Obituaries

Mona G. (Marcum) Gaut

Mona G. (Marcum) Gaut, 71, of La Porte, IN, passed away on Monday, July 19, 2021 at Northwest Health - La Porte, surrounded by her loved ones.

 

Mona was born on July 6, 1950, the daughter of Albert Marcum, Jr. and Rena (Keith) Marcum-Johnson.  Rena survives.

 

She was preceded in death by her father, Albert Marcum, Jr.; son, Wilbur Gaut III; stepfather, Grant Johnson; and brother, Rodney Marcum.

 

A love story unmatched in history and worthy of a screenplay, on June 15, 1968, Mona married her best friend and soul mate, Wilbur Gaut, Jr., who survives.  Two halves of a whole, their union resulted in the greatest pride of Mona's life, her children and grandchildren.

 

Mona is survived by her daughters, Shannon (Rick) Penrod and Samantha (Dennis) Mahlka; and 7 grandchildren, Mara Harris, Alrena Harris, Riley Tuerff, Brelynn Harris, Warren Anderson, Ricky Penrod, and Emerick Mahlka.  She will be remembered in her grandchildren's hearts as making the best homemade mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, and cookies and cream milkshakes.  Always a fair and loving Mamaw, our close-knit family will never be the same.

 

The backbone of the family and perpetual party planner, she's always been so much more than an older sister to her siblings.  She is mourned as a mother to all.  Surviving brothers and sisters are Donald (Sandy) Marcum, Vickie (John) Kupres, Les (Emma) Marcum, and Tommy (Vicki) Johnson.  The loss of  Mona is equally felt by her countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

 

Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte. 

 

A Celebration of Life Memorial Gathering will be held from 2 - 6 p.m. (CST) on August 29, 2021 at Pine Grove Banquet Hall, 4293 US 35, La Porte, IN 46350.  Family and friends are welcome to attend to celebrate the life of Mona.

 

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family c/o Wilbur Gaut, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN 46350 or to the donor's choice.

 

Condolences may be shared online at www.cutlercares.com

Helen Louise (Jenny) Meece

Helen Louise (Jenny) Meece passed away peacefully on July 20, 2021, at the age of 81, in Michigan City, IN.

 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. The Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, Michigan City, IN handled arrangements.

 

To sign a guest book and leave condolences online visit our website a

www.otthaverstock.com.

Gerald F. "Jerry"  Neulieb

Gerald F. "Jerry"  Neulieb, 83, Michigan City, Indiana, passed away Sunday, July 18, 2021 at 7:34 pm in his home.

 

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, July 31, 2021 at Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, IN with  Rev. Walter Ciesla officiating. Private entombment will take place in Swan Lake Memorial Gardens.  Visitation will be from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Friday and from 9:00 am - 10:00 am Saturday at the Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel.

 

Contributions may be made to St. Jude's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105.

 

To sign a guest book and leave condolences online visit our website at www.otthaverstock.com.

Marjory Barnhart

Marjory Barnhart, 91, of La Porte, passed away on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at Memorial Hospital of South Bend.

 

Marjory was born on July 26, 1929 in La Porte, IN, to Walter and Fern Eva (Wilson) Euler.

 

On June 13, 1948 in LaPorte, IN, she married Ronald Holt Barnhart, who preceded her in death on December 27, 2006.  Surviving Marjory are her children, Melanie (Mike) Dicken of Christianburg, VA, Marilee (Randy) Parmley of La Porte, John H. Barnhart of Savannah, GA, Ronald W. Barnhart of New Carlisle, James (Alicia) Barnhart of La Porte, and David R. (Paula) Barnhart of New Carlisle; 13 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; 1 great, great-grandchild; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and other loving family members.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents; granddaughter Crystal Parmley; two sisters, Marilyn Schlutt and Barbara Hagenow, and three brothers, Wayne Euler, Norm Euler, and toddler Walter Euler.

 

Marjory previously worked at American Home Foods for many years.  She was later a homemaker.  Marjory enjoyed softball and swimming, which she enjoyed for over 30 years at the YMCA. She found great joy in completing jigsaw puzzles.

 

Marjory was a volunteer at the St. John's Thrift Shop and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  She also was active in the VFW and American Legion Auxiliaries.

 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Rev. Ronald Brauer officiating.  Burial will follow at Patton Cemetery.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday at the funeral home. 

