One of Northwest Indiana's great voices has been silenced.
Doug Kullerstrand, who woke up listeners in Northwest Indiana with the news on both WJOB and WWCA in the early 1970s, passed away last Wednesday, May 7, at age 67 following a heart ailment.
Doug was a great friend to many, including myself, just like his wife of 47 years, Marge Kullerstrand, who was my longtime desk neighbor at The Times penning our weekly Insight society column with Adele Mackanos.
When Doug later switched careers and joined First National Bank of East Chicago (later under several other bank names) and then in recent years working as a Realtor for Pace Realty, he still continued to be a voice folks remembered from the many events he emceed, ranging from annual United Way award dinners and holiday parades to even pronouncing the competitive words for the occasional spelling bee.
Even as a Knight of Columbus, with both Msgr. Ralph Hoffman Council and Fourth Degree Santa Maria Venegas Assembly, aside from serving the highest offices as Grand Knight and Faithful Navigator, it was Doug's distinct, rich vocal the groups counted on for all their announcements.
"Doug was such a great guy," his fellow knight Mike Velasco said.
"He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and he would pitch in and do anything that needed to be done. He will be sorely missed."
Doug often even pitched in for our Shore magazine, when our publisher Pat Colander was short a photographer at an event Marge was covering for her column Insight, so the images could also be showcased in the magazine's Click society section.
He will be missed by many in the community, and Marge will keep his memory and legacy alive, as well as his children, son Erik with wife Char, son Bert and devoted daughter Anna Louise, along with his grandchildren Devin, Priscilla, John and Tommy.
A celebration of his life is on Saturday, May 17, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 330 E. 45th Ave. in Gary. Visitation is from 9 to11 a.m. followed by mass at 11 a.m. FYI: burnsfuneral.com
Eleanor Lewis, retired head of the art department from Merrillville High School and an artist for more than 50 years, will have her art work on display at the Brauer Galleries of Valparaiso University. Her show opens at 7 p.m. Friday. I'm told this will be one of the last big events of her artistic career, since she is 86. I'm hoping many of her former students and their families will come to see the show to congratulate her. The show curator Gregg Hertzlieb said all are welcome. FYI: (219) 464-5761