Jon C. Ranta, of Schererville, was a man who loved life and was loved by everyone who knew him, said daughter Michelle Ranta.
“He was very selfless and worked hard every day of his life. He was motivated. He had patience,” she said.
Ranta was born in Chicago and raised in Schererville. He attended Montana State University where he studied business. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Joan; daughters Michelle and Carrie; grandchildren Jon Lucas and Delaney; sister Julie (Chet) Berry; nephew Jeff; niece Heather and numerous extended family and friends.
For 23 years, Ranta worked as vice president of Dolton-Riverdale Savings and Loan and then as vice president of sales and marketing until 2012 for Hi-Tech Fastener in South Chicago Heights. He and Joan met while both worked at Household Finance in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood in 1969.
In 1974 they moved to Dolton and raised their two daughters there. Ranta was past president of the Dolton Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow, a distinguished honor given for exceptional service as a club member. In 1989, Ranta returned to the Schererville area where he remained ever since.
“I can’t tell you how amazing he was,” said daughter Michelle. “All of us were so lucky to know him. He fought for everything he had and he provided a good foundation for our family.” That foundation included lots of family time that included camping and fishing trips together to such places as Wisconsin and Arkansas.
“He was a good guy and would do anything for anyone,” said Joan, adding that her husband had a best friend since high school, Frank Guess, and the two were like brothers. They were always there for each other, she said, even through her husband’s recent illness.
Ranta was an avid wood carver and competitive decoy carver who was a member of the south Suburban Carving Club and Midwest Carver’s Museum.
“It was a hobby and extra income. He loved his ducks and wrote the date on every one he made. He spent many hours carving and had ribbons and trophies,” said his daughter.
His daughter said that besides his carving, he was also an avid fisherman who was very outdoorsy and had a passion for nature, always keeping several bird feeders spread throughout the yard that he would watch from his porch. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.