 

Memorial donations may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church, 111 Kingsbury Ave., La Porte, IN 46350.

 

Condolences may be shared with the family on www.cutlercares.com.

 

Pastor Ronald "Ron" Lee Devenport

Pastor Ronald "Ron" Lee Devenport, 73, of Walkerton, peacefully passed away, surrounded by his family, on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at his home.

 

Ron was born on November 19, 1947 in Cape Girardeau, MO, to William and Bonnie Rose (Tallent) Devenport.

 

On November 28, 1970 in Troy, OH, he married Rebecca  Lynn Wiltheiss, who survives.  Also surviving are his children, Rachel (Alex) Kouris of Marengo, IL, Rhonda (Brian) Gamlin of Geneva, IL, Ryan (Stacy) Devenport of Franklin, IN, and Randon (Carmen) Devenport of Crown Point, IN; 14 grandchildren; siblings, Sharon Monroe of Fairbury, IL, William Devenport of Makanda, IL, and Randy Devenport of Peidmont, MO; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

 

He was preceded by his parents; sister, Patricia Devenport; and grandson, Staten Devenport.

 

For 39 years, Ron was the Pastor at Mill Creek Baptist Church.  He also was a Lincoln Township Volunteer Firefighter and the Chaplain for the IN Volunteer Firefighters Association.  Ron was a member of the Mill Creek Lions Club.

 

Ron enjoyed fishing and woodworking, but mostly interacting and loving on people.

 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 26, 2021 at Mill Creek Baptist Church with David Peery officiating.  Cremation will follow the service, with burial at Oak Grove at a later date.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 3 - 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 25, 2021 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center and from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday at the church. 

 

Memorial donations may be made to Mill Creek Baptist Church, 8762 E. 200 S., Mill Creek, IN 46365.

 

Condolences may be shared with the family on www.cutlercares.com.

Clint Allen Jones

Clint Allen Jones, 38, of La Porte, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, July 21, 2021 in his home.

 

He was born December 15, 1982, in La Porte, Indiana, to Terry L. and Mary Lynn (Gilmore) Jones.

 

Clint worked for American Renolit for 14 years. He was a Harley motorcycle enthusiast, owning his own Harley. Clint was a funny and honest person who enjoyed riding his Harley. He was very protective over his family and would give his shirt off his back for anyone. Clint was considered the life of the party.

 

Surviving are his parents, Terry Jones and Mary Robertson both of La Porte; five children, Cayla (Grant) Miller of La Porte, Bryttanie Keen-Ketchum of Michigan City and Jonah, Quinn and Jace Jongkind-Jones all of La Porte; two siblings, Lisa (Joel) Galvas of La Porte and Heidi (Stephen) Spring of Dallas, Georgia; five grandchildren, Henley, Vivian, Elouise and Adaline Miller and Malakai Keen-Ketchum; and best friends, Steve and Angel Cervi of North Liberty.

 

Preceding in death were his paternal grandparents, Gary and June Jones; maternal grandparents, Jack Gilmore and Alvera Linter; and one uncle, Brian Gilmore.

 

A funeral celebrating his life will be held at 5 p.m., Monday, July 26, 2021 at Lakeview Funeral Home & Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte, (219) 362-3100 with Pastor JoEllyn Chadwick officiating. Visitation and viewing will be held from 2 p.m. until time-of-service Monday at the funeral home.

 

Please send condolences to the family at www.LakeviewFHC.com.

 

Carol K. Strauss

Carol K. Strauss, 88, of La Porte, peacefully passed away on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at Northwest Health - La Porte.

 

Carol was born on December 16, 1932 in LaPorte, IN, to Arthur J. and Lois (Wilken) Meier.

 

On June 21, 1957, Carol married Frank Wark, who preceded her in death on October 17, 1959.  Later, on March 17, 1962 in La Porte, IN, she married Gilderoy  "Gil" G., who survives.  Also surviving are her brother-in-law, Joe Martin of La Porte; sister-in-law, Martha Strauss of Phoenix, AZ; and multiple beloved nieces and nephews, including special nieces, Brenda (Jeff) Adkins of Rolling Prairie and Terresa (Scott) Draves of La Porte.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Frank Wark; young son, Frank Wark, III; sister, Judith Martin; brother-in-law, William Strauss; and nephew, Brent Martin.

