Helen Tkach was protective and nurturing, and always loved to have a good laugh, said her daughter, Vicki Karius.
“As a grandmother, her true colors showed through,” she said. “She adored her grandchildren and liked to spend as much time as she could with them.”
Helen Tkach, 85, of Hebron and formerly of Whiting, died Feb. 24. She was a Teamster and had driven a school bus for School City of Hammond for 17 years. She was a member of St. Mary’s Byzantine Church in Whiting.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward G. Tkach.
Karius said her mother started as a van driver for the school district, but became a bus driver as the program expanded.
“She enjoyed driving the school bus,” she said. “She adored the special needs kids and talked about them all the time.”
Tkach loved to camp, and over the years evolved from a tent to a 25-foot camper.
“She was always ready to head out on a camping trip,” she said.
She had many long-time friends, and valued her religion and her family.
“Family was the most important to her, and she made sure all family members, both distant and close, knew that she cared for them,” her daughter said.
She loved to bake and cook, and would make massive amounts of food for parties, wedding showers and neighborhood gatherings, her daughter said.
“She made the best apple slices and nut roll in the area,” she said. “Friends and family would come over whenever they knew these special treats were available.”
Karius said people admired her mother for her sense of humor, her giving nature and her cooking.
“I like to think that she is up there cooking up a storm in heaven’s kitchen,” she said.