Lewis Biegel's life was defined by his love for his country, Notre Dame and all of his grandchildren.
He studied mechanical engineering at Notre Dame until a serious illness forced him to leave, said his son, Larry Biegel.
Eventually he became a member of the Honorary Class of 1945.
"That's something he was very proud of," his son said.
Lewis "John" Biegel, 89, of Crown Point, died Aug. 12.
After his illness, he worked in his dad's shop — Biegel's Battery and Welding, in Crown Point — while trying to enlist in World War II despite a medical deferment.
He often said, "I had to talk my way into the Army," his son said.
He saw combat as a first lieutenant with the 1st Division, 8th Army — known as the "Big Red One," Larry Biegel said.
After the war, Biegel was promoted to second lieutenant and placed in charge of the guards at the Nuremberg Trials.
"He met the Dirty Dozen," Larry Biegel said, referring to his dad's reference to the Nazi war criminals.
Biegel and his wife, Elizabeth (deceased), were married 54 years and enjoyed their first date at a Notre Dame game, their son said.
They first lived in an apartment over his father's shop and soon bought 60 acres of farmland east of Crown Point.
They moved into Crown Point in 1967, Larry Biegel said, noting that the farmland now hosts the Summer Tree Golf Course.
With farming still in his blood, Biegel kept a garden featuring tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other vegetables.
After dealing with the Great Depression, World War II and raising a fine family, Biegel once said, "I have lived a good life," his son said with love.