 

Carol performed clerical work for 37 years at Indiana Abstract & Title Co.  She retired in 1997.  Carol was a member of  St. John's Lutheran Church and willing servant, who worked at St. John's Thrift Shop.  She was also a faithful mentor at the Handley Elementary School HOSTS program.

 

Carol loved the Lord and her beloved husband, family, and friends.  She was a Notre Dame fan and enjoyed watching John Wayne  movies.

 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Pastor Ron Brauer officiating.  Cremation to follow the service, with burial at Pine Lake Cemetery at a later date.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center. 

 

Memorial donations may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church, 111 Kingsbury Ave., La Porte, IN, 46350.

 

Condolences may be shared with the family on www.cutlercares.com.

 

Richard D. Hochstetler

Richard D. Hochstetler, 70, of Michigan City, passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at Franciscan Health Michigan City.

He was born October 9, 1950, in Goshen, IN, to William and Mary (Whorton) Hochstetler.

Richard designed wiring harnesses before retirement and previously attended Full Gospel Church Of Deliverance, Michigan City.  He was an excellent bowler and loved traveling.  Richard sailed on some memorable vacation cruises to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas.  He also enjoyed dancing. Richard took Ballroom and Salsa dance classes with his wife, Mary.  And they enjoyed country line couples dancing at the Eagles Dance Hall, Vegetable Buddies, and the Skwiat Post.  Richard will be dearly missed and remembered as a good person and a wonderful husband.

In January 2019, in Las Vegas, NV, he married Manuela “Mary” LeCoure Hochstetler, who survives.

Also surviving are four children, Larisa (Tom) Collins of Sacramento, CA, Brian Hochstetler, Tyler (Heather) Hochstetler, and Adrea Hochstetler all of Tucson, AZ; two sisters, Becky (Charlie) Keller of South Dakota and Rhonda (Steve) Herr of Goshen; five grandchildren, Mercedes (Joe) McMullen, Envy LeCoure, Tom Collins, Andy Collins and Sean Collins; and his good friends, Kent Schreck and Ed Erickson.

Preceding in death were his parents.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, July 23, 2021 at Lakeview Funeral Home and Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte (219) 362-3100 with Pastor Dennis Pickens officiating.  Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of service on Friday. 

Please send condolences to the family at www.LakeviewFHC.com.

Spc. Lucas Mannon Poeh

Spc. Lucas Mannon Poehl, U.S. Army, 21, LaPorte, IN, passed away Saturday, July 17, 2021 in LaPorte, IN.

 

Private services will be conducted. Burial will take place in Union Christian Cemetery, Veedersburg, IN. The Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, Michigan City, IN is handling arrangements.

 

Contributions may be made to Hope For the Warriors, 3215 Henderson Dr., Jacksonville, NC 28546 or to the Gary Sinise Foundation, P.O. Box 368, Woodland Hills, CA 91365.

 

To sign a guest book and leave condolences online visit our website at www.otthaverstock.com

Vincent Scott Peckham (Services Updated)

Vincent Scott Peckham, 29, or known to many as Demonicronic, passed away unexpectedly on July 19, 2021 at his home.

Vince was a 2011 La Porte High School graduate and excelled in business and music. Vince was born playing the drums, started playing the guitar at age 14, and at 15 he was writing his own lyrics. At 18, Vince perfected deathcore vocals and he began rapping, producing, engineering, video creation, and becoming what would now be his legacy, Demonicronic. He was a Black Belt in Taekwondo.

Vince had an infectious smile and a huge heart and we appreciated his existence greatly.

He was preceded in death by his father, Timothy S. Peckham and mother, Paula J. Jacobs.

Vince is survived by his stepfather, Jim Jacobs of La Porte; sisters, Katina (Tim) Lorence of La Porte, and, Misty (Eric) Dotson of La Porte; a niece, Katana Lorence of La Porte, and two nephews, Caden Allen and Owen Dotson both of La Porte.

A Celebration of Life will be from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, at  Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, 1117 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, Indiana.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family c/o Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel.

Please share prayers, condolences, and memories with the family at EsslingFuneralHome.com.

Douglas Edwin Fredenburg

Douglas Edwin Fredenburg, 77, of La Porte, passed away peacefully at 3:30 a.m., Sunday, July 18, 2021 in his home.

 

He was born January 15, 1944, in Michigan City, Indiana, to Gaylord and Olga (Kalk) Fredenburg.

