PORTAGE, IN - Bradley 'Brad' S. Devine, age 42, of Portage, passed away Saturday, October 28, 2017. He was born in Hammond, IN on September 18, 1975. Brad loved the outdoors. He enjoyed taking walks, hiking, firearms, the Dunes, and their family camping trips. He was very artistic and spent his free time drawing and watching documentaries.
Brad is survived by daughters, Mariah Devine, Rayne Myers, Amber Edmonds; son, Keegan Devine; grandchild, Sienna Edmonds;sister, Kristin (Stephan) DeVaney; and brothers, Scott Devine, Robert (America) Devine, Jr. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert A. Devine, Sr. and his mother, Anita S. Mendez.
Arrangements have been entrusted to REES FUNERAL HOME, OLSON CHAPEL. For more information, please call 219-762-3013. Online condolences may be shared with the family at:
PORTAGE, IN - Carmen E. Cruz, age 88, of Portage, passed away Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at the Golden Living Facility in Valparaiso. She was born in Puerto Rico on May 28, 1929 to the late Felipe and Christina (nee Sosa) Fontanez. She worked as a CNA for South Shore Hospital in Chicago and as a seamstress at Jansen in Gary.
Carmen is survived by sons, Paul Cruz of Michigan City, Anthony Cruz of Michigan City, Rick Cruz (Alissa) of Oklahoma, Paulie (Grisselda) Cruz of Arizona; daughters, Nellie (John) Kingsbury of Hobart, Tresa (Earl) Houston of Florida, Zelma (Bob) Spence of Ohio, Noemi Lopez of Virginia, Carmen (Bradley) Werner of Chesterton; sisters, Paula Flores of Portage, Rosa Lezama; brother, Raphael (Luce Maria) of Puerto Rico; 17 grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hipolito Cruz; granddaughter, Jacqueline Jones; grandson, Robert Miller; brother, Eduardo Fontanez; sister, Elena Gonzalez; and her parents.
Memorial contributions may be made in Carmen's honor to the Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Friday, November 10, 2017 beginning with 11:00 a.m. prayers at REES FUNERAL HOME, OLSON CHAPEL, 5341 Central Ave., Portage, IN 46368 then proceeding to Nativity of our Savior Church, 2949 Willowcreek Rd., Portage, IN 46368 with Rev. David Kime officiating. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Portage. Friends may gather with the family on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 5:00-8:00 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:
SURPRISE, AZ - Edward Frank Portschell, age 86 of Surprise, AZ is back together with his wife, Harriet 'Hat' (nee Barnwell) Portschell who passed on March 4, 2008. Ed passed away on November 5, 2017. He was born in Detroit, MI to Joseph Frank Portscheller and Mildred K. (nee Kortz) Portschell. He is survived by their only child, Edward T. (Jane) Portschell; grandfather of Edward Christopher Portschell and Melissa Jane (Mark) Carson and great grandfather of Katherine Kay Carson, Aaron Edward Carson, Aiden Walker Carson and Kaelynn Grace Carson. Ed is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Judith Lorene Eckhart; brothers, Joseph Harold Portscheller and Erwin G. Portschell.
Ed was a proud lifetime member of the Bricklayers & Allied Crafts International and was initiated into Local 6 of Indiana in December 1947 (now part of Local 4).
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM at CHAPEL LAWN FUNERAL HOME (8178 Cline Avenue Crown Point, IN) with Rev. Stephen Kosinski officiating. Interment to follow at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Crown Point, IN. Friends are invited to meet with the family on Saturday from 12:00 PM until time of service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America or the Dementia charity of choice. Online condolences may be left at:
CROWN POINT, IN - Elizabeth Alene Hilbrich (nee Mengel), age 95, of Crown Point, formerly of Hammond, passed away on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Betty was born on May 28, 1922, in Hammond to the late William and Hazel (nee Putt) Mengel.
She is survived by her two sons, Howard (Joan) Hilbrich and Ronald (Pauline Martinez) Hilbrich; two granddaughters, Courtney (Daniel) Markovich and Brittany (Jordan Sekulovski) Hilbrich; one sister, Mary Lee Selsor; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy ('Bud') Hilbrich; sister, Dorothea Norton; and brother, Bill Mengel.
