Obituaries and memoriams published by The Times today.
Raymond Joseph Berger
MERRILLVILLE, IN - Raymond Joseph Berger, age 84 of Merrillville, passed away on December 2, 2017. He was born and raised in Queens, NY and was the founder and owner of Security Systems by Ray Berger and Northern Indiana Illinois Alarm Company (NIIAC). Ray was a Korean War Army Veteran and member of the Gary Sportsman's Club. He was a passionate entrepreneur and inventor and will be fondly remembered as an avid angler, accomplished golfer, and shrewd pinochle player.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents: August and Maria Magdalena Berger. He is survived by his former wife, Catherine 'Kitty' Berger; children: Joseph Berger (Merrillville), Raymond Berger (Carmel, IN), Robert Berger (Merrillville), Theresa (Daniel) Nicksic (Valparaiso), Marianne (Raymond) Piazzi (Carmel, IN); grandchildren: Joseph Berger, Matthew (Rachel) Berger, Lacie Berger, Christopher Berger, Maggie Nicksic, Lucca Piazzi, Leo Piazzi; great grandchild, Isaiah Russell; sisters: Anna Marie Cavanaugh and Bernadette Bruno.
Friends are invited to visit with Ray's family on Friday, December 8, 2017 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. prior to the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. at St. Andrew the Apostle Church, 801 W. 73rd Ave., Merrillville, IN. Cremation will precede the Mass. Inurnment at SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Merrillville, IN. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ray's name to The First Tee, Lake County, IN or VNA of Porter County. BURNS FUNERAL HOME, Crown Point, IN entrusted with arrangements.
PORTAGE, IN - Martha Bianco age 92, of Portage, IN passed away on Friday, December 1, 2017. She was born on August 23, 1925 in Gary, IN to Peter and Theresa (Kolarik) Bracich.
Martha is survived by her sons: Joseph (Pat) Bianco of Valparaiso, Tom Bianco of Portage, Tony (Tami) Bianco of Chesterton, Michael (Jane) Bianco of Seattle, WA; daughters, Maria (Bob) Cates of Portage, JoAnn Chapman of Oviedo, FL, Teresa (Bob) Pullins of Chesterton, Angie (Larry) Schest of Valparaiso; brothers, Wally (Angie) Bracich and Bob (Gerry) Bracich; sister, Em (Tom) Santelik; grandchildren, Joe, Tom, Anna, Angie, Michael, Dan, Tyna, Ali, Tony, Nicole, Liz, Michael, Matt, Sarah, Rachel, Sam, John, Lilly, Rose and seven great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Joseph Bianco; brothers: Mike and Ed Bracich.
Martha was involved with the Red Hat Society and enjoyed going to the Bonner Senior Center. She was the past Chairman for the Easter Seals. Martha loved parties, cooking, and baking bread.
No Service will be held at this time. Arrangements were handled by EDMONDS & EVANS FUNERAL HOME, Portage Chapel, 6941 Central Ave., Portage, IN 46368. Cremation services provided by Heritage Crematory, Portage, IN. Online condolences to the family may be made at www.ee-fh.com
William L. "Bill" Carlson
LOWELL, IN - William L. 'Bill' Carlson, 72, of Lowell, passed away unexpectedly Monday, December 04, 2017. Survived by his wife, Kathy; and children: Bill, Kelly and Jody.
Visitation will be Wednesday, December 6, from 1:00-7:00p.m., concluding with Funeral Services at 7PM, all at SHEETS FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, 604 E. Commercial Ave., Lowell with Cremation following. Full obituary to be published at later time. www.sheetsfuneral.com
Godfrey "Jeff" Cogelja
CARMEL, IN - Godfrey 'Jeff' Cogelja, age 92 of Carmel, formerly of Merrillville, passed away Sunday, December 3, 2017. Survived by five children: Debbie (Bob) Szwet, Beth (Jeff) Waggoner, Carol (Tom) Shallenberger, Cyndi (Rick) Laird, Jeff (Angie) Cogelja; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two sisters: Sylvia Sallen, Evelyn (Steve) Schutt; brother, Jerry (Vickie) Cogelja; sisters-in-law: Terry Kuchta, Mel Motta. Preceded in death by wife of 61 years, Julia; parents, John and Julie Cogelja; brother, Emil Cogelja; father-in-law, Angelo Motta, mother- in-law, Jennie Motta; step-mother-in-law, Carm Motta; brothers-in-law, Don Sallen, Tom Motta, and Joe Kuchta.
