Theresa Kacmar was loving and honest, and put her family above everything else, her family members said.
She was the matriarch in a family that grew to include 15 children, 32 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
“I think because of her love and dedication to our family, we are all very close and get together on a regular basis,” daughter Toni Kristoff said. “Even when the family kept getting bigger, she would still have Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter at her house.”
Theresa Ann Vahary Kovecsi Kacmar, 87, of Crown Point, died Dec. 30. She was retired from First Federal Savings and Loan. She was a member of Our Lady of Consolation.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, John Vahary and Paul Kacmar, Sr.
Kristoff said Kacmar loved her 32 grandchildren, and tried to go to as many of their events as possible.
She would go to events from track and wrestling meets to music performances, plays, science fairs and grandparents day.
She had a great memory and always remembered everyone’s birthday in their large family.
“She would try to call everyone and sing Happy Birthday,” she said. “I always found it amazing she knew everyone’s birthday: 15 children, their spouses, 32 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.”
Kacmar loved sports, whether it be watching one of her children or grandchildren play, or watching Notre Dame and the Bears.
She loved to dance, and was always willing to teach different steps.
Her son, Bob Vahary, said his mother had a strong faith and was always supportive of her family. She gave without the expectation of receiving, and honored the choices her children made, even if she didn’t agree with them, he said.
“The testimony I have is that some people are like sling shots. Their energy propels you forward to be better and do better,” he said. “Mom was a sling shot.”