Betty worked for Clarence Huber at Huber Funeral Home in Hammond and cherished the opportunity to assist families during visitations and services. She and Bud enjoyed their time at Bruce Lake, their winters in Tucson, Arizona, and frequent trips to the Stardust in Las Vegas. Betty also enjoyed organizing a good garage sale.
Cremation Services entrusted to GEISEN FUNERAL, CREMATION & RECEPTION CENTRE, CROWN POINT, IN.
Betty and Bud will be laid to rest together at Elmwood Cemetery in Hammond, IN. A Graveside Service will be held on Friday, November 10, 2017, at 11:00 AM directly at Elmwood Cemetery, 1413 169th St., Hammond, IN 46324.
The family would like to thank the staffs at St. Anthony Assisted Living and Nursing Home for their care and compassion over the last several years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to SHARE Foundation, PO Box 400, Rolling Prairie, IN 46371, would be appreciated.
For information, to view directions or sign Betty's online guestbook:
HAMMOND, IN - Feliciana Alvarez, nee Magallanez, age 73, of Hammond, IN, passed away on Saturday, November 4, 2017. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Efrain; five children: Juan Alvarez, Maria (Phillip) Wagner, Maria Alvarez, Louis Alvarez, and Efrain Jr. (Veronica) Alvarez; nine grandchildren: Jessica A. Muniz, Genoveva V. Muniz, Joanna M. Muniz, Karli M. Wagner, Noah E. Alvarez, Daniel A. Alvarez, Sophia A. Wagner, Chase J. Wagner, and Isabel V. Alvarez; three sisters: Rosamaria (Toribio) Baez, Socorro (David) Haro, Soledad (late Augustine) Cornejo; three brothers, Josemaria (Guadalupe) Magallanez, Ramon (Socorro) Magallanez, and Adalberto (Beatrice) Magallenez.
Funeral services Friday, November 10, 2017, 10:30 a.m. at the ANTHONY & DZIADOWICZ FUNERAL HOME, 4404 Cameron Avenue, Hammond (5 blocks W. of Calumet, 1 block N. of Gostlin), 11 a.m. Mass at St. Casimir Church, with Rev. Eduardo Malagon officiating. Burial at St. John-St. Joseph Cemetery, Hammond. Visitation on Thursday from 3:00-8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Mrs. Alvarez was a Hammond resident for 28 years. She enjoyed cooking and crocheting.
VALPARAISO, IN - Joyce M. (Jackson) Frazier, age 92 of Valparaiso, passed away peacefully at her home on November 5, 2017. She was born on October 16, 1925 to Malcolm and Ollie Mae Jackson in Gary, IN. Joyce graduated from Horace Mann in Gary in 1943. She went on to work at US Steel during World War II, where she fell in love with her future husband, Bob Frazier. They were married in 1949. She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bob; sisters, Barbara Scully and Harriet Quigley; and best friends, Betty Peiffer, Gennie Mullins, and Joy Bills.
Joyce is survived by her loving daughters and son, Robin (Bob) Zborowski of Valparaiso, Peggy (Bob) Branham of Merrillville, Mary Kay (Bob) Philips of Valparaiso, and Jimmy (Irene Swartz) Frazier of Indianapolis; grandchildren, Danny Frazier, Bobby (Ruthie Pesina) Branham, Timmy (Megan) Branham, Greg Branham, Maggie, Kathryn, and Sam Philips, and Jacob Frazier; great grandchildren, Liam Branham, and Claire and Vivian Branham; brother-in-law and close friend, Ladd Quigley; and several nieces and nephews.
Joyce was a Girl Scout leader and longtime member of Central Baptist Church in Gary before moving to Valparaiso in 1966. She loved playing bridge and was a dedicated 20 year volunteer at Porter Hospital in Valparaiso.Joyce will be dearly missed and remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, GG, aunt, and friend.
A private memorial service will be held, MOELLER FUNERAL HOME, VALPARAISO handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joyce's name to Dunes Hospice in Valparaiso or St. Jude Children's Hospital, would truly honor her name.