Jeff was a member of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Merrillville, and served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, usher, and was involved with various church committees. He was also very involved in parent activities at Andrean High School, where all five of his children attended. Jeff was a charter member and past Grand Knight of Knights of Columbus Msgr. Ryder Council 4047 and was a part of the Meadowland Subdivision building committee.
Jeff was a graduate of Froebel High School and Purdue University, earning a degree in engineering. Upon graduation, Jeff began working for US Steel Gary Works until retiring in October of 1983. Jeff loved gardening and working on projects for all of his children. Jeff was proud of his family and was happiest spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Family and friends may call at PRUZIN BROTHERS FUNERAL SERVICE, 6360 Broadway, Merrillville on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. with a K of C Rosary at 7:00p.m. and a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Funeral service will be Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. from Pruzin Brothers Chapel and 10:00 a.m. from SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 5885 Harrison St., Merrillville with Rev. James Meade officiating. At rest Calumet Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to KofC.org. To express online condolences and view online obituary please visit
George "Pete" Howser
SENECA, SC - George 'Pete' Howser, born November 6, 1937 to George M. Howser and Virginia Agnes Howser in Morristown, NJ, passed to eternal life on November 27, 2017.
Pete graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1955. After attending Indiana University, he served his country in the United States Navy. On September 7,1963, he married the love of his life, Janet Ruth Robinson. He was employed by National Steel Corporation in Sales in Kansas City, KS and Tulsa, OK. In 1984, Pete, Jan and brother Jim purchased Harbor's View Marina on Grand Lake of the Cherokee in Oklahoma. Upon the sale of the marina in 1998, Pete and Jan retired to Florida. In 2006 they relocated to their present home in Seneca, SC. Pete will be surely missed by the many acquaintances and friends he made during his years in sales, both in the steel industry and the marine business.
Pete was preceded in death by his parents: George Howser and Virginia Howser Joy; sisters: Joanne Howser and Jeanne Dick. Survivors include his wife of 54 years: Janet; brother Jim of Ft. Meyers Beach, FL; sister: Mary Jo Weidman (Tim) of Salem, SC; along with numerous loving nieces and nephews.
A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Seneca, SC on December 7, at 1:00 PM. Interment will be at Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso, IN at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, www.alz.org/donate, or to Oconee Hospice of the Foothills, GHS Cottingham Hospice House, Attn: Foundation Office, 298 Memorial Drive, Seneca, SC 29672.
Kalliopi Kambouris (nee Parianos)
MERRILLVILLE, IN - Kalliopi Kambouris (nee Parianos), age 81, of Merrillville, IN passed on Friday, December 1, 2017 surrounded by her family.
Kalliopi is survived by her three children: Angeliki Kambouris, Maria (Pantelis) Haramantas and Theofilos 'Phil' Kambouris; two grandchildren: Kalliopi and Irene; brothers: Michael Parianos and Nomikos Parianos; sisters: Nomiki Zaronias and Maria Mileos; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Christos in 2013; parents: Angeliki and Kostos Parianos.
Kalliopi was a member of Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, St. Helen's Philoptochos Women's Society and Kalymian Society. She loved gardening and landscaping, and was an excellent cook. Kalliopi came to the U.S. in 1955 from the Island of Kalymnos. Kalliopi loved her family, especially her children and grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at GEISEN FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, 7905 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM with a Trisagion Service at 5:00 PM. Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:00 AM DIRECTLY at Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 8000 Madison St., Merrillville, IN 46410 with Fr. Theodore Poteres and Fr. George Pappas officiating. Interment to follow at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, IN.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral or to the family for their choice of Philanthropic Organizations or charity. View directions and sign Kalliopi's online guestbook at www.GeisenFuneralHome.com - (219) 769-3322.
