Obituaries

John "Tom" McGing

John “Tom” McGing, 84, of La Porte, formerly of St. Paul, MN, passed away peacefully at 1:50 a.m., Friday, January 21, 2022 at Miller’s Health & Rehab, La Porte.

 

He was born November 16, 1937, in St. Paul, MN, to John T. McGing Sr. and Eleanor (Schmidt) McGing.

 

John graduated from Washington High School, St. Paul, MN and was a member of the Polish Falcons Nest 564, American Legion Post 83, and a former member of the Lions Club, La Porte, IN. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War. John previously was the owner of Wash King, La Porte. He was a current member of the First United Methodist Church. He loved to garden and grow unusual flowers and made things that made life easier and never sold any of them.

 

On December 4, 2007, in La Porte, Indiana, he married Beverly A. (Eyler) McGing, who survives.

 

Also surviving are his two children, Stephanie Brown of Raleigh, NC, and Jeffery (Kim) Eide of Roberts, MN; one brother, Terry (Patty) McGing of Maplewood, MN; three step sons, Phillip (Terry) Buckmaster of Walkerton, IN, Michael (Melody) Buckmaster of La Porte, IN, and Keith (Tracy) Buckmaster of Elkhart, IN; and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

 

Preceding in death were his parents; and one sister, Sheila.

 

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, January 27, 2022 at La Porte First United Methodist Church, 1225 Michigan Ave., La Porte, Indiana 46350 with Pastor Bob Vale officiating. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until time of service Thursday at the church. 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 wife, Beverly McGing.

Leon  Little, Jr.

Leon  Little, Jr., 65, of La Porte, passed away on Thursday, January 20, 2022 at Northwest Health - La Porte.

 

Leon was born on April 9, 1956 in Gary, IN, to Leon and Shirley (Williams) Little.

 

On September 15, 2012 in La Porte County, he married Kelley Henderson who survives.  Also surviving are his children, Danyelle Artis of Las Vegas, NV, Le'Asia Marshall, De'Leon Little of Fayetteville, GA, Daniel Little of Fayetteville, GA, Tia Little of La Porte, and Kelleon Little of La Porte; 4 grandchildren, Cameron Artis, Nova "Dasia" Orisha, Mya Marshall, and Maliea Marshall; parents, Leon and Shirley Little; siblings, Tonya McGhee, Charles Little, Debbie Hayes, Pamela Duncan Rodgis, Beverly Rodgis, Angela Rodgis, and Linda Rodgis; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

 

He was preceded by his brother, Charles Little

 

Leon proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1980-1983.  During his service, Leon earned the M-16: Sharpshooter badge, Hand Grenade: Expert badge, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service ribbon.

 

Leon was a truck driver for over 30 years.    He loved to BBQ and spend time with his wife, Kelley, and his children.  Leon will be lovingly remembered as a great family man.

 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until the time of the service on Wednesday at the funeral home. 

 

Memorial donations may be made to honor Leon's children in c/o Kelley Little, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN  46350.

 

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

Carl Edwin MacKay Lintner

Carl Edwin MacKay Lintner, 78, of Kingsford Heights, passed away on Thursday, January 20, 2022 at his home, surrounded by his family.

 

Carl was born on May 12, 1943 in Jasper Co., IN, to Harry and Flossie Elsie (Poisel) Lintner.

 

On May 21, 2016 in La Porte, IN, he married Mary Lou Zollinger, who survives.  Also surviving are his children, Carla Jean Denny of Valparaiso and Carl Edwin Lintner of Wheatfield; granddaughter, Holly Parker; 3 great-grandchildren; sister, Julie Morgan of Knox; beloved dog, Jo Jo; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

 

He was preceded by his parents; daughter, Katherine; brothers, Harry, Cecil, Dale, and Alvin; and sisters, Catherine, Doris, Cory, and Violet.

 

Carl was a Machine Operator many years at Merit Steel.  He retired in 2016.  He was a member of the American Legion.

 

Carl enjoyed fishing, good movies, and, most importantly, he dearly loved his family.

 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

 

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

 

Memorial donations may be made to the family c/o Mary Lintner, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN  46350 or to the donor's choice.

 

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

James Martin Vandewalker

James Martin Vandewalker, August 31, 1940 - January 11, 2022, 81, of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, died January 11, 2022 in Rolling Prairie, IN. 

 

He was born August 31, 1940 in La Porte, IN, the son of John and Dorothy (Swarthout) Vandewalker.

 

James served in the United States Army and worked as a civilian airport mechanic.

 

Interment will take place in Rolling Prairie Cemetery at a later date.

 

Online condolences may be made at www.haverstockfuneralhome.com

Robert H.C. "Tiny" Smith

Robert H.C. “Tiny” Smith, 40, of La Porte, Indiana passed away Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

 

Tiny was born July 28, 1981, in La Porte, Indiana to the late Robert and Kathleen (Leahy) Smith. He is survived by a son, Mason Alexander Smith; siblings, Susie (Jim Ritter) Masterson of La Porte, Tom (Becky) Masterson of Rolling Prairie, Bill Smith of La Porte; a sister-in-law, Lily Masterson of Rolling Prairie; nieces and nephews, Ashley, Michael S., Brett, Nichole, Katie, and Michael R.; four great nephews; Mason’s mother, Stephanie Watkins; and his half-brothers, Brayden and Zane.

