CHICAGO | Jerry Dalrymple, of Chicago, first fell in love with his LaPorte summer home eight years ago.
The house is off of Stone Lake and provided him access to lakes where he could continue boating, a passion he's had since he was 16.
His daughter, Laura Kelly, said her father and his best friend, a black Labrador named Sparky, had gone to LaPorte to do a routine check on the house.
He was killed Thursday afternoon during the trip in a massive 46-vehicle crash on Interstate 94 near Michigan City. Indiana State Police said a thin band of lake-effect snow created white-out conditions, blinding drivers on the six-lane interstate.
Kelly said the family has spent the day Friday fielding phone calls and messages via social media from people who said their lives were touched by her dad.
Dalrymple, 65, worked for Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and played the organ every Sunday at St. John the Divine Lutheran Church in Chicago, Kelly said.
He worked as a band director in the 1970s and many of his students called the family Friday to tell them how Dalrymple inspired them to pursue music.
"He's probably up in heaven cussing us out," she said. "Saying why are you making such a big fuss over me."
Dalrymple and his wife, Mary Ann, were married for 43 years. They had three daughters, a son and four grandchildren.
Kelly described her father as an extraordinary ordinary man who enjoyed life's simple pleasures and had a heart of gold.
"We were at the lake house boating every weekend during the summer," she said as she teared up. "He was my rock."