With nine children to care for, Dominic Vicari Jr. was the perfect example of a family man.
Friends admired him and his wife of 61 years, Nancy, said their son, Michael Vicari.
"They often ask, 'How did your parents do it?'" he said.
Dominic Vicari Jr., 82, of Crown Point, died July 29.
His son recalled missing a bus that took the 1973 Crown Point High School marching band to a Kansas City Chiefs/Dallas Cowboys game.
Vicari rushed him to school, but the buses were gone.
Back home, his dad suddenly said, "Get dressed. We're going to O'Hare."
They flew to Kansas City and arrived before his band mates.
Son David Vicari recalled his dad driving him for accordion lessons.
"Can you imagine hitting it hard at U.S. Steel all day and then looking forward to driving your kids to accordion lessons?" he asked.
Susan Zdanowicz was a "head coach/full-time nurse" for Vicari as he fought health problems. She and another sister, Lisa Zdanowicz, arrived each day to help with his kidney machine.
Anne Marie Diambri recalled having straight A's on her first high school report card.
"This was the first time she ever saw dad tear up," Michael Vicari said.
Their father's expertise as a journeyman electrician was a positive influence to another son, Jon, who followed in his footsteps.
Patty Lewis recalled their dad being amazed at her physical strength.
He always said, "You don't want to mess with Patty."
Paul Vicari said his dad wrote a touching letter on his confirmation day, saying that he "was one year closer to becoming a man."
Danny Vicari recalled his father bending pipe, pulling wire and climbing stairs in his 70s to help wire his new home.
"Dad's shoulders always squared when he spoke of his nine kids," Michael Vicari proudly said.