 

Doug held his pilot’s license and formerly flew planes for recreation. He had a very good sense of humor and cared about people. Doug was an avid Green Bay Packers fan.

 

Surviving are his life partner of nine years, Barbara Weller; one son, Matthew Fredenburg of Michigan City; siblings, Rodney (Mary) Fredenburg of South Bend, Dennis (Sue) Fredenburg of Sarasota, FL, Lorrie Besemer of South Bend, Randy (Susan) Fredenburg of Mt Vernon , Ohio and Thomas (Chris) Frendenburg of La Porte; and two grandchildren, Rachel and Luke Fredenburg of Chesterton.

 

Preceding in death were his parents; and four siblings, Virgil (Vera) Fredenburg, Barbara (Dan) Rastemis, Donald (Florence) Fredenburg and Nadine (Bob) Bauers; and brother-in-law, Jim Besemer.

 

Viewing and visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Lakeview Funeral Home & Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte, (219) 362-3100. Per family’s request, there will be no service. Cremation will take place following visitation.

 

Please send condolences to the family at www.LakeviewFHC.com.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the American Heart Association, 300 S Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL 60606 and/or American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Dr., Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601 in memory of Douglas Edwin Fredenburg.

 

Casimir John Baczkiewicz

Casimir John Baczkiewicz, 92, of La Porte, Indiana passed away Tuesday, July 20, 2021. He was born on December 7, 1928, to Walter and Jadwiga (Winnicki) Baczkiewicz.

Casimir was employed with the La Porte School Corporation. He was a member of Holy Family Parish, St. Joseph Church in La Porte, where he was an Usher. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Cas enjoyed fishing and playing pinochle in his retirement years. He absolutely loved making others laugh whenever the opportunity presented itself.

On April 28, 1956, Casimir married Irene Ziarnek who preceded him in death on March 3, 2010. Casimir is survived by his children, Cynthia Baczkiewicz Dye of Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, Casimir Baczkiewicz Jr., of Indianapolis, Judith (James) Kmiec of La Porte, Susan (William) Kunisch of Prescott Valley, Arizona, Trish (Chris) Kosakowski of Michigan City; grandchildren, Jeremiah (Elizabeth) Dye, Rebecca, Rachel and Danielle Kmiec, Madison Kunisch; step-grandchildren, Seth and Sam (Danielle) Kosakowski; and great-grandchildren, Eden, Zoe, Ezra, Ana and, Noah Dye. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings, Stephanie Lindorf, Wanda Macalka, William Baczkiewicz, and Steven W. Baczkiewicz.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, July 23, 2021, at Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, 1117 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, Indiana, where a Parish Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, at Holy Family Parish, St. Joseph Church, 109 C. Street, La Porte, Indiana. Reverend Nate Edquist will officiate. Burial will follow at Pine Lake Cemetery. Family and friends may gather at 9 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home prior to the Mass.

Memorial contributions may be made to the VFW, 181 McClung Road, La Porte, Indiana 46350 or to the donor’s choice.

Please share prayers, condolences, and memories with the family at EsslingFuneralHome.com. 

William F. Lange Jr.(Services Update)

William F. Lange Jr., 79, of Islamorada, Florida and La Porte, Indiana passed away on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

 

Bill was born on April 15, 1942 in Gary, Indiana to the late William F. Lange Sr. and Edith Edwards.

 

On June 12, 1971, Bill married Dorcie Dews, with whom he celebrated fifty years of marriage. Dorcie survives, along with their daughters: Kristen (Scott) Armstrong of Charlotte, North Carolina, Melissa (Michael) Boyle of Park City, Utah and Megan (Aaron) Johnson of Ann Arbor, Michigan; grandchildren, Lange, Grace and Samuel Armstrong, Finn, Brady and Neala Boyle, Theodore and Louise Johnson; a sister, Linda (Richard) Armstrong of Bristol, Indiana. He also leaves behind his beloved nieces and nephew and a community of friends for whom he served. Bill was preceded in death by siblings, Joan McCullough and Jim Lange.

 

He graduated from La Porte High School with the class of 1960 and from Purdue University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering. He was a member of The American Foundry Society, past president of the Ductile Iron Society and a lifelong member of St. John's Lutheran Church in LaPorte. He was inducted into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame in 2014, only because he gave the ball to Utch.