 

Tiny was an excellent Quality Technician with Haynes International/La Porte Custom Medal Processing. He began his career in September of 2014. He was a great human being, and his presence will be missed by all his co-workers. He enjoyed working out at the gym and attending the Arnold Classic with friends. He graduated from South Central High School in 2000.

 

A Celebration of Life will be held from 1-5p.m. Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the American Legion Post 295, 710 Water Street, Union Mills, Indiana46382.

 

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

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the family of Robert H.C. “Tiny” Smith, C/O Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, 1117 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, Indiana 46350.

 

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

Jack L. Dillard

Jack L. Dillard, 70, of La Porte, passed away peacefully at 7:10 p.m., Monday, January 17, 2022 in his home.

 

He was born March 31, 1951, in Pontiac, Michigan, to Bill and Ramona (May) Dillard.

Jack was a former owner of Wholesale Carpet, Kingsbury. Jack honorably served in the United States Army he was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He was a VFW member, Fish Lake.  Jack enjoyed horses, old cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles, football and also sponsored Little League for 18 years.  He dearly loved his granddaughters.

 

On January 26, 1991, he married Jennifer (Elliott) Dillard, who survives.

Surviving are his three children, Casey (Kolleen) Woods of La Porte, Cole (Alyssa) Woods of Fort Wayne, Kyle Dillard of Kingsbury; two stepchildren, Denise Morrison of La Porte, and Elliot Karbowski of Kentucky; one brother, Larry (Paula) Dillard of Kingsbury; one sister, Betty (David) Durham of Kingsbury; four grandchildren, Tinley, Remi, Savannah, and Scarlett; and uncle, Michael (May) Pulaski of Wisconsin.

 

Preceding in death were his parents; and two brothers, Gary and Billy Dillard.

 

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at Kingsbury Cemetery, with Pastor Bob Vale officiating. 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 Small Animal Shelter, 2855 IN-2, La Porte, IN 46350.

Randa M. Elder

Randa M. Elder, 35, passed away on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at her home.

 

Randa was born on March 1, 1986 in La Porte, IN, to Carl Elder and Mary Kay (Murphy) Long.

 

Surviving Randa are her sons, Stephen and Matthew; brothers, Joseph Elder of Fremont and Carl "Randall" Elder of La Porte; stepfather, Jerry Long of La Porte; as well as the beloved Cauffman, Stewart, Lawson and Ayres families.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents and grandmother, Birdie Elder.

 

Randa enjoyed playing video games and loved music.  Most importantly, Randa enjoyed hanging out with her friends.

 

Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte.  Graveside Services will be held at a later date.

 

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family c/o Carl "Randall" Elder, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN 46350.

 

Condolences may be shared online at www.cutlercares.com.

 

Harry M. Rinker

Harry M. Rinker, 75, of La Porte, passed away peacefully at 7:15 p.m., Monday, January 17, 2022 at Northwest Health, La Porte.

 

He was born August 22, 1946, in La Porte, Indiana, to Harry “Lee” and Dolores (Salisbury) Rinker.

 

Harry was a member of First Church of God, La Porte for the past five years and was a man of many talents working in various positions.  He was formerly employed with Whirlpool and was a car salesman for Rudd Oldsmobile, La Porte.  For over 30 years, Harry drove a charter bus and visited every state in the United States except for two. He also drove for the Notre Dame soccer team, football team, and glee club.  He coached a women’s national softball team, was a member of the Maple City Cadets Drum Corps. and Shriner’s.  Harry was a Master Mason and an Indiana University Basketball fanatic. He was a people person with a big heart who never met a stranger.  His family will dearly miss him and the delicious pancakes that he lovingly prepared for them. 

 

On May 8, 1982 in Union Mills, Indiana, he married Tammera (Smith) Rinker, who survives.

 

Also surviving are his six children, Shellie (Tom) Kermin of La Porte, Connie (Chuck) Noel of New Carlisle, Julie (Scott) McGinnis of Chesterton, Jennie Rinker of La Porte, Ryan (Trina) Rinker of Valparaiso, and Lynnsie (Andrew) Micetich of Rolling Prairie; one brother, Roger (Babs) Rinker of Kingsbury; thirteen grandchildren, Andrew (Erin) Kermin, Christopher (Melody) Kermin, Abbigale (Avery) Simpson, Kendall (Faith Fyffe) Noel, Tyler (Madi) Long, Nicholas Gragido, Nathan  Gragido, Natalie Micetich, Rachel Rinker, Ryan Rinker, Aubrie Micetich, Haylie Micetich, and Andrew Micetich; five great-grandchildren, Aiden Simpson, Elliott Kermin, Eleanor Long, Oliver Kermin, and Mia Kermin; mother-in-law, Shirlene Neukam of La Porte; two very best friends, Rich Capone and Scott Martinsen; and his beloved dog, Romeo.

Preceding in death were his parents, Harry “Lee” Rinker and Dolores Roscka; grandparents, Ida and Harry Lloyd Rinker; and great-grandchild, Jordyn Rinker.

 

A funeral service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, January 21, 2022 at First Church of God, 2020 E Lincolnway, La Porte. Visitation and viewing will be held from 4 - 8 p.m., Thursday, January 20, 2022 at Lakeview Funeral Home and Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte and from 10 a.m. until the time of service, Friday at the church. Cremation will take place following the service.