Sally Klepack (nee Holt)
VALPARAISO, IN - Sally Holt Klepack, age 86, of Valparaiso, IN, formerly of Merrillville, IN, entered the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, December 2, 2017. She is survived by her beloved husband of 63 years, Robert Klepack; two daughters, Cathy (Randy) Zehr of Columbus, IN, and Patty (Jeff) Mann of Wheaton, IL; two grandchildren, Kevin and Katie Mann; one sister, Shirley (Frank) Murray, Eugene, OR; one brother, Robert (Dianne) Holt, Ithaca, NY; brother-in-law, Ed Ronne, Elmhurst, IL; sister-in-law, Benny Holt, Bloomington, IN; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by parents, Dick and Maxine Holt, Gary, IN; two sisters, Sandra Ronne, Elmhurst, IL, and Sue Holt Chicago, IL; and one brother, Thomas Holt, Bloomington, IN.
Sally was born on February 13, 1931, in Gary, IN, and was a life-long resident of Northwest Indiana. She was a 1949 graduate of Lew Wallace High School. Sally received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Indiana State University in 1953 where she was president of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and Pamarista Women's Honorary Society. She earned her Masters of Arts degree in History from Valparaiso University in 1967. Sally was a former member and officer of Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Society; Merrillville Classroom Teachers' Association; and National Education Association.
Sally was an elementary school teacher for 33 years, having taught 28 of those years for the Merrillville School Corporation at Miller and Wood elementary schools. Her love of American history was shared with all her students and grandchildren. In 1992, Sally was selected to be in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. As a member of Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton, IN, Sally served in the church library.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 3:00 - 6:00 PM at MOELLER FUNERAL HOME, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso, IN. A memorial service will be conducted Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 12:00 noon at Liberty Bible Church, Chesterton, IN. Interment will be conducted at Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville, IN, on Thursday, for family members. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Dunes Hospice, 4711 Evans Avenue, Valparaiso, IN 46385.
Leona M. Gilyan
CHESTERTON, IN - Leona M. Gilyan, age 79, of Chesterton, formerly of Hobart, passed away December 4, 2017. Lee was a long time member of Augustana Lutheran Church in Hobart.
She was preceded in death by her parents: Benjamin and Elizabeth Jacob. Lee is survived by her husband of 53 years, Dan Gilyan; children: Denise (Carlo) Airdo of Elmhurst, IL, Phil (Gina) Gilyan of Chesterton; brother, Joe (May) Jacobs of Schaumburg, IL; sister, JoAnn Jacob of Flushing, MI; brother, Paul (Karen) Jacob of Flushing, MI; three grandchildren: Benjamin Airdo, Danielle and Tony Gilyan; many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Lee will be Friday, December 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Augustana Lutheran Church, 207 Kelly Street, Hobart, Pastor Charles Strietelmeier officiating. Friends may visit with Lee's family on Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 3:00-7:00 p.m., and Friday, December 8, 2017, from 10:00-11:00 a.m., at Augustana Lutheran Church (Hobart). Contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. BURNS FUNERAL HOME (Hobart) entrusted with arrangements.
Sandra "Sandy" D. Neher
LAKE STATION, IN - Sandra 'Sandy' D. Neher, age 56, of Lake Station, passed away on December 1, 2017 at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. She was born in Sun Valley, California on March 26, 1961 to the late Jesse and Betty (nee Webb) Mulkins. Sandy worked at River Forest School where she touched the lives of many. She enjoyed bowling, playing cards, drawing, gardening, and riding on the golf cart with Wes. Most of all Sandy enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and will be missed my many.