 

Bill was president of Teledyne Casting Service and plant manager at Kingsbury Casting.

He was a fair, loyal, amusing, and amused man. He showed up if it was important or not, and loved his four girls — all of whom he considered his greatest accomplishment. It's time to go, girls. 

 

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 30, 2021, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in La Porte.

 

Arrangements have been entrusted to Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel in La Porte.

Memorial contributions may be made to: St. John’s Lutheran School, 111 Kingsbury Ave, La Porte, Indiana 46350 or The Luther Village Fund 560 Arlington Street Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 1Z5.

 

Please share prayers, condolences, and memories with the family at EsslingFuneralHome.com.

Phillip D. Strakowski

Phillip D. Strakowski, 38, LaPorte, IN, passed away Saturday, July 17, 2021 at in Mclaren Macomb Hospital, Mt. Clemens, MI.

 

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church, 606 S. Woodland Ave., Michigan City, IN with  Rev. David Kime officiating. Burial will follow in Springville Cemetery, LaPorte, IN.  Visitation will be from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Friday at the Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, IN and from 10:00 am - 11:00 am Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Queen of All Saints Legacy Center.

 

Contributions may be made to Share Foundation for the Handicapped, P.O.Box 400, Rolling Prairie, IN 46371.

 

To sign a guest book and leave condolences online visit our website at www.otthaverstock.com.

Granville "Jerry" Gardner

Granville “Jerry” Gardner, a devoted father and La Porte businessman, died peacefully at his daughter’s home Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 10 p.m. at the age of 86.  He lived with his daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Dr. Ron Richmond, for the past 5 years in Mission Viejo, CA due to health challenges.

Jerry is survived by his daughter, Lisa (Ron) Richmond; grandchildren, Andrew Richmond and Evelyn (Christian) Bolanos; siblings, Roger Gardner, Terry (Susan) Gardner, and Ann Vessels; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Jerry was born on July 22, 1934 in Dixon, Kentucky to William Frank Gardner and Bessie (Owens) Gardner.  He grew up on a farm, one of 10 children, where he learned the value of hard work and determination which served him well through life.  Jerry served in the US Air Force and was a flight mechanic/engineer in North Africa.  He then attended college at Indiana University and was an officer at Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Jerry moved to La Porte, Indiana when he began work for the Horace Mann Insurance Company, selling insurance and financial planning to teachers.  He became the top salesman in Indiana.  Jerry met Joyce Goeltzenleuchter while she was working for La Porte Savings Bank. She won his heart and they were married not long after. They had one child, Lisa, in 1963. Though they split up in 1974, they remained close friends for a lifetime. He enjoyed Pine Lake’s beauty and the surrounding nature at his home on Nilewood Drive.

 

Jerry began to invest in rental properties because of Joyce’s encouragement. He bought homes and turned them into apartments in many areas of La Porte. This later became his primary business. Jerry and Joyce began Gardner Insurance Agency which was seated next to City Hall.  Later, Jerry purchased Fox Village apartments from the original owner.  He got inspired to design and build 2 additional multi-unit luxury apartment buildings at Fox Village in the 1980’s. Jerry obtained his broker’s license and became an avid investor in the stock market also. He was a strong-willed man with an entrepreneurial spirit and this served him well in life.  Jerry got a taste of Hollywood as an extra in an award-winning short film based on the poem “The Touch of the Master’s Hand”.

 

When Jerry moved to California this past decade, he became more focused on family and God and was baptized April 3, 2013.  Thus, in his final years, he had very close friends from church and made remarkable changes in his character and lived a godly life.  He became more at peace, more grateful for even small blessings, more expressive of his appreciation, and more content. He let people in his life know how much he loved them and was filled with “thank you’s”.  He smiled more than ever, even during health challenges.  People who knew him were amazed at his determination to make it to church and fellowship even in a wheelchair every week possible.  His personal changes in these later years were the things that impressed his family and friends most, his humility, forgiveness, and the kindnesses he showed others because of his faith.

He loved and was devoted to his 10 siblings and their families and his grandchildren. Jerry loved to pass on his knowledge of business, investing, and health tips to his family.  He was known to be a generous man helping many friends and family members over the years.  He loved his grandchildren and cheered them on enthusiastically in performances, plays, choir, academic awards, and their many sports all through their youth.

