Stacy Jaroscak, co-owner of Valentino's Cafe & Ice Cream Parlor in the Old Lake County Courthouse, was warm, welcoming and had a winning smile and quick wit.
“She could talk to anybody and be friendly and nice,” Dave Jaroscak said. “She would smile and have the whole room loving her in a second. She could always make you laugh.”
The couple were best friends for 32 years and married for 26 years.
A Crown Point High School graduate, Jaroscak was hired at Valentino’s in 1980 as a dishwasher, becoming a waitress, then manager who helped cook.
The Jaroscaks bought Valentino’s as an investment, for Stacey to keep working there and to have something to do together, he said.
Stacey Jaroscak, 52, of Crown Point, loved to cook and bake.
“She could make something without a recipe and have it turn out perfectly,” her husband said.
“She never measured normally,” he said. “Most of her soups she made from scratch. At home Stacey liked creating dishes or taking a recipe and improving it.”
Dave Jaroscak is still making his wife’s soup creations at Valentino’s, which remains open.
Jaroscak, who had no formal training, learned some of her cooking skills from her mother Bethany Smith but was mostly self-taught.
“She liked to watch the Food Network,” Dave Jaroscak said. “She would always write the recipe down and then change it.”
A die-hard Cubs and Chicago Bears fan, Jaroscak liked scrapbooking. The hobby evolved over time into her framing creative pages for display at home.
In their younger days the couple enjoyed traveling, especially to Montana, her favorite vacation spot.
Jaroscak’s daughter, Jessica, said her mom was a good role model who worried about her when she was away at college.
Donations to help pay Jaroscak’s medical bills may be given to the Stacy Jaroscak Memorial Fund at any Centier Bank and online at www.givefoward.com.