Sandra is survived by her loving husband, Wesley Neher; son, Steven (Danielle McBrayer) Palmer; daughters, Diane Mindy (Thomas) Anderson, Amanda (Thomas) Ard; grandchildren, Zoey, James; brothers, Don Mulkins, Bobby Mulkins; sisters, Cyndi (Bob) Wicks, Betty Graves, Sharon Foster, Penny Jo Chaszar, Belinda, Janet Russas, Janice Tomaszawski, Julie Mulkins; and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral service for Sandy will take place Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at REES FUNERAL HOME, Olson Chapel, 5341 Central Ave. Portage, IN 46368 with Dr. Jerry Stepp officiating. Friends may gather with the family Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Rees Funeral Home, Olson Chapel. For more information, please call 219-762-3013. Online condolences may be shared with the family at
Sheri L. Nordengreen "Sher Bear"
EAST SIDE - Sheri L. Nordengreen, 'Sher Bear', age 53, late of the East Side and formerly of Hammond, passed away Sunday, December 3, 2017. Beloved wife of Raymond for 22 years. Loving mother of Ashley (Ramon Carrillo) Bourrell and Deanna Nordengreen. Cherished grandmother of Christian Tyler Nordengreen, Kaylee Grace Carrillo and Adrian Isaac Carrillo. Devoted daughter of the late Phyllis J. (Woody) Whitaker and the late Charles H. Henry. Dear sister of Kimberly (Dan) Hill, Timmy Henry, Tonie (Mike) Aungst, Penny Whitaker, Devon (John) Kovacik and Shaun (Michelle) Henry. Fond aunt of many nieces and nephews.
Sheri was an employee of the Chicago Public School system at Ninos Heroes School with 23 years of dedicated service working with Special Education children. She was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother and one hell of a cook.
Visitation Wednesday 2:00-9:00p.m. Funeral services Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 10:00a.m. at Elmwood Chapel, 11200 S. Ewing Ave., Chicago. Interment private. In lieu of memorials, memorials to the family would be appreciated. 773-731-2749
Donald L. Smith, Sr.
DYER, IN - Donald L. Smith, Sr., age 82, of Dyer, formerly of Hammond, passed away Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at the Life Care Center of Valparaiso. He was born in LaPorte, Indiana on September 21, 1935 to the late Daniel and Louise (nee Rhoda) Smith. He was a member of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Dyer. Don served on various church boards and as a Deacon. He worked for Chapman Service Laundry as a Commercial Laundry Supervisor for 41 years. He also spent 19 years as an Indian Guide with the Hammond YMCA. Don will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many.
Don is survived by his loving wife, Patricia (nee Sabinske) Smith; sons, Donald L. (Mary) Smith, Jr., Christopher (Julie) Hamrick; daughters, Sherri (Scott) Burbage, Carole 'Lorri' Smith; granddaughter, Rachel (Tim) Frencl, Amanda and Courtney Hamrick; and sister in law, Carole Smith. He was preceded in death by brothers, Charles (Ellen) Smith, Robert Smith; and his parents.
A memorial service for Don will take place Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. at REES FUNERAL HOME, Olson Chapel, 5341 Central Ave. Portage, IN 46368 with Pastor Steve Jones officiating. Visitation will be just prior to the service on Saturday from 11:00-12:00 p.m. at the funeral home. For more information, please call 219-762-3013. Online condolences may be shared with the family at
Lottie Mae Stovall
GARY, IN - Lottie Mae Stovall, age 87, of Gary, IN, succumbed to her illness on November 30, 2017 in Tampa, FL. Lottie moved from GreenWood, Miss. to Gary, IN during the early 1950's. With due diligence and 'classy expertise', she became a successful, long time business owner in NWI.
She was beloved by family, friends and colleagues. Lottie is survived by a son, Ellered; a loving granddauther, Sommer LeFlore Warren; two great grandchildren: Brandon Jr. and Destiny; and a host of relatives. The family wishes to express a sincere debt of gratitude to Helen Pettis, of IN, whom Lottie considered her mortal guardian angel because of Helen's numerous unselfish acts of friendship. Also Mona 'you know who you are' and cousins Pam and Loraine Friley. GOD BLESS. Lottie will be missed.
PORTAGE, IN - Paul Swartz, age 79, of Portage, IN, passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at St. Mary's Medical Center in Hobart, IN. He was born on September 1, 1938 in Colliers, WV to John and Winifred (Williams) Swartz. Paul leaves behind his wife, Carolyn Jeanene Swartz; step son, Mike Smolios; step daughters, Cindy (Dwaine) Tilford and Gail (Gary) Vallangeon; five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings.
Paul worked for 20 years for Bud Company and also worked 20 years for Sargent Electric Company. He was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Portage, where he faithfully served in many building and ministry projects for the last 9 years. God has used him wonderfully in several churches and over many years in various positions. Paul will be missed terribly by all of his brothers and sisters of faith.
Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at EDMONDS & EVANS FUNERAL HOME, Portage Chapel, 6941 Central Ave., Portage, IN 46368 with Pastor Randall Forsythe and Pastor Dwaine Tilford officiating. Burial to follow at Heritage Cemetery, Portage, IN. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the funeral home. Online condolences to the family may be made at www.ee-fh.com
Rosemarie "Rose" Bacs Velligan
ST. JOHN, IN - Rosemarie 'Rose' Bacs Velligan, formerly of St. John, Indiana passed away comfortably surrounded by her eight children and family on December 2, 2017. She was 84.
She is survived by her loving children, Robert (Lynn), Kevin (Cheryl), Greg (Kimberly), Dana (John), Paul (Maria), Terrence (Dori), Christopher (Michele), and Patrick (Lisa); ten grandchildren, Sara, Rada, Andrew, Arika, Arin, Ariel, Marissa, Ryan, Payton, James; four step-grandchildren, Turner, Kyndall, Crystal and Kylee; and six great-grandchildren, Dominic, Evelyn, Vivian, Henry, Sebastian and Ingrid; her cousin Bette Sedey, other nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Aron and Mary Bacs (nee Pohanchany).
Born January 11, 1933 at St. Catherine's hospital in East Chicago, Indiana and spending formative years in Northwest Indiana, Rose briefly attended Froebel High School in Gary, Indiana then lived in the Indiana Harbor section of East Chicago, Indiana where she graduated from East Chicago Washington High School in 1951. Rosemarie received her Certificate of Arts from Monticello College, Godfrey, Illinois on June 7, 1953.
Rose was an accomplished cook and baker, famed for her Hungarian kalacs rolls and delicately filled kifli which supported her flourishing seasonal Sweets by Rozika for family, friends and those lucky enough to sample. With her children growing, she learned to drive in her early forties and played taxi mom to their various extracurricular activities and road trips. As her children grew up and moved on, Rose re-entered the workforce, first as the office manager for the Gary Jet Center and later obtaining her cosmetology license, to become the main manicurist for 27 years at Phaze I Design in Highland, Indiana where she was loved by many faithful clients and her co-workers, remaining in contact well after her retirement in 2011.
Rose had great enthusiasm for reading, gardening, canning, baking, and socializing with friends. But by far, her best joy was caring for her children. There at the farm in St. John were many fond memories of days spent as a Brownie and Girl Scout troop leader, church and community volunteer, usher to numerous neighborhood kids, and caretaker of the menagerie of dogs, horses, and other itinerant pets her kids would collect. The farm was the nucleus of her children's lives and 'Mrs. V' will be remembered as a 'second mom' to many of her children's friends. Over the past 25 years, Rose always looked forward to the twice yearly family reunions organized by her children which took her from Northwest Indiana to Indianapolis, Indiana; Denver, North Carolina; La Grange, Georgia; Stuart, Florida; and Camarillo, California.
Rose is also survived by her partner in adventure of over 40 years -Jeannie Fitzgerald-Gillespie - where they favored many local restaurants and sometimes played lucky at the casino boats.
Visitation for Rosemarie will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at LINCOLN RIDGE FUNERAL HOME, 7607 W Lincoln Hwy, Schererville, IN. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Lincoln Ridge, followed by internment at Elmwood Cemetery, Hammond. In lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Cancer Society, the Humane Society, or your local public library. And, whenever thinking of Rose's kindness, remember to pass it along.
Sharon Lee Crawford
IN LOVING MEMORY
3/2/1945 - 12/5/2013
Gone are the days we used to share, but in our hearts you're always there. Never more than a thought away, loved and remembered every day.
Forever In Our Hearts,
Kenny, Sherri, Juliann, Amy and Grandchildren
IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOSEPH HORVATH ON HIS 4TH ANNIVERSARY IN HEAVEN.
DECEMBER 5, 2013.
Remembering you as a loving husband, uncle and professional Cadillac salesman. A true friend to all. You are truly missed.
Your Fellow Employees at Napleton River Oaks Cadillac.