Though Jerry loved to work hard, he enjoyed traveling especially to London with his ancestry showing him to be 89% English.  He loved Florida beaches, Disney World with his daughter, Evansville, Kentucky, Europe and California.  He also had an appreciation for the finer things such as antiques, art, collectibles and the theatre (Phantom of the Opera, a favorite).  But God and family were his real treasures and all else paled in comparison.  He was a devoted dad who brought the family security, love and encouragement.

He has had so much love and support from his family members, church, and caregivers.  We want to thank the amazing people in his life and the devotion they have shown which brought great comfort and encouragement. Jerry was loved and will be greatly missed.

A Graveside Service with Full Military Honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 23, 2021 at Pine Lake Cemetery.  The family welcomes any friends or acquaintances who wish to join them.

Memorial donations may be made to Hope Worldwide at www.hopeww.org, a Christian non-profit organization that Jerry has supported along with his family doing mission trips to many countries over the past 15 years.

 

Condolences may be shared with the family at www.cutlercares.com.

Irene Dorothy Pataluch

Irene Dorothy Pataluch, 95, of LaPorte, passed away peacefully at 11:38 p.m., Friday, July 16, 2021. 

 

Irene was born on February 17, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois, to John and Julia (Kocaj) Koziol. 

 

In 1932, Irene’s family moved from Chicago to LaPorte County.  She graduated from Rolling Prairie High School.  On November 4, 1950, in St. Joseph Church, LaPorte, Irene married Casimer “C.J.” Pataluch.  He preceded Irene in death on April 11, 1997.  Irene worked as a bookkeeper/secretary for several LaPorte businesses.   In 1990, Irene retired from the LaPorte Community School Corporation after seventeen (17) years of service.  Irene enjoyed travelling, gardening, crafts and playing cards.   

 

Irene is survived by her four children, Christine Pittman of South Bend, Sandra Pataluch of Hilton Head, SC, Mark (Kay) Pataluch of Rolling Prairie, and Kathleen Pataluch of Indianapolis; two grandchildren, Nick (Jenny) Pittman and Jon Pittman; two great-grandchildren, one sister-in-law, Lola Pataluch; and nieces and nephews. 

 

Irene was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Genevieve; and one brother, Ted. 

 

A Prayer Service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, July 22, 2021 at Lakeview Funeral Home and Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Road, LaPorte with Rev. Nate Edquist officiating.  Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until time of service on Thursday at the funeral home.  Burial will immediately follow services at Pine Lake Cemetery, LaPorte.  

 

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.LakeviewFHC.com.

 

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.    

 

 

 

Robert "Bob" Ernest East

Robert “Bob” Ernest East, 78, of Michigan City, passed away due to complications with Covid-19 at 7:52 am, Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10:00 am Friday, July 23,

2021 at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church, 606 S. Woodland Avenue, Michigan City, IN. Burial will follow in St. Stanislaus Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5:00 pm -7:00 pm Thursday at the Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, IN and from 9:00 am - 10:00 am  Friday in the Legacy Center of Queen of All Saints Catholic Church. The American Legion Skwiat Post 451 will conduct a memorial service at 6:00 pm Thursday in the funeral chapel and full military honors Friday at the cemetery.

 

Contributions may be made to the American Legion Skwiat Post 451, 121 Skwiat Legion Ave., Michigan City, IN 46360.

 

To sign a guest book and leave condolences online visit our website at www.otthaverstock.com.

Patricia "Patty" Lynn Wiltfong (Services update)

Patricia "Patty" Lynn Wiltfong, 68, of La Porte, passed away on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at her home, surrounded by family.

 

Patty was born on July 31, 1952 in La Porte, IN, to Henry Herman and Kathleen Loraine (Cowgill) Schrier.

 

On August 7, 1971 in La Porte, IN, she married Wendell Wiltfong, who survives.  Also surviving are her children, Mary Higgins of New Carlisle, Michael (Jenni) Wiltfong of La Porte, and Matthew (Lisa) Wiltfong of La Porte; 9 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters; 1 special fur baby; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents and 5 brothers, Donald "Donnie" E. Schrier, Charlie Schrier, Robert "Bobby" Schrier, Henry Herman Schrier, Jr., and Ronald "Ronnie" Schrier.

 

Patty was a machine operator for many years at St. Andrews Products.  She enjoyed sewing and knitting.  Patty also enjoyed visiting garage sales.  Her greatest joy was spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

 

A Celebration of Life Gathering and Meal will be held from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at Kesling Park Shelter #2, 2150 A St., La Porte, IN.

