of local businesses, often hosting events to help them succeed. She volunteered many hours to help her local humane society and Friends of the Library. She volunteered at the Phoenix Library’s gift shop and often would be found shopping at local thrift shops. She loved her dog Kitsuni and kitty Shinobi and her past kitties Kurio and Kyo.

She was preceded in death by her father and is survived by her younger sister, Maureen, and her mother.

Celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, at Heritage Thunderbird Funeral Home.

Donations may be made to a local humane society in her honor.

Heritage Casa Grande Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

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