The Rev. Dennis Teles knew from the time he was in high school that he wanted to become a priest, said his cousin, Darlyne Steffens.
His parents, Adam and Carrie Teles, fully supported the decision of their only child, Steffens said.
“It was his calling,” she said.
The Rev. Dennis Teles, 74, of LaPorte and formerly of Merrillville, died Feb. 2. He had served in parishes all around Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, including 12 years in his first pastorate at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in LaPorte, St. Peter & Paul in Merrillville for 25 years, and most recently, four years as senior priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church, LaPorte.
“Everyone who ever met him, loved him,” Steffens said. “He could really talk about the Lord in ways people understood. He never talked above anyone’s head. He loved children, and had a personality everyone could relate to.”
He enjoyed reading, whether it be spy novels or nonfiction books about World War II. He loved his German Shepherds, and loved to feed the birds during the winter. He enjoyed being outdoors, whether it be working in his vegetable garden or cutting the grass.
Rev. Teles was an outgoing, friendly man who loved being around people, his cousin said. He was close with his family, and went out of his way to help anyone who needed anything.
“There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for anyone,” she said. “He had compassion for people and was easy to talk to. He was open and non-judgmental.”