 

Memorial donations may be made to The NewDay Foundation, P.O. Box 13, La Porte, IN 46352-0013.

 

Condolences may be shared with the family on www.cutlercares.com.

Harold Lewis Gray

Harold Lewis Gray, 78, of Hamlet, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, July 10, 2021.

 

Harold was born on April 1, 1943 in Port Huron, MI, to Harold and Martha (Prath) Gray.

 

On September 12, 1977, he married Rose Marie Johnson who survives.  Also surviving are his daughter, Tina of Ohio; 2 brothers, Jimmie and Louis Gray; and sister, Rose (Wayne) of Texas; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

 

He was preceded in death by his parents.

 

Harold worked as a custodian for Ford Motor Company, retiring with them after 30 faithful years of service.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing. Harold was a United States Veteran.

 

A Celebration of Life Service with Full Military Honors will be held at 12 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Pastor Chris Tomei officiating.  Burial will take place at a later day at Christian Memorial Cultural Center in Rochester, Michigan.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday at the funeral home.

 

Memorial donations may be made to The Door Church, 905 W. 22nd Street, La Porte, IN  46350.

 

Condolences may be shared with the family on www.cutlercares.com.

Betty Louise Shunk

Betty Louise Shunk, 100, of Chandler, AZ, passed away on Monday, July 5, 2021 at Parkland Memory Care. 

 

Betty was born on December 26, 1920 in La Porte, IN, to Roy S. and Mabel C. (Magnuson) McGuigan.

 

On November 24, 1939, she married Floyd O. Shunk who preceded her in death on May 19, 1985. 

 

Betty was an only child with no children, but surviving Betty are 4 generations of nieces and nephews.


Betty was a bookkeeper for many years at S.S. Kresge. She enjoyed going to church, attending family gatherings, and supporting generations of nieces and nephews at youth sports games and recitals. When her brother-in-law, Frank Shunk, lost his wife, he and Betty became companions for 16 years living in La Porte in the summer and Arizona in the winter near Frank's son Dan, daughter-in-law Gail, and their 5 children, spouses and 10 grandchildren. Betty enjoyed being in Arizona, enjoying T-ball games, soccer games, one ice hockey game, countless recitals and many birthdays. She got her first passport to visit Dan and Gail when they lived in Ireland in 2003. In 2010, Betty moved permanently to Arizona, continuing her love of supporting the next generation of kids in their activities.


We will miss the Bingo queen, her smiling face, and our surrogate grandma.


A Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021 at the Door Village Cemetery with Pastor Sam Polito officiating.


Memorial donations may be made to the Floyd O. and Betty L. Shunk Scholarship at Unity Foundation of La Porte County, 422 Franklin Street, Suite C, Michigan City, IN  46360.

 

Condolences may be shared with the family online at www.cutlercares.com

Neal Swanson

Neal Swanson, 76, of La Porte, passed away peacefully at 2:03 p.m., Saturday, July 10, 2021 at Miller’s Health and Rehab, La Porte.

 

He was born January 17, 1945, in La Porte, Indiana, to Clifford Swanson Sr. and Margaret (Novreske) Swanson.

 

Neal graduated from La Porte High School in 1963. He then earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting in 1968 from Tri State University, Angola. Neal was a chess coach for La Porte Schools for more than 10 years. He was a Business Manager for La Porte Community School Corp. for over 30 years. He was a percussionist for the City Band and La Porte Symphony. Neal was also a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, La Porte. He handmade fireworks including his invention of the Lampare. Neal was an annual attendee for Pyrotechnics Guild International Convention and he was a longtime member of PGI. He was also one of the founding members of the Heartland Pyrotechnics Association.

 

Surviving are his two sons, Warren (Hannah) Swanson of Federal Way, WA and Ben (Rachel) Swanson of Brookline, MA; three siblings, Linda (John) Erickson of La Porte, Kenny (Debbie) Swanson of Banning, CA and Sharon Buerger of Tucson, AZ; two grandchildren, Nathalie Swanson (Age 8) and Cecilia Swanson (Age 7); and numerous nieces and nephews.

 

Preceding in death were his parents; two brothers, Randall Swanson and Clifford J. Swanson Jr.; and former wife, Kay Swanson.