Katherine (Prohaska) Hanlon went home to be with her beloved Jesus on November 4, 2017. She leaves behind her husband of 70 years, John. She was the loving mother to seven children: Bill, Judy, David, Becky (Dunham), Maribeth (St. Aubin), Steve, and Deb (Hunt); along with 17 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sons, Bill and David.
She was also preceded in death by her siblings: Doreen Usselman, Madge Sheline, Ernest Prohaska and Martha Kolas. Katherine died peacefully in her home.
She was born in Lyford, IN to her coal miner father, Frank, and home-making mother, Anna. She moved to Hammond in the 1930s where she worked for Lever Brothers during World War II. On Sundays, she played piano and guitar at Hammond Full Gospel Tabernacle.
Later, a young minister, John Hanlon, heard her singing gospel music in the church and fell in love with her and the way she worshiped God. After the two were married in 1947, they pastored several Assembly of God churches for two decades.
In each church, she played the piano, organized the Sunday school programs and crafts, wrote and directed Christmas pageants, scrubbed floors and pews, lead youth groups and counselled kids at camp - all while raising her own children.
Katherine's love for her family was deep and rich. Holiday treat bags found their way to all of the children in her family. Her home was decorated with pumpkins, shamrocks and red, white and blue in July, and a sea of flowers year round. But Christmas was her favorite season. She would sing, 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' in September. Family gatherings in these blessed times were emboldened by her smile and laughter.
She lovingly cared for the residents at St. Anthony's nursing home for two decades. She and John were well known as 'Mr. and Mrs. H' at several restaurants in Crown Point, where Katherine entertained every child she saw.
Her deep Christian faith was celebrated for 92 years,even as her body began to fail. She raised her hands and said, 'Thank you, Jesus,' over and over again just days before her death.
She attended Living Hope Church and Bethel Church over the last 40 years.
Visitation will be held at BURNS FUNERAL HOME, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point on Thursday, November 9, 2015 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The funeral will be at BURNS on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Donations may be made to Convoy of Hope, 330 S. Patterson Ave. Springfield, MO 65802.
WHITING, IN - Kitty B. Santay (nee Reiger) 86 of Whiting, passed away peacefully at her home on Monday, November 6, 2017. She was the beloved wife of the late Eugene A. 'Gene' Santay on February 26, 1994; loving mother of Ann Marie (late Ed) Novak; cherished grandmother of Christy (Keanu Basques) Denny; dearest sister of Irene (late Max) Newell, Lonnie Reiger and Dorothy (Ken) Lipe; dear sister-in-law of Colette Santay; many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was also preceded in death by nine brothers and sisters.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 10:30am at the BARAN FUNERAL HOME, 1235-119th St., Whiting; a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:00am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whiting with the Rev. Msgr. Joseph Semancik, officiating; interment, St. John Cemetery, Hammond; visitation at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4:00 to 8:00pm; parish wake service at the funeral home on Wednesday at 4:30pm.
Kitty Santay was born on September 22, 1931 in Sesser, Illinois to William and Alma (LaVault) Reiger and was a resident of Whiting for the past 66 years. She was a very active member of the former Immaculate Conception Church, Whiting and the St. Ann Sodality of the Immaculate Conception Church. She was currently a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whiting and the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association. Kitty enjoyed gardening and was an excellent cook and baker. She was a former employee of the Whiting White Castle with a service of 15 years. A devoted wife, mother and grandma, Kitty will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Alzheimer's Foundation, would be appreciated.
HOBART, IN - Lorraine (nee Sonntag) Kietzman age 94, of Hobart, passed away on Monday, November 6, 2017. She was born in Gary, IN on September 25, 1923 to the late Ernest and Sara (nee Judge) Sonntag. She loved fishing and Disney World and adored spending time with her family.
Lorraine is survived by sons, David (Elizabeth) Kietzman, Charles (Theresa) Kietzman; daughter, Tina Kietzman; and grandchildren, Matthew (Noelle) Kietzman, Russell (Anna) Kietzman, Joshua (Carrie) Kietzman, Erica (John) Ketchum. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Raymond Kietzman; daughters, Jean (Wayne) Boyle, Carol Parker; sisters, Janet Kubik, Sara Oliver; and brothers, Johnny, Russell, and Fred Sonntag.
