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Miller Pizza Company owner mourned as a bedrock of community
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Miller Pizza Company owner mourned as a bedrock of community

From the WATCH NOW: 5 stories to know from the weekend series

The owner of Miller Pizza Company, a long-standing institution in Gary's lakefront Miller Beach community, is being mourned by the community.

Miller resident Gary Ian Goldberg died at the age of 77. He's being remembered by neighbors and friends as a mentor to many, "one of the friendliest people in Miller Beach" and "one of the stabilizing figures of Miller."

"It is with a heavy heart that we share that our Captain, Gary Goldberg, has lost his valiant battle with cancer and gained his wings yesterday," Miller Pizza Company posted on social media. "Elsie, the MPC Crew and the Goldberg family truly appreciate all of your support and love. We look forward to carrying on the legacy of this incomparable man for decades to come."

Goldberg died of cancer Wednesday while "surrounded with love by his family in the home he built with his sons 37 years ago," according to his obituary.

Goldberg and his son Scott founded the old-school pizzeria specializing in Chicago-style pizza and Italian beef sandwiches at 622 1/2 Lake St. a block away from the South Shore Line station in 1985. He owned the popular neighborhood pizzeria, a regular stop for many beach-goers in the summer, along with his wife Elise.

Gary Executive Director of Community Investment Eric Reaves described Goldberg as "a neighborhood and community leader."

"Gary loved Lake Street and supported many in Gary/Miller Beach without recognition," he posted in a tribute. "He had an indelible impact on my life. A friend, mentor and father figure who gave much more of himself than he received in return. Please keep the Goldbergs and the Miller Pizza Family in your hearts as they endure the loss of The Boss, GIG, Gary."

Coming Sunday, see a day in the life of Michigan City Police Officer Brian Wright.

Golberg started the restaurant to provide the community "the same delicious Chicago-style pizza he grew up with in the Chicago suburbs in the 1970s." Miller Pizza Company serves up tavern-cut pies with hand-made dough, house-made pizza sauce, and herbs and spices supplied from Chicago.

The restaurant is known for its vintage dining room with checkerboard tablecloths and outdoor patio, which often hosts live music by the train tracks in the heart of the Lake Street downtown corridor.

A visitation will take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday at Temple Israel, 601 Montgomery St. in Gary. The funeral will take place at 1 p.m. with a private family burial on Monday.

To leave tributes on his online guestbook, visit www.GeisenFuneralHome.com.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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