 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12 Noon, Saturday, July 17, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 109 C St., La Porte, with Father Nate Edquist officiating.

Visitation and viewing will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, July 16, 2021 at Lakeview Funeral Home & Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte, (219) 362-3100. Burial will follow the service at St. Joseph Cemetery, La Porte.

 

Please send condolences to the family at www.LakeviewFHC.com.

Teresa Villano

Teresa Villano, 35, of Westville, Indiana passed away June 16, 2021, missing from a North Carolina River accident that killed six people has been found, weeks after a family rode inflatable tubes over a relatively small but dangerous Duke Energy dam.

 

She was born on February 2, 1986, in St. Lucie, Florida to the late Jose Ruben Morales and Debi Villano of La Porte, Indiana.

 

Teresa is survived by her children, Lorenzo Antonio Roman, Natalie Ariel Roman, and Ruben Sebastian Roman; siblings, Angelica Villano, Ruben Villano, David Villano, Jr., Alfredo Jason Villano, Jessica Irish, and Pancho Teodora. Her partner, Antonio Len Roman and baby boy, Jesus Antonio Roman, that was due in three months died in the accident.   

 

Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, 1117 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, Indiana. A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Pine Lake Cemetery. Pastor Bob Vale will officiate.

 

Please share prayers, condolences, and memories with the family at EsslingFuneralHome.com.

 

Donald S. Smales

Donald S. Smales, 69, Michigan City, Indiana, passed away Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 6:15 am in his home.

 

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am, Thursday, July 15, 2021 at Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, IN with  Pastor Dennis Pickens officiating. Private burial will take place in Rose Hill Cemetery, Berrien Springs, MI. Visitation will be from 10:00 am - 11:00 am, Thursday at the Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel.

 

Contributions may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

 

To sign a guest book and leave condolences online visit our website at www.otthaverstock.com.

Carol Jean Dinger (Services Update)

Carol Jean Dinger, 65, of La Porte, Indiana passed away Saturday, July 3, 2021.

 

She was born on October 13, 1955, in La Porte to the late John Graczyk and Virginia Jablonski. She was employed with Howmet as an x-ray technician and had worked as a groundskeeper for Georgia State Parks.

 

Carol is survived by her husband, Danny Dinger; sons, Toby Kraus of La Porte, Bruce Wakeman of Mill Creek, Bryan Wakeman of Georgia; a grandson, Benjamin Wakeman; a sister, Bernice Smith (Gerald) of La Porte; and her beloved dog, Captain. She was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Graczyk.

 

Carol was a member of the PNA in La Porte, the La Porte Bowling Association where she was in the Hall of Fame. She loved bowling, fishing, and camping.

 

A Celebration of Life service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021, at the PNA by Clear Lake.

 

Arrangements have been entrusted to, Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel in La Porte.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the La Porte County Animal Shelter, 2855 Indiana-2, La Porte, Indiana 46350.

 

Please share prayers, condolences, and memories with the family at EsslingFuneralHome.com.

Virginia Lee Plonka

Virginia Lee Plonka, 86, of La Porte, passed away peacefully at 7:45 p.m., Thursday, July 8, 2021 in her home.

 

She was born January 31, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, to Alfred and Marie (Drews) Holston.

 

Virginia graduated at the age of 59 from Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, IL with an Associate’s in Psychology. She was formerly a caseworker for Swanson Center, Michigan City. Virginia eventually retired from Fred Meyers Jewelers, Michigan City. She was a breast cancer survivor who was considered a fun whacky lady. Virginia enjoyed gardening, cats and feeding birds at her home.

 

Surviving are her three children, Chris (Lana) Fine of La Porte, Fredrick “Steven” (Brenda) Fine of Sun City, Arizona and Russell Drews (Jamie) Fine of Romeoville, IL; her fourth son and nephew, Terry Allen Ritchie of Knox; eight grandchildren; and many great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

 

Preceding in death were her parents; husband, Geno Plonka; one sister, Toni Ritchie; and one brother, Roger Holston.

 

Cremation will take place. A private celebration of her life will be held at a family member’s home in the near future.

 

Lakeview Funeral Home & Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte, (219) 362-3100 is caring for the arrangements.

 

Please send condolences to the family at www.LakeviewFHC.com.

 

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Independent Cat Society, 4061 S. County Line Rd., Westville, Indiana, 46391 in memory of Virginia Lee Plonka.

 

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