A funeral service for Lorraine will be held Friday, November 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at REES FUNERAL HOMES, 600 W. Old Ridge Road, Hobart, IN 46342. Cremation will follow with a burial at Graceland Cemetery, Valparaiso, at a later date. Friends may gather with the family Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at REES FUNERAL HOME, HOBART CHAPEL. For more information, please call 219-942-2109. Online condolences may be shared with the family at:
DeMOTTE, IN - Patricia L. Geisen (nee Pinkerton), age 78, of DeMotte, IN passed away on Friday, November 3, 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Patricia is survived by her husband of 59 years, Daniel R. Geisen; four children: Jeffery Geisen, Jeanette Jancosek, Jennifer Whitcomb and James (Raquel) Geisen; 18 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; two sisters: Nancy Amon and Leslie Coffin; one sister-in-law, Dee Pinkerton; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents: Ralph and Frances Pinkerton; brother, Tom Pinkerton.
Patricia retired after 20 years of service as a manager with Federal Employees Credit Union. She enjoyed playing the slot machines, baking, and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.
A Memorial Visitation will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at GEISEN FUNERAL, CREMATION & RECEPTION CENTRE, 606 E. 113th Ave., Crown Point, IN 46307 from 1:00 PM until the time of the Memorial Service at 3:00 PM. Services will conclude at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in Patricia's name to Hospice of the Calumet Area. For information, to view directions and sign Patricia's online guestbook:
HIGHLAND, IN - Richard G. Powell, age 79, of Highland, passed away on Thursday November 2, 2017.
He is survived by his daughter, Jenice Powell; sons: James (Kris) Powell and David (Jamie) Powell; grandchildren: Jenna, Jordan, Taylor and Tessa; great-grandchild, Cardon and brother, Joseph (Francyn) Powell. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Powell; daughter, Karen Powell and sister, Eileen Cummings.
Memorial visitation will be on Saturday November 11, 2017, at FAGEN-MILLER FUNERAL HOME, 2828 Highway Ave., Highland, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., with a mass at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Grace Church, 3025 Highway Ave., Highland with Rev. Edward Moszur officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials to your favorite charity in Richard's name would be appreciated.
PENDLETON, IN - Robert J. Butcher, 71, of Pendleton and formerly of Crown Point, passed away surrounded by family on November 5, 2017 at Yorktown Manor in Yorktown. He was born on May 28, 1946 in Chicago, IL.
He was a Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force. He retired as a machinist from ArcelorMittal Steel. He was a member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Anderson.
Bob was a hard working and dedicated to his family and friends and enjoyed target shooting, woodworking, cooking, and a good cigar.
Robert is survived by his loving wife Barbara (Benson) Butcher of Pendleton; son, John G. Butcher of Pendleton; Sister, Mary Anne (Roy) Mearns of Leesburg, FL; two grandsons, Warren and Noah Butcher; in-laws, Jim (Judy) Benson of Columbus, OH, and Mary Beth (Michael) Hicks of Crown Point; best friend, Jim Kennedy; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by father, John E. Butcher; mother, Margaret Butcher; daughter, Elizabeth Anne 'Bethie' Butcher; sister, Jean Fajman.
Funeral Mass will be held, Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Crown Point with Father Pat Kalich officiating. Following the mass, visitation with family will be held at White Hawk Country Club in Crown Point.
Funeral arrangements were entrust to LOOSE FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 200 West 53rd Street, Anderson, IN. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Share Foundation with the Handicap, Inc., P.O. Box 400, Rolling Prairie, IN 46371 or Alzheimer's Association.
CROWN POINT, IN - Rosalie R. Wiley (nee Okray), age 78, of Crown Point, IN, passed away on Monday, November 6, 2017.