 

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

 

Memorial contributions may be directed to First Church of God, 2020 E. Lincolnway, La Porte, IN 46350, In loving memory of Harry M. Rinker.

Virginia "Ginny" Lee Dickson

Virginia"Ginny" Lee Dickson, August 21, 1947-January 17, 2022. 

 

Beloved Mom, Grandmother and Nana, Virginia "Ginny" Lee Dickson, 74, of La Porte, Indiana, passed away peacefully at home, Monday, January 17, 2022, surrounded by her daughters.

 

She was born August 21, 1947 in Robinson, Illinois, the daughter of Emerson and Mary (Mcintosh) Wilson.

 

Ginny moved to the area 70 years ago from Illinois. A homemaker, she also worked as a dispatcher for La Porte Transport, retiring after 30 years. Ginny attended Liberty Bible Church and was a lifetime member of the Polish Falcons Nest 564, both in La Porte. She was a league bowler at Thunderbird Lanes and really loved spending time with her precious grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 

Virginia is survived by two daughters, Tami and Stephen "Butch" Nedza of La Porte; Jennifer and Joe Layman of La Porte, IN; brother Tommy Wilson of Elkhart, IN; beloved companion, Jeffery Dailey of La Porte; grandchildren, Brianna Brown, Ryan Freese, Joshua Layman of La Porte; great-grandchildren, Gracelynn, David, Faith, and Pyper Brown of La Porte and two loving twins, Addison and Alexia Pantell of Union Mills, IN.

 

Virginia was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Kenneth K. Dickson, Jr.; sister Loretta Wilson; step-father Kasimir "Kasey" Ryznar and step-mother, Kay Wilson.  

 

Arrangements are being entrusted to Haverstock Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 602 Maple Ave., La Porte, IN where the family will receive friends Saturday, January 22, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. until service time at noon, with Pastor Joseph Kotulski, Liberty Bible Church,officiating. Interment will follow at the Salem Heights Cemetery, Salem Heights, Indiana.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Rush University Neuro Department for Huntington’s Disease, 1725 W. Harrison St, Ste 755, Chicago, IL 60612 or Liberty Bible Church, 608 Colfax Ave, La Porte, IN 46350

 

Online condolences may be made at www.haverstockfuneralhome.com.

Alexis "Lexy" Renee Piotrowicz

Alexis "Lexy" Renee Piotrowicz, 21, of Rolling Prairie, passed away on Saturday, January 15, 2022. 

 

Lexy was born in Merrillville, IN, on May 21, 2000, to Jody L. and Tanya M. (Lesniak) Piotrowicz. 

 

Surviving Lexy are her parents, Jody and Tanya Piotrowicz; brother, Justin (Loren) Piotrowicz; niece, Lennon; grandparents, Paul (Alice) Lesniak and Jody Piotrowicz, Sr.; uncles, George Lesniak and Chris (Jen) Lesniak; cousins, Anthony, Austin, and Ella Lesniak; great-aunt, Kathy Gosciniak; as well as the Lesniaks, Gosciniaks, Poluskys, and numerous other beloved family members.

 

She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Christine Piotrowicz; great-grandmother, Juanita Manriquez (aka Lucky Lady); and great-grandparents, Bob (Marge) Sullivan.

 

In her short life, Lexy knew she had a calling to help animals. She was surrounded by animals of all kinds. She loved riding horses, taking care of farm animals, and spending time with all of her dogs, as well as anyone else's. She was a 10 year 4-H Horse and Pony member. Special thanks to Dennis & Francine Jackson, for loving and supporting her through all 10 of those years. Her love for animals led her to be a Veterinary Technician at Oak Knoll Veterinary Clinic.

 

Lexy was a strong-willed woman; her perseverance was like no other. Not much could stop her in her tracks. Lexy loved spending time with her best friends, Chloe, Kaitlin, and her boyfriend, Hunter. She enjoyed hanging out with all her friends, kayaking, four-wheeling, singing karaoke, and playing video games in her spare time. Lexy loved taking naps and laying around the house with her mom and dad. She will be dearly missed by everyone. 

 

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

 

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. (CST) on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. (CST) until the time of the service on Saturday at the funeral home. 

 

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family c/o Tanya Piotrowicz, 2900 Monroe St., La Porte, IN  46350; to GracePoint Church Valparaiso, 2590 W. Morthland Dr., Valparaiso, IN 46385; or to the donor's choice.

 

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

Robert John Jurkowski

Robert John Jurkowski, 85, of Rolling Prairie, Indiana passed away Monday, January 17, 2022.

 

Robert was born on May 17, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois to the late Stanley and Mary (Szawica) Jurkowski.

 

On October 15, 1960, Robert married Charlotte Stayback who preceded him in death on July 25, 2004.

 

Robert was the head of the payroll department at AM General. He was previously with Allis-Chalmers where he was the very last employee with the company. He was a member of St. John Kanty Catholic Church, the Holy Name Society, the St. John Kanty Cemetery Board, and former Kankakee Township Trustee.

