Robert Szentesy was an outgoing man and always looked on the bright side, said his wife, Mary Szentesy.
“He saw the bright side of everything, and saw the best in people,” she said.
Robert Andrew Szentesy, 87, of Portage and formerly of Gary, died Aug. 26. He was a 1943 graduate of Lew Wallace High School and had attended Indiana University. He was a member of Carpenter’s Local #1005 and was a retired supervisor with Stern Construction. He was a World War II Navy veteran and a member of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.
The couple met in high school, but didn’t begin dating until after he returned home from World War II. They dated for about a year-and-a-half before getting married, and enjoyed 64 years of marriage.
“Every day we counted our blessings that we had a happy marriage and happy children,” she said. “I don’t think we ever fought. We always talked things out.”
He was an excellent carpenter, and had built two homes for his family. He was also involved in building many subdivisions, stores and toll roads around Northwest Indiana, his wife said.
While he was in Japan during the war, he made friends with several Japanese families, and kept in touch with them over the years.
The couple enjoyed getting together with Lew Wallace classmates every Thursday for lunch at restaurants around the area.
In his younger years, he enjoyed playing football, and was proud to have been awarded the Triple Threat football award in high school. He also enjoyed golfing.
He enjoyed going to state parks, especially Indiana Dunes, where he liked to walk along the beach. He also enjoyed traveling to different casinos, where he would play the penny slots.
He loved spending time with his grandchildren, Mary Szentesy said.
The couple enjoyed playing backgammon together in the evenings.
“He beat me every time,” she said.