Rosalie is survived by her loving husband, Norman of 54 years; son, Todd (Cheryl) Wiley; daughter, Kelly (John) Coughlin; grandchildren: Jonathon Hickey, Kathryn, Luca, Natalie and Jack Wiley; sisters: Annette Jordan and Diana Rietman; brothers: Larry (Kristin) Okray, Terry Okray, David (Denice) Okray and Michael (Stacey) Okray; sister-in-law, Judith Okray; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents: Anthony and Rita Okray; son, Kevin Wiley; in-laws: Harold and Hazel Wiley; brother, Richard Okray.
Rosalie was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Crown Point. She was an excellent cook and baker, along with numerous talents: sewing, crocheting, painting, crafting, decorating and gardening. Rosalie was an inspiration to all who knew her and will be greatly missed.
Friends may visit with the family on Friday, November 10, 2017, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at GEISEN FUNERAL, CREMATION & RECEPTION CENTRE, 606 E. 113th Ave., Crown Point, IN 46307. Funeral Prayers will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 9:15 AM at GEISEN FUNERAL, CREMATION & RECEPTION CENTRE, CROWN POINT, IN, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 321 E. Joliet St., Crown Point, IN 46307, with Fr. Pat Kalich officiating. Internment will take place at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Schererville, IN.
MANTENO, IL - Thomas C. Wojtanowicz, age 70, late of Manteno and formerly of Sauk Village, passed away November 3, 2017. Beloved husband of Diane (nee Szafranski) for 46 years. Loving father of Keith (Jamee) Wojtanowicz, Kelly (Patrick) Mead, Kraig (Vickie) Wojtanowicz, Kyle (Jackie) Wojtanowicz and Kristie (Mike) Tuley. Devoted grandfather of Kate, Ryan, Matthew, Megan, Jacob and Tony. Dear brother of Robert (Laurie) Wojtanowicz. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews. Thomas was a U.S. Navy Veteran, a retired employee of Norfolk Southern Railroad and a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Lansing Knights of Columbus #3540.
Visitation Friday 2:00-9:00 p.m at ELMWOOD CHAPEL, 11200 S. Ewing Ave., Chicago. Visitation will also take place Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. until time of Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. DIRECTLY AT St. Joseph Church, 207 S. Main St., Manteno. Cemetery private. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Wounded Warrior Project in Thomas's name would be appreciated. 773-731-2749, ww.elmwoodchapel.com.
VALPARAISO, IN - Wendi Merbitz-Balda, 42 of Valparaiso, formerly of Roeland Park, KS passed away peacefully with her family and friends by her side on Monday, November 6, 2017, after a courageous eight year battle against breast cancer. She was born January 26, 1975 in Los Angeles, CA to Richard Merbitz and Teresa (Keyes) Heil. Wendi had a happy childhood growing up in the mountains of Idyllwild, California where she first accepted the Lord and cultivated her love of things like dance and the outdoors. While Wendi had many addresses, those that knew her know that her home was always at the beach. Moving to Kansas City as a teenager, Wendi continued her lifelong habit of 'collecting friends' making and inspiring many people along the way. A highly disciplined student, Wendi graduated with honors from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO with a Master's degree in Physical Therapy. She was able to use her spiritual gifts of service and mercy working as a Physical Therapist, and quickly grew from being a practitioner to area rehab director to consultant for health care companies. As successful as her career was, her true passion was serving others (youth ministry was a favorite). Wendi also loved teaching fitness classes at the YMCA, spending time and running at the beach, and above all else, doing activities with her children. All through her life Wendi inspired the best in others with her unshakable faith, integrity, joyful attitude, and beautiful smile. She will be remembered by her family as a loving daughter, wife, sister, and mother. Wendi will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
Wendi is survived by Christopher Balda, husband; children: Faith and R.J., along with her parents, Teresa and Ed Heil of Lake Havasu, AZ, and brother, Erick Bryce of CA. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard Merbitz.
Visitation will be Sunday, November 12, 2017 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. while the funeral will be Monday November 13, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. All services are at the Valparaiso Nazarene Church, 2702 E. Glendale Blvd, Valparaiso, IN, 46383. There will be an additional service for our Kansas City friends and family details forthcoming.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Youthfront at either https://youthfront.com/ or at 4715 Rainbow Blvd, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66205.