 

Robert is survived by three daughters, Teresa Stacy of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, Lisa Jurkowski of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, and Patricia Jurkowski of Rolling Prairie, Indiana; three sons, Anthony (Tammy) Jurkowski of Hamlet, Indiana, James (Debbie) Jurkowski of New Carlisle, Indiana, and John (Raelene) Jurkowski of Rolling Prairie, Indiana; 15 grandchildren, Jeremy Stacy, Jessica Stacy, Joshua Jurkowski, Broc Jurkowski, Cole Jurkowski, Lexie Jurkowski, Lexi Jurkowski, Courtney Jurkowski, Brandon Dickson, Brandy Garland, Scott Dickson, and Kandi Olling Jurkowski, Katlin Garis, Sammie Lestinsky, and Paige Lestinsky; many great-grandchildren; and a sister, Sister Rosemary Jurkowski PHJC, of Donaldson, Indiana. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; brothers, Bernie, Eddie, and Al Jurkowski; and son-in-law, Paul Stacy.

 

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

 

A private Mass of Christian Burial and burial at St. John Kanty Cemetery will take place.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to Paladin, 4315 E. Michigan Blvd, Michigan City, Indiana 46360.

 

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

George "Bill" W. Meyers, Jr (Updated)

George "Bill" W. Meyers, Jr., age 77, of Union Mills, passed away on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 in Decatur, Indiana.

 

Bill was born on October 24, 1944, in New Buffalo, MI, to George William and Esther (Marsh) Meyers.

 

On December 4, 1965 in La Porte, IN, he married Cheryl Denise Bunton who preceded him in death on August 10, 2021.  Surviving are his children, Matthew (Karol) Meyers of Dripping Springs, TX and Melanie (Sam) Beer of Decatur, IN; and 7 grandchildren, Kora, Kyler, Jax, and Jorie Meyers and Hannah, Becca, and Jordyn Beer.

 

He was preceded by his parents and wife.

 

Early in his career, Bill worked as a patternmaker at Conrad's, then farmed for approximately 30 years.  After farming, he become a professional truck driver, for roughly 20 years.

 

Bill had many notable passions and accomplishments, such as attending the very first Heston Steam Show.  While in high school, Bill held the county track meet record for the mile (4:38.2) for over a decade.  He was a fan of high school basketball, following both South Central and La Porte.

 

He had a passion for traveling, mostly in the continental 48 states but also Canada, Sweden, Italy, and the Congo.  Bill loved gardening and was known for winning sunflower exhibits at the La Porte County Fair.  He grew interesting flowers and vegetables, supplying seeds to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

 

Bill has a self-made mechanic, who could fix nearly anything mechanical.  He was an inventor of sorts.

 

He enjoyed  being part of the La Porte county community.  Bill was a member of the Union Mills Sesquicentennial committee and a parent leader for the Hanna-Noble Hustlers 4-H Club.  He was a wealth of knowledge on the history of La Porte county.

 

Of most importance, Bill was a Christ follower.  He pursued his love for Jesus at many churches over the years.  His church memberships included First Christian and First Baptist of La Porte, Countryside Christian Church of Michigan City, and Liberty Bible Church of Chesterton and La Porte.  For several years, Bill was a Gideon.

 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 21, 2022 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Pastor Dan Lute officiating.  Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 4 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 20, 2022 and on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home. 

 

Memorial donations may be made to the family c/o Melanie Beer, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN  46350 or to the donor's choice.

 

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

 

 

Barry J. Hoffman

Barry J. Hoffman, 72, Michigan City, Indiana, passed away Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 9:45 pm in Franciscan Health - Michigan City.

 

Private family services and burial will take place in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. The Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, Michigan City, IN is handling arrangements.

 

He was born February 3, 1949 in Michigan City, IN to the late John and Eleanore (Janosky) Hoffman. On April 4, 1970 in Michigan City, IN he married Virginia Sparrow who survives in Michigan City, IN.

 

Also surviving are two daughters, Jill (Jeremy) Chinn of New Carlisle, IN and Emily (Troy) Wile of Fredericksburg, VA; two sons, Eric (Stephanie) Hoffman of LaPorte, IN and Gregory (Tracy) Hoffman of Pineville, LA; eleven grandchildren, Kateyln, Austin, Ben, Hayleigh, Laiken, Aaron, Isaac, Eleanor, Tripp, Tucker and Evangeline; and his sister, Gloria Kopanski of Elkhart, IN.

 

He was also preceded in death by a daughter, Camille Hoffman; and sister, Sandra Wojasinski.

 

Barry retired as a relief operator at NIPSCO and was a U.S. Army Veteran of Vietnam.

 

Barry began his very common, adventurous, American life as, Hope-A-Long Cassidy and The Cisco Kid. Then, he became a cub scout and boy scout camping at Camp ToPeNeBee. He was an accurate snowball thrower which lead him to become a fast runner, to play flag football for the Riley Panthers. Barry went on to become an IC baseball player, then advancing to Isaac C. Elston Red Devil baseball team.

 

Barry then graduated from high school, then the draft called him. He served honorably during the Vietnam Conflict, being wounded twice, gaining two Purple Hearts. He became a VFW lifetime member. Getting hired at NIPSCO in 1970, becoming a Union man forever. Getting married, becoming a father and diaper changer. An active Coolspring baseball coach and umpire. A driver education teacher to his children. The father who couldn't wait to take kids to the movies, Dairy Queen, and hotdogs stands. A sponge brick thrower at the TV when Notre Dame football, I.U. basketball, and Cub games didn't go his way. He was the lawn mower, the golf player, the vacation driver for his parents, his in-laws and yearly family vacations.

