Author: Carrie Evans

Sevasti Spaliaras

Sevasti Spaliaras—“Stoula” to her friends—of Crown Point was called home on Monday, November 9th, just four days after her 97th birthday. She passed peacefully surrounded by family in her home.
She is survived by her son, Nick; daughter-in-law, Jeannie (nee Spurlock); grandchildren: Dan (Toni), David, and Katie (Bojan); great-grandchildren Niko and Kaitlynn; K9 friends: Frank and Ernie; and extended family in Greece.
An identical twin, Sevasti was born in Athens, Greece, in 1923 and came to America in 1958 with her late husband Dennis to start a family. Today her family—who affectionately calls her “Mamou”— celebrates a life well lived, full of endless generosity, a deep adoration of all things Santa Claus, a fierce love of family and a stubborn insistence that everyone should eat more cake.
Until we meet again, Kalinychta, koúkla.
The family will hold private services. In lieu of flowers or donations, it was Mamou’s wish that we all remember to love one another.

Anthony Gulyas

Anthony Gulyas, our dad, passed away at 96 on Monday, Nov 9, 2020. Because of the COVID crisis my brother Dave and I could only intermittently visit him at his assisted living residence for the past year, but we could see that he was doing well mentally and emotionally, and that was gratifying. When someone reaches their mid 90’s the sense that they’ve enjoyed a long life becomes the underlying sentiment, overruling feelings of foreboding.

Anthony served our country during the Second World War with the US Coast Guard, deployed in the Pacific from 1942 to 1946, helping secure newly liberated islands and further assisting the war effort by operating radar control. After the war he came back to his hometown, Gary, Indiana, and worked at U.S. Steel and later at American Bridge as a design draftsman. He married and had three sons. He enjoyed coaching little league baseball, playing golf and taking trips with his family to national parks and urban centers.

Upon retiring, with more time on his hands, he tapped into his aptitude for building design and built out of nothing more than match sticks, several large models of iconic, universally recognized buildings.

Dad had lifelong friends from diverse backgrounds, was an effective union organizer and always enjoyed socializing. He instilled in my brother and me an appreciation for understanding the world from others’ point of view. At the end he got to hear from emergency room staff that Joe Biden had won the election and was gratified at the news. He is survived by two remaining sons, Stephen and David and will be interred with his late spouse, Anita, and youngest son, Jefferey. Thank you for your service and rest In peace, Tony!

Ray Anthony Ortiz

Ray Anthony Ortiz, a general contractor and life-long resident of Merrillville, Indiana, died unexpectedly on September 11, 2020 at the age of 36.
Ray Anthony is survived by his parents; his girlfriend Amber Kaste; and his siblings Michael, Christine, Jacqueline, and Alexander. He is predeceased by his grandfather Reinaldo Ortiz Sr. and grandmother,
Eleanor Ortiz.
Ray Anthony was born in Munster, Indiana on December 12, 1983 to Luz and Ray Ortiz. He attended Merrillville High School and went on to become an independent general contractor.
Ray Anthony was a devoted son and brother and was a spiritual man. He enjoyed the outdoors, boating, attending sporting events, festivals and concert and spending time with his nieces and nephews. He prioritized his family and was always there to support his mother in any and every way that he could.
Funeral services were held on September 21, 2020 at St. Stephen the Martyr Church and he was laid to rest at Calumet Park Cemetery. Father Michael Maginot officiated the services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Dyslexia Foundation ( and/or
to the Lymphoma Research Foundation ( in honor of Ray Anthony Ortiz.

George Salinas

George Salinas, age 71, of Gary, passed away on Tuesday, July 21. He was born in Laredo, Texas in 1948 and soon relocated to the region. After graduation from Gary Edison High School in 1968, he went on to honorably serve his country in the U.S. Army. Upon returning home, he was employed at ArcelorMittal and worked as an electrician for 48 years.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Rosary; his loving children: Yvette Salinas and Tremayne Salinas; stepdaughter, Rosedell; treasured grandchildren: Roxanne Salinas, Anina Trosper, Cortez (Jordan) Hague, Jett George, Marley Salinas, and Benjamin Salinas; treasured great grandchildren: Jaylin, Bentley, Gemma and Tallulah; and dear sister and brothers: Catalina “Minnie” (Paul) Greenawald, Rael Salinas, Ray (Donna) Salinas, Cesar Salinas, and Victor Salinas.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Raymundo and Margarita Salinas.

George was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend. He always had a smile on his face and was quite the jokester. He was always willing to lend a helping hand or offer sound advice, if needed. He loved his family, his job, reading, and motorcycling. George will certainly be missed by all.
Due to recent health concerns, a private celebration will be held by the family.

Dwight Kratowicz

Dwight Kratowicz, a Lowell, IN resident for nearly 30 years, left his earthly body on Saturday, July 18th, 2020 after a long battle with cancer that he courageously fought for nearly 3 years. I’m sad to say that 48 hours after a positive Covid diagnosis he was gone. Covid robbed us of our chance to say our final goodbyes.

