Stephen Christ Yelich, 89, of Fish Lake, passed away peacefully at 10:41 p.m., Monday, February 8, 2021 in his home.
Stephen Christ Yelich was born in Gary, Indiana on July 29th, 1931 to Christ and Anne Yelich. As a small child, Steve moved to Alhambra, California for several years and loved it. However, his parents eventually bought a grocery store back in Gary where he reluctantly returned.
As a young man, Steve played high school football, boxed and loved golf. His real passion was always acting and after graduating from Tolleston High School, he went on to study acting at the acclaimed Goodman Theater in Chicago. Upon graduating from Goodman, he auditioned for several roles in soap operas in New York and California. Steve briefly returned to Gary to work as a bartender and save enough money to move back to New York to pursue his acting career, when fate intervened and he met the love of his life, Rosalie Sammy. Steve knew immediately that he could never be without Rose and gave up his acting career to settle down and start a family living in the hometown in which he had been born. Steve and Rose were married on February 1, 1959 at St. Sava’s Serbian Orthodox church in Gary.
Steve’s engaging personality made him a successful salesman for Revlon and other companies. He and Rose had four children, Stephen Jr., Christopher, Eric and Irene. Steve and Rose eventually chose to move to a magical place called Fish Lake, Indiana, near LaPorte. His sons grew up and moved to California which offered Steve and Rose endless visits to his beloved Golden State. His beautiful daughter, Irene, and her husband, Keith, built a house next door to Steve and Rose on Fish Lake completing his retirement dreams. Steve and Rose were blessed with nine grandchildren, Andrew, Christian, Michael, Collin, Alexander, Chris, Cameron, Amanda and David.
Steve was a loving and devoted husband, an amazing dad and (according to his grandkids) a hilariously awesome Papa Duke. We love his fierce devotion to his family, his wonderful charm, his booming voice, his witty banter and steadfast love for everyone. He will be deeply missed but his spirit, love and Papa jokes will live on through his family. He is survived by his beautiful wife, Rose; his brother, Elliot; his children, Stephen (Suzette), Chris (Angela), Eric (Charlotte), and Irene (Keith); and nine grandchildren. Stephen and Rose are members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Michigan City, Indiana.
A private celebration of his life will be held at a future date in LaPorte, Indiana and Laguna Beach, California. Lakeview Funeral Home and 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.