 

He retired into a Harley motorcycle rider, graduating to a RV motor home driver. He then became a wonderful, caring, unforgettable laughing grandfather, slowly turning into a hospital customer. Fought Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, DISCITIS, Squamous Cell Cancer to become a masterful cane walker, and upgrading to a Zinger Rider. Lastly, succumbing to Bilateral Covid Pneumonia walking the stairway to the open gates to Heaven.

 

Barry's love for his family was enduring, he will be missed dearly.

 

Contributions may be made to St. Jude's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105, Shriner's Children's Hospital, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60607 or to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

David "Dave" John Schaefer

David "Dave" John Schaefer, 70, of Rolling Prairie, passed away on Friday, December 31, 2021 at Northwest Health - La Porte surrounded by his loving family. 

   

David was born in Michigan City, IN, on July 5, 1951 to Alfred "Al" and Barbara (Watson) Schaefer. 

 

On August 29, 1976 in Rolling Prairie, IN, he married Bette Watnick Diedrich who survives.  Also surviving are his daughter, Roseann Woolverton of Rolling Prairie; daughter of the heart, Tammie Buell of DeMotte; grandchildren, CJ Woolverton of  South Bend, and Riley and Aly Buell; sister-in-law, Deb (Mike) Harris of Rolling Prairie; brother-in-law, Joe (Jackie) Watnick of La Porte; several nieces and nephews; many special and loved friends; and his cat, Mittens.

 

He was preceded in death by his parents and in-laws, Joe and Marian Watnick.

 

Dave was involved in Cub and Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout on June 6, 1966.  For several summers, he worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor at Camp ToPeNeBee.  He graduated from Elston High School in 1969.  Dave owned The Bread Box bakery in Michigan City.  For 21 years, he and his wife owned CraftWorks, a craft supplies, rubber stamps, scrap booking and stencils business.  Together they set up and worked numerous festivals, shows, and the Shipshewana Market Place from May through October for 21 years selling their products before closing in 2007.  Dave worked as the Stereo Department Manager at Tri State Electric and was a Maintenance Supervisor at Rumely Apartments.  He was a member of Rolling Prairie United Methodist Church and the Rolling High AA Group.  Dave found volunteering at the RPUMC Community Food Pantry very fulfilling and enjoyed talking with the other volunteers and clients.

 

In his younger years, Dave enjoyed outdoor activities especially camping, canoeing, and river rafting.  He went on many trips with his friends.  Dave passed his love of these things onto his daughter, Roseann.  He enjoyed numerous activities including:  mushroom hunting, working in the yard, a roaring brush pile fire, a good heart-pumping game of Ping Pong with brother-in-law, Joey, a cup of coffee with brother-in-law, Mike and anyone else who  might stop by unexpectedly, playing Geezer Poker with his card buddies, a good game of Sorry, ice cream and Coca Cola.  Most of all, he enjoyed his time with family and the special time he and his grandson, CJ, spent fishing, target practicing with either bow 'n' arrows or guns, and playing chess.

 

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

 

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 12 pm (CT) on Saturday, January 8, 2022 at Rolling Prairie United Methodist Church with Pastor JoEllyn Chadwick officiating.  Burial will take place at Rolling Prairie Cemetery on a later date.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 10 am (CT) until the time of the service on Saturday at the church.

 

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Memorial Fund or Food Pantry of Rolling Prairie United Methodist Church, PO Box 187, Rolling Prairie, IN  46371.

 

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

Christine V. (Summa) Lehman

Christine V. (Summa) Lehman, of LaPorte, Indiana left this world January 13, 2022 at LaPorte Regional Medical Center. She was 78 years young.

 

Born January 29, 1943 in Hazard County, Kentucky to Homer and Myrtle (Fields) Begley, Chris was the sixth of seven children. She moved to North Judson, Indiana with her family as a young child and graduated from North Judson High School in 1960. On May 16th, 1964 at the Methodist Church in Knox, Indiana she married Ernest R. Summa who preceded her in death on April 23, 1973 in a fatal car accident. Together they had a daughter Kelly (Summa) Hoffmaster who survives with her husband Gordon in Michigan City, Indiana.

 

Chris and Ernie lived in a small cottage on Bass Lake, Indiana where Chris learned to water ski even though she couldn’t swim. She absolutely loved lake life, sunning on the pier, boating and water skiing, and spending time with family. Once their daughter arrived, they moved to a house in town in Knox but still spent many hours at the lake at Ernie’s parents’ Ted and Edna Pulla‘s home. Edna and Chris had a very close relationship and she called her Mom.

 

Chris raised her daughter as a single mother in the 1970s in LaPorte at a time when women’s rights were much less than they are today. She worked as a secretary at Whirlpool for a time and, wanting more for herself and her daughter, she took a better paying labor position at National Can Corp. in La Porte, retiring as a palletizer operator after nearly 30 years of service. There were many challenges for a woman working in a factory at that time, especially for a pretty, petite 5ft 1-and-a-half-inch spitfire like Chris. But she was always a strong and determined. She was a survivor and nothing was going to stop her from making a better life for her daughter.

