Irene Knapik was a loving and kind woman who was easy to talk to and cared about everyone she met, her daughters said.
“She loved her family, loved her grandchildren,” said her daughter, Vickie Lash. She considered her friends and neighbors part of her extended family.
Irene Knapik, 96, of Crown Point and formerly of Hammond, died Jan. 25. She was retired from the Lake County Highway Department with 25 years of service. She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, John Knapik, in 2007.
Born and raised in Hammond, Knapik was raised by her grandparents after her parents died when she was young, Lash said.
She was active in Hammond politics, serving as vice committee person in precinct 41, Lash said.
“She loved being involved in politics, and would go door-to-door registering people to vote,” Lash said.
She met her future husband at Madura’s Dance Land in Hammond, Lash said, where the couple enjoyed dancing.
“She devoted her life to her husband,” said her daughter, Mary Ann Wagner. The couple went on monthly dates to Teibel’s, she said.
She was an excellent cook. She made an excellent pineapple upside-down cake, and she taught her grandchildren how to make pierogis.
She loved to crochet, and made many afghans for family and friends.
“You can’t even count the number of afghans she made,” Wagner said.
Knapik was cherished by many, and lived her life with few regrets, Wagner said.
“She was a strong person, and many people relied on talking with her,” she said.