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Robert Joseph

February 18, 2020

Robert Joseph, 96, of Calumet Township, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, surrounded by his family during his last few days.


He was born on November 23, 1923, in Gary, Indiana, the son of Assyrian immigrants.  He attended Emerson High School, where he played tackle on the Norseman football team.  Bob continued his education at Indiana University, where he earned a bachelors of science degree and was a member of the 1945 Big 10 Championship football team.


After graduation, Bob commenced a teaching career at Calumet High School, the beginning of more than 50 years of service to the Calumet Township Schools.   He met his wife Mabel, a fellow teacher, at Calumet.  In 1957, Bob started the Calumet High School football program from scratch and served as its coach for 11 seasons.  He went on to become an administrator, serving as assistant principal for Lake Ridge Junior High School and principal for Calumet High School.  After Bob retired, he was elected to the Lake Ridge School Board, where he served for twelve years.


Bob was proud of and knowledgeable about his Assyrian heritage, but he also embraced his wife’s Italian heritage, becoming a family expert in Italian history, travel, cooking, wine-making, and other family traditions.  He followed a fitness regimen his entire adult life, working out almost every day until a few weeks ago.  He maintained lifelong interests in history, travel, football, cooking, wine, and politics.  In his later years, Bob took joy in his grandchildren, seeing them weekly and coming to Chicago to attend all of their significant events, up to the very end of his life.


Bob is survived by his son Robert, of Gary; his daughter Elizabeth (Jonathan) Bohlen of Chicago; 2 grandchildren—Anna and Dominic Bohlen; and nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Mabel Ann (née Largura) Joseph; his parents, Absalom and Evelyn Joseph; his siblings Samuel (Annabell) Joseph and Evelyn (William) Gill; his mother-in-law Ida Largura; and his siblings-in-law Elio (Ruth) Largura and Delores Largura.


Visitation will be at Rendina Funeral Home (5100 Cleveland Street; Gary, IN 46408) on Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 4 pm to 8 pm, and Friday, February 21 from 9 am to 10 am.  The funeral service will be at Rendina Funeral Home on Friday, February 21, 2020 at 10 am, Bishop Ronald Hicks officiating.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SHARE Foundation with the Handicapped, PO Box 400; Rolling Prairie, IN 46371.   SHARE is an organization that served Bob’s sister-in-law Delores over many years.



Thursday, February 20, 2020
4:00 - 8:00 PM
*Additional visitation Friday, February 21, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Rendina Funeral Home

5100 Cleveland Street, Gary, IN 46408 VIEW MAP

T 219-980-1141
F 219-980-1142


Friday, February 21, 2020
Visitation 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
10:00 AM
Rendina Funeral Home

5100 Cleveland Street, Gary, IN 46408  VIEW MAP

T 219-980-1141
F 219-980-1142