 

After she retired and not being one to sit still, she then studied and became a licensed real estate agent, working for First Choice Realty Group in La Porte. She loved helping people find their home and she made many dear and lasting friendships along the way. Pam Zolvinski, whom she met at the agency, was a devoted friend and a true blessing in her life. Another special lady Carla (Kenny) Blodgett remained her best friend for more than 50 years. They were like sisters and she was “Aunt Chris” to their children and grandchildren. And she was forever grateful for the love and friendship of Ann Hubbner and Debbie Mahlka.

 

Chris loved music, especially Elvis. And she enjoyed her sports cars, owning three Cameros in her lifetime. She loved her many pet dogs over the years and she enjoyed reading and traveling. She was a beautiful woman with an amazing sense of style and flair. She lit up a room with her smile, her wit, and her love for life and everything and everyone in it. Seeing the ones, she loved happy brought her the most joy. She lived life her way on her terms. And more than anything in this world, she loved her daughter.

 

In addition to her daughter and dear friends, Chris is survived by two sisters, Jean (Daniel) Allen of Knox, Indiana, Margie (Larry) Delli of Rochester, Indiana, two brothers Russell (the late Phyllis) Begley of North Judson, Indiana, and Charles (Fran) Begley of Knox, Indiana. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. She was preceded in death by two brothers Dan Begley and Benton Begley, as well as her parents. In the mid-1990s she was briefly married to Bill Lehman who survives in Westville, Indiana. She leaves behind her closest companion, her most beloved Aussie, Cooper.

 

Per her final wishes, cremation has taken place and her ashes will remain with her daughter until a Memorial Service is held at a later date at which time her ashes will be interned. Lakeview Funeral Home and Crematory in La Porte is handling the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, Chris would be pleased if you’d make donations to your local animal shelter.

 

 

Jeanette Doloris Conley

Jeanette Doloris Conley, 71, of La Porte, Indiana passed away Wednesday, January 12, 2022. 

 

She was born on November 27, 1950, in Raleigh County, West Virginia to John H. Conley and Dorothy Lewis. She was CNA caregiver for many years.

 

Surviving are daughters, Vanetta Johnson of Mill Creek, Indiana, Jeanette (Edward) Zellers of La Porte, Dalynne Conley of La Porte; grandchildren, Ericka, Arian, Sierra, Ariel, Paige, and Michael; great-grandchildren, Aviana, Victoria, Landon, Emsley, Sophia, and coming soon Troy; siblings, Dorothy Conley of La Porte, Wesley Conley of La Porte, James (Susan) Conley of La Porte, John (Tammy) Conley of Mishawaka, Memory Conley of Lumberton, NC, and Lucille Romine of Red Springs, NC. Siblings, Jean Mills, Henry Conley, and Doris Conley preceded her in death.

 

Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, January 29, 2022, at Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, 1117 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, Indiana 46350. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. in the funeral home with Pastor Ricky Bray officiating. Burial will follow at Patton Cemetery. 

 

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

Ryan Higley

Ryan Higley, son, and brother, passed away January 10, 2022.

 

He was born December 23, 1972 in La Porte, Indiana and was a graduate of La Porte High School, Class of 1991. After graduating high school, Ryan joined the United States Air Force. He served in Germany as a civil engineer from 1991-1996.

 

He received the Joint Meritous Unit Award, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Good Conduct Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. He was previously employed at Horizon Bank and Carrington Mtg. Most recently Ryan was VP of sales at Intercontinental Capital Group in Carmel. Ryan enjoyed boating, playing softball, hanging out with friends, watching sports, and playing fantasy football. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his daughter, Ashlyn. He was a loyal friend, leaving behind a group of friends of almost 30 years from high school.

 

Ryan is survived by his daughter, Ashlyn Higley and her caring mother and Ryan’s friend, Caroline McCord; his parents, Mike (Pam) Higley and Janice (Dave) Levenhagen, both of La Porte; sister Michele (Thom) Kirby of Grafton, Ohio; niece, Kaiya Kirby; nephew, Kaemon Kirby. He also leaves behind many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and fond memories. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Eula and Evan Bunch, Pat Higley, Don Meggee, Ruth and Pete Levenhagen, Thelma and Warren Bailey.

 

A gathering will be held on Friday, January 21, 2022 from 5-7 PM followed by a service at 7 PM at Leppert Mortuary / Carmel Chapel, 900 N. Rangeline Rd., Carmel, Indiana 46032. The family has asked that masks be worn in the building while visiting.

 

The funeral service will be live-streamed starting at approximately 6:45 PM. The live video can be accessed through www.leppertmortuary.com.

 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ryan’s memory may be made to the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS), the official charity of the Air Force. ( www.afas.org ). Also, there is an education fund set for Ashlyn thru GoFundMe ( https://gofund.me/813a5c11 ).


 

Carol Ann Lukac

Carol Ann Lukac, 64, of Kingsbury, passed away on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at Northwest Health - La Porte. 

   

Carol was born in La Porte, IN, on April 15, 1957 to William Leroy and Elizabeth Ann (Snyder) Wolbert. 

 

On September 29, 1984, she married Raymond Earl Lukac who preceded her in death on November 19, 2020.  Surviving are her children, Matthew (Sarah) Lukac of La Porte and Alisha Lukac of Kingsbury; granddaughter, Hazel Lukac of La Porte; as well as many nieces and nephews.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and brother, Roger Wolbert.