We owe a profound gratitude to everyone at the Jesse Brown Medical Center and Adam Benjamin Jr. VA Outpatient Clinic in Crown Point who gave him the ultimate care and respect throughout his illness and were of the utmost comfort to me on some of our darkest days. But there are not enough words of thanks to give to his caregivers at the Golden Living Center in Merrillville for trying to protect him in these final months and caring for him daily and when we could no longer. They were also touched by his infectious smile and kind demeanor.

Dwight was born in southern Michigan, grew up in South Chicago, was a graduate from Bowen High School, bravely served his country as a commended combat serviceman in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam 1970 – 1971, and retired from Acme Steel after 30 years. He was an active member of AA/NA and logged over 35 years of sobriety, and was a sponsor to many through their own journey to get help. He was a profoundly private person but had a smile or helping hand for every stranger, and was a kind, generous neighbor. He was an avid reader, lover of live music, and an outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, cooking, gardening and riding his bike as far as his legs would take him.

Dwight is survived by his one true love, his former wife, Colleen Kratowicz (Quinn) who he loved imperfectly but the only way he knew how; his loving daughter, Celena Mossell (Kratowicz) who he adopted as his own; son-in-law, Mark Mossell; grandchildren: Alanna and Nathan Mossell, who he was so very proud of: his ultimate joy, his great-granddaughter Gwen Mossell who to his great delight, called him her “Gaga”; and last but not least, his sweet little buddy, a cockatiel, Wazito.

To honor his memory, please consider a donation to one of his favorite charities, St. Jude Research Hospital, or give a hand to a stranger, focus on the present moment and enjoy the beauty of the outside world. Take a walk and enjoy a deep breath of fresh air, notice the wind in your hair, the song of a bird in the distance or the infinite beauty of your garden. If you read this and you think you need help, consider living your life one day at a time. It changed his life for the better. It might change yours too. Per Dwight’s wishes, no services are being held.

James Rohaley

SOUTH HAVEN,IN  James J. Rohaley age 81 passed away July 16, 2020 in his home surrounded by loved ones.

Jim was born March 19,1939 in Brier Hill, PA. to the late Andrew and Mary Rohaley.

He honorably served his country as a SPEC 4 in the Army where he received the Merits of a Good Conduct Metal and Sharp Shooter awards.

After working for J.M. Construction and as a Barber in Hobart In, he retired from US Steel after 28 years of service as a Millwright in the Coke plant.

He was an avid outdoors man, who also loved garage sales, auctions, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Kathy “Kack” (Mudry); daughters: Deborah Rohaley-Upton (Tom Upton) of Kouts, In, Sandy Buchwalter, and son: Ronald (Jodi) Rohaley of Phillips, Wi; 3 grandchildren: Jason Buchwalter, Christopher Rohaley, and Anthony Rohaley; 1 brother: Bill(Barbara)Rohaley and sister-in-laws: Kathleen Rohaley and Madelyn Rohaley; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, brothers: Edward, Andrew, Robert, Tom, Bernard, Richard, and John; sisters: Margaret and Rita; and his Best Buddy, (Siamese Cat) Frankie.

Private funeral services will be conducted on Wednesday July 22, 2020 at Calumet Park Funeral Home Hobart Chapel 370 N. County Line Rd. 46342

-In lieu of flowers donations can be made to VNA Hospice Center Valparaiso In 46383.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMPASSIONATE CARE.

James Mitchell

James A Mitchell passed away 7/12/2020 after losing his fight with coronavirus. Jim was a proud Navy Veteran who loved to be outdoors, whether it was drinking his morning coffee with the birds and the squirrels, or getting some wind therapy on the motorcycle. The most important thing to Jim was his family and friends. Jim’s robust personality helped him stand out, and you always knew where he was when he was cheering on his kids. Jim was a caring man with a larger than life personality, and an even bigger heart.
Jim is survived by his wife Sheila, and children Rebecca Mitchell, Ryan (Elizabeth) Cotner of Brunswick, ME & Jennifer (Mark) Lookhart of Apollo, PA. Grandchildren: Blake, Mia, Aliona, Jonathon, and Christian. Also survived by siblings Greig (Linda) Mitchell, Roberta (Robert) Kozminski, and Dana (Gale) Mitchell, many nieces and nephews, and other family members and friends. Preceeded in death by his parents James and Mary Mitchell.
We will not be having a service at this time. When the time is appropriate we will gather to remember and celebrate Jim’s life. Until that time, keep it in the wind.
In lieu of donations to the family, we ask you to make donations to Operation Combat Bikesaver in Crown Point, IN, in the name of Jim Mitchell.

