Retired Hammond city engineer Stan Dostatni died suddenly Sunday

Hammond City Engineer Stan Dostatni stands before one of his projects, a bicycle and pedestrian bridge at the intersection of Columbia Avenue, 167th Street and Southeastern Avenue in Hammond in this December 2015 file photo. Dostatni, who retired in 2015, died suddenly Sunday.

File, The Times

HAMMOND — Stan Dostatni, who had served the city for 40 years before retiring at the end of 2015, died suddenly Sunday.

"Stan was quick with a smile and kind word which left an impact on everyone he met. His vast knowledge made him the go-to person with questions regarding a multitude of subjects ranging from crossword puzzle answers, flooding issues, structural problems, etc. He was always willing to share his knowledge and wisdom with others. If he didn’t know the answer, which was rare, he was quick to find the answer," said Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr. in a written statement.

Dostatni is survived by his wife Nancy, son Mike, daughter Becky and his sister Sandi.

He began his career in 1976 as office engineer before being promoted to assistant city engineer and finally city engineer in 1988.

"Stan is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve known, especially when it comes to our city’s streets and sewers," McDermott said. "He was instrumental in having all but 160 homes/structures removed from the flood plain in Hammond saving residents millions of dollars in flood insurance premiums."

"In 2008, Stan was the first person to realize we were going to have a problem with the Little Calumet River flooding," McDermott said.

Over the years, Dostatni worked on projects such as the bike bridges and trails; street projects and working with the sanitary district to reduce basement backups, just to name a few.

"Stan was one of the most influential people of my professional career," said Chris Moore, of NIES Engineering. "I worked with Stan and the engineering department for over 20 years, and I am a better engineer for having known him."

"While we grieve the loss of Stan, his passion and fingerprints will live on in all the plans, projects and improvements that he oversaw in Hammond," said John Kennedy, of American Structurepoint.

Dostatni's wake will be held 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Baran’s Funeral Home, 1235 119th St., Whiting. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Adalbert Catholic Church, 1341 121st St., Whiting.

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Porter County reporter

Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She is the municipal and education reporter for Porter County. She is an amateur genealogist and writes a blog, Remember your Roots, appearing online each Thursday.