 

Carol was a caregiver and homemaker.  She was a member of 4-H and enjoyed baking and bowling.  Carol loved nothing more than spending time with her granddaughter.   

 

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

 

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 11 am on Monday, January 24, 2022 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Pastor Tim Williams officiating.

 

A time of visitation will be held from 10 am until the time of the service on Monday at the funeral home.  Burial will take place on a future date at Kingsbury Cemetery.  

 

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

 

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

Francis John Waldron

Francis John Waldron, 77, died on January 13, 2022 at his home in New Carlisle, IN.

 

Frank leaves behind his beloved wife of 54 years, Vivian Lenkaitis Waldron and their four children, David (Namiyo), Eric, Amy and Anna (Jeremey Wiss). 

 

He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren, Isabella and Andrew O'Brien, Yoshiro Waldron, and Zoey Wiss; siblings, Mary Ann Krogh (Eirk), Joan Jais, (Robert); and brother, Jim Waldron, (Maureen); as well as a number of nieces and nephews.

 

Frank is predeceased by his parents, John Sylvester "Chet" and Josephine Dore Waldron; as well as niece, Kara Helen Krogh; and nephew, Christopher Jais.

 

He was born under a wandering star, on the Southside of Chicago on March 23, 1944.  He graduated from St. John De La Salle grade school and Mendel Catholic High School in Chicago, and Lewis University in Lockport, IL.

 

Frank had a life filled with love, family, adventure and travel.  His career started as a high school teacher, extending into insurance sales.  He was an executive with Mutual of New York for 25 years, followed by a CEO role at Diamond Fields International, several entrepreneurial ventures, capped off by creating Hawks Hill Farm with Vivian.  Frank and Vivan moved to the farm in Indiana where they raised grass-fed cattle, chickens and organic crops.

 

Frank was a character, a storyteller, a loyal friend, a loving father and grandfather, and a wonderful brother.  He took pride in his nickname "Front Door Frank" for his uncanny ability to find a prime parking spot on a crowded city street. 

 

His motto was, "The harder I work, the luckier I am," and he proved it countless times in his life from his earliest job in insurance to his "retirement" job of farming.

 

Because of COVID restrictions, a private family service and burial will be held.

 

Memorials may be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (https://wish.org) or St. Jude's Hospital (https://stjude.org).

 

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

 

Patricia  E. Kellems

Patricia  E. Kellems, 82, passed away on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at Northwest Health - Portage.

 

Surviving are her fiance', Tom Perschke; children, Vicki (Dan Harcz) Kellems, Greg (Trisha) Perschke, and Kevin (Cathy Fejer) Perschke; grandchildren, Ashley (Titus) Dawson, Elliott Shinn, Britney (Nate) Higgins, DJ (Desi Burkholder) Harcz, Ashlyn (Todd) Anson, Zachary (Jenn) Perschke, Brookston Perschke and Brock Perschke; great-grandchildren, Lily Allen, Savanna Meden, Sol Dawson, Evelyn Higgins, Audrey, Gracie, Brody and Ellie Anson, and Wren Perschke; as well as 33 nieces and nephews

 

She was preceded in death by her parents; children, Jennifer, Michael and Teresa Kellems; granddaughter, Patricia Shinn; 5 sisters; and 3 brothers.

 

Patricia worked as a manager for WorkOne for over 35 years.  She was a member of the Moose Lodge and Casa Family Court.  Patricia was the chairman of the class reunion.  She enjoyed organizing and attending the annual family Christmas party and the family reunion at Fox Park.  It would be common to have 200 family members at these events.  Patricia enjoyed going to wineries, casinos, traveling, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and especially playing dominos and cards with her friends and family.

 

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

 

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, January 21, 2022 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

 

Visitation will take place from 3 p.m. until the time of the service on Friday at the funeral home.

 

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

 

Condolences may be shared online at www.cutlercares.com.

 

Ann M. Reed

Ann M. Reed, 91, of La Porte, Indiana passed away Thursday, January 13, 2022.

 

Ann was born May 25, 1930, in Chicago the daughter of  Albert and Karolina (Plany) Lestinsky.

 

On May 21, 1950, Ann married Roland Reed who preceded her in death on November 13, 2012.

 

Ann is survived by her three sons, Kevin (Lorie) Reed of La Porte, Indiana, Patrick Reed of Georgia, and Ronald (Martha) Reed of Connecticut; eight grandchildren, Jacquelyn Michael, Jessica Smart, Matthew Reed, Rahea Flores, Andrew Reed, Ryan Reed, Adam Reed, and Anna Reed; many great-grandchildren; a sister, Rose Phillips; and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Roland; a son, Mark “Willis” Reed, sisters, Annette Paprocki, Mildred Soda, Caroline Mrozinske, Margaret Ward; and brothers, Albert and Steven Lestinsky.

 

Ann was an active member of Holy Family Parish, St. Peter Church and the Our Lady of Snows Circle.

 

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Monday, January 17, 2022, at Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, 1117 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, Indiana. A Parish Rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m.

 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at Holy Family Parish, St. Peter Catholic Church, 1101 Michigan Avenue, La Porte, Indiana. Burial will follow at Pine Lake Cemetery.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Family Parish, c/o Our Lady of Snows Circle, 201 Bach Street, La Porte, Indiana 46350.