George Simonian

George Robert Simonian died suddenly in Naples, FL at the age of 88 from natural causes.
He was born December 30, 1931 in Chicago, IL to Kachador Simonian (James) and Praksia Simonian (Achie). He was born Robert but was baptized George – the name he used all of his adult life, except for his immediate family who called him Bobby.
George married the love of his life Geneva Katchaturoff on September 19, 1954. They welcomed their only child, Mark, in 1955. Unfortunately, Geneva passed away in 1989.
He is survived by his son, Mark (Tamera) Simonian; and grandson, Kyle (Whitney). George was also blessed with great grandchildren: twin boys – Bryce and Gavin, and newest born, Emma
George had five sisters and survived by Julie Shehigian and Sara Simonian both residing in Hammond, IN area.
George was a self-employed most of his life, developing a laundromat/dry cleaning business and fast food restaurant with wife Geneva. George was a veteran in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1955. He also was a proud member of the Masons and the Shriners.
George enjoyed life and had many adventures. He loved Florida and the high heat, driving big cars like his Lincoln Towncar, going to Greek Town in Chicago, walking with his friends on Marco Island, sharing meals with Andy Kolstadt and Tony G., and coffee with his friends in Merrillville. Family and friends were his greatest joy and relished spending time with his brother-in-law Dan and his wife Rosemary Katchaturoff (who passed in 2019) and their children Dawn, Diann, and Dan and their families, as well as spending time with Ruben (who also passed in 2019) and Julie Shehigian and their children Ruben and Kim, Lisa, and Nicole, and visiting with Bill and Arleen Perrotti.
Above all else, he loved bragging about his grandchild and great grandchildren. George will be truly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Liedy Kuzemka

Liedy Rose Kuzemka, age 89 of Chesterton, formerly of St. John, Indiana and Merrillville, Indiana, passed away peacefully on June 16, 2020. She was born on April 10, 1931 in Mt. Vernon, Missouri to Claude and Loretta Hendricks who preceded her in death. On August 20, 1955 she married William Kuzemka who preceded her in death. She is survived by her son, David (Aimee) Kuzemka, daughter, Shelly Liapes and grandchildren Jamie (Matt) Miller, Josh, Sam and Henry Kuzemka and Luke and Caroline Liapes and great-grandson Alekzandr Kuzemka. Her son, James Kuzemka, preceded her in death. Liedy is also survived by 3 sisters, Dorothy, Shirley and Ruby and many nieces and nephews.
Liedy was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Crown Point. She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma sorority, the American Association of University Women as well as the Indiana and Illinois Retired Teachers Associations.
Liedy earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Missouri State University and Lewis University. She was an elementary school teacher for 38 years. She loved children, loved teaching and loved her family dearly. Liedy was also a nature lover and especially enjoyed the the natural wonders of the United States, traveling to all 50 states. Her final one being the state of Oregon at age 78 with her grandchildren.
A private family service will be held followed by a private internment with Reverend Mark Wilkins officiating. Memorials may be made to Liedy’s favorite charity, the Salvation Army, or to a charity of your choice.

Helen Martinez

Helen Mary Martinez, age 89, passed away peacefully on Tuesday June 9, 2020, with her family and
loving husband of 62 years by her side.
Helen was born on October 10, 1930 in Gary, Indiana, and graduated in 1948 from Froebel High
School in Gary, Indiana. Helen continued her education by attending and graduating from
business school and then began her dedicated career with U.S. Steel. Later on she worked alongside
her son, Joseph, as his secretary and bookkeeper for Archie’s Auto Recyclers in Merrillville, IN.
Helen is survived by her loving husband, Jesse Louis Martinez, and her 5 children: Louis (Pat)
Martinez of Crown Point, IN, Yolanda (Robert) Santos of Crown Point, IN, Joseph (Melissa)
Martinez of Schererville, IN, Lisa (Richard) Mazzio of Basking Ridge, NJ, and Laure Jean (Timothy)
Gilliam of Denver, CO.; and sister, Emily Duenas of Gary, IN.
Helen is also survived by her pride and joy, her grandchildren – all granddaughters:
Michele (Timothy) Jurgens, Cheryl (Craig) Taylor, Linda (Ryan) Montgomery,
Sara Martinez, and Bianca Marie Martinez. Additionally, Helen had 8 great grandchildren. She
had many nieces, nephews, and cousins from both sides of her family. She is preceded in death
by her parents Manual and Cirila Camarena; her sister, Triny Varela; and her brother Manuel
Helen was resolute in her dedication and love as a wife and mother. She was a thoughtful,
caring, and dedicated member of her church, Our Lady of Consolation, where she and Louis
were founding parishioners. She was the matriarch of the Martinez family who instilled honesty,
endurance, a strong Catholic faith, and the value of hard work. She loved to shop, cook, bake,
and craft. Spending time with her family, alongside her husband Louis, was the most
perfect way she liked to spend her time. She was influential to everyone who encountered her
and will be missed by all.
Visitation for Helen will be held 9:30 to 10:30 AM on Monday June 15, 2020 inside the vestibule of Our
Lady of Consolation Church (Visitation restricted to 25 people in the vestibule at any given time.
Facemasks and gloves are required by all visitors. Please adhere to all social distancing guidelines.)Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 10:30, with interment at Calumet Park Cemetery.