 

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

Ronald Helton

Ronald Helton, 88, Apache Junction, Arizona, formerly of Michigan City, IN passed away Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 10:36 pm in his home.

 

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 pm, Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, IN with  Rev. Walter Ciesla officiating. Entombment will follow in Swan Lake Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Wednesday at the Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel.

 

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

Charles Roger Farley

Charles Roger Farley, 82, of La Porte, Indiana passed away Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

 

Roger was born February 27, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois to Margaret Ilene and Elmer Farley.

 

On December 26, 1962, Roger married Mary Constance Collard in Lordsburg, New Mexico, who preceded him in death on March 24, 2019.

 

Roger graduated from La Porte High School in 1957.  He participated in baseball and football and was honored in both by being named to the All-Conference Teams.  He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1962.  In 1964, Charles joined the La Porte Police Department.  He attained the rank of Chief of Detectives and was lead investigator in the murders, of then, Mayor Al Rumely and his wife.  In 1989, he retired with the rank of Assistant Chief of Police.  He was hired at Oprah Winfrey’s farm as a security officer and continued there for eight years.  He joined the La Porte County Sheriff Department as a Civil Process in 1999.  He retired from the Sheriff Department in 2011.  During retirement he enjoyed spending time with his beloved wife Connie and his faithful dog “Ginger”.  He also enjoyed playing a lot of golf with his friends at Briar Leaf Golf Course.

 

Roger is survived by a daughter, Michele (Brian) Marquardt of Mayer, Minnesota; a granddaughter, Janell Hanson of Brainard, Minnesota; and a grandson, Matthew Hauge of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and two great-grandchildren, William and Abby Hansen of Brainard, Minnesota. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Connie; and a daughter, Margaret Ann.

 

Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, January 22, 2022, at Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, 1117 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, Indiana.

 

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday following the visitation in the funeral home. Burial will follow in Pine Lake Cemetery.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to La Porte County Small Animal Shelter, 2852 W. State Road 2, La Porte, Indiana 46350 or American Cancer Society, 601 West Edison Road, Mishawaka, Indiana 46545.

 

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

Carolyn Sue Glancy

Carolyn Sue Glancy, 72, of La Porte, passed away on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at her home.

 

Carolyn was born on July 7, 1949 in Kennett, MO, to Thomas W. and Gladys E. (Lawson) Stone.

 

On October 3, 1977 in La Porte, IN, she married Thomas E. Glancy, who preceded her in death on January 8, 1998.  Surviving Carolyn are her "better half", Robert Lanning; son, Jeff (Kelly) Glancy of La Porte; daughter-in-law, Kathleen Plotner; 8 grandchildren, Cain Grisham, Jeffery Jr. Glancy, Kelsey Kuhl, Kailee Buczek, Thomas Plotner, Dakota Glancy, Austin Plotner, and Erica Lanning; 7 great-grandchildren, Tess Glancy, Jason Chaszar-Kuhl, Wyatt Buczek, Oliver Plotner, Serenity Glancy, Greyson Glancy, and Dakota Jr. Glancy; mother, Gladys Stone; siblings, Cathy Baxley and Donald Stone; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

 

She was preceded by her father; sons, Robert L. Plotner, Jr. and Thomas A. Plotner; and mother-in-law, Viola Piper.

 

Carolyn was a laborer at Aero Metals.  She enjoyed crocheting, knitting, and gardening.  Carolyn loved to cook and work on arts and crafts.  She was often caught reading a good book.  More than anything, Carolyn enjoyed loving on her grandchildren.

 

A Private Celebration of Life Service will be held at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center.  Burial will follow at Westville Cemetery.

 

Memorial donations may be made to the family c/o Robert Lanning, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN  46350 or to the donor's choice.

 

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

 

Jean L. Larson

Jean L. Larson, 92, of La Porte, Indiana passed away Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at home.

 

Jean was born December 6, 1929, in La Porte, Indiana to Fred and Louise (Diesslin) Lenick who preceded her in death.

 

On June 14, 1952, in the La Porte United Methodist Church, Jean married Thomas C. Larson who survives.  Also surviving are her three sons, Tom (Becky) Larson and Tim (Donna) Larson both of La Porte, Indiana and Terry (Jayne) Larson of Valparaiso, Indiana; eight grandchildren, Matt (Maggie) Larson, Greg (Kylie) Larson, Brian (Jen) Larson, Mary (Mario) Perez, Megan (Justin) Heinold, Nick (Susannah) Larson, Kate (Jeff) Jensen, and Anna Larson; and fifteen great-grandchildren, Helen, Jack H., Adeline, Charlie, Aubrey, Will, Ellie, Ben, Ray, Amelia, Cole, Jack J., Neil, Claire, and Sawyer.

 

Jean graduated from La Porte High School and the National College of Education (now National Louis University) in Evanston, Illinois. She was a member of the La Porte First United Methodist Church, Tri Kappa Sorority, and the Beachwood 18-hole golf league.

 

Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m. Monday, January 17, 2022, at the La Porte First United Methodist Church, 1225 Michigan Avenue, La Porte, Indiana 46350. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Pastor Bob Vale will officiate. Private burial will take place at Pine Lake Cemetery.

 

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

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the La Porte First United Methodist Church or the La Porte County Family YMCA.

 

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

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