Author: Marcia Ochoa

Dorothy Savich

Dorothy Savich, age 96, passed away peacefully, October 23, 2020 at her home. Dorothy was a parishioner of St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church and volunteered many years as the church secretary. Many will remember her countless hours of volunteering at church events. She graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Her first nursing job was at US Steel in Gary. She then went on to be a nursing instructor at Evanston Hospital’s School of Nursing and finally retired from her nursing career at Lake County Indiana.

She is preceded in death by her parents Micheal & Helen Savich, half brothers Pete Mandich, George Mandich, sisters Bernice Bresich and Emily Savich, and brother Nick Savich.

Dorothy is survived by her niece Kathy Bresich and nephew Michael (Dawn) Bresich; great niece Danielle Bresich and great nephew David Bresich.

The family would like to thank the staff at Towne Centre for their wonderful care of Dorothy over the years and especially in her final days. May her memory be eternal.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, October 30, 2020 at the Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft St, Merrillville, IN at 12 noon. V. Rev Aleksandar Novakovic officiating. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. For further information please call Mileva or David at 219-736-5840 or

Brett A. Shriver

Brett Shriver
Griffith, IN
Brett Shriver, 50, passed away surrounded by his family on October 16, 2020 after a short, but hard-fought battle with cancer. Brett was born in Hammond, IN on February 27, 1970. He grew up in Merrillville, IN where he made many close friends. He is survived by his mother, Margaret Papusch of Hebron, IN; his daughter, Lyssa Falk of Griffith, IN; brother, Gregg of Merrillville; sisters, Kimberly of Las Vegas, NV and Carrie of Hebron; his stepmother, Sharon Shriver of Crystal Lake, IL; and his significant other, Ste
fani Houston of Griffith; plus many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Harold Shriver and stepfather Marty Papusch.
Brett was employed by Superheat FGH Services INC. His job sent him to many different places.
Brett was truly one of a kind, he loved his family and could always make us smile even in hard times. He loved to shoot pool and watch cheesy horror movies, but the thing he loved most was riding his Harley. He will be surely missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
Ride on Brett!!
Visitation will be Thursday, October 22, 2020 from 3 – 7 PM at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street, Merrillville. For more info, call 219-736-5840 or visit

Aaron James Smith

Aaron James Smith
Hammond, Indiana
Aaron James Smith, age 21, unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, October 4, 2020. Aaron was the most selfless individual you would ever meet. He touched the soul of ever person he met. He was his parents rock.
Aaron is survived by the Love of His Life, Lindsey Ross; parents, Sarah (Rick Janek) Macielewicz, and Tommy (Laurin) Smith; grandparents, Tom Smith, Alan Ross, Laura Wright and Ernest (Melanie) Macielewicz; siblings, Regina (Jose) Smith, Destiny Smith, Chelsie (Syd) Gieseking, Meryc (Natalie) Janek, Jacob Janek, Luke Janek, Alissa Perales; three beloved nieces, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are deeply going to miss him.
Preceded in death by grandfather, Timothy Kompier and grandmother Sherry Ross.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 7 PM on Friday, October 9, 2020 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street, Merrillville, IN. Friends may visit with the family from 4 PM until time of service.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Aaron Smith Fund, Horizon Bank 1321 119th Street, Whiting, IN 46394. For information please visit or call 219-736-5840.

Gary Raven

Gary Raven, age 58 of Beecher, IL passed away on September 27, 2020. Gary was born in Evergreen Park, IL and was raised in Hometown, IL. He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Helen Raven; his brother Kevin Raven; and nephew Timothy Stanton, Jr. He is survived by his loving sister Kelly (Timothy) Stanton; two nieces, Allison and Natalie Stanton.

Gary was a talented mechanic and engineer, and a friend to a multitude of people. Gary was an excellent stock car driver, and actively raced for a large portion of his life. Gary spread a passion for racing and a deep understanding of what it meant to be an expert. Anyone who met Gary left with a friend for life, someone who be by their side. Gary loved his friends and family with unparalleled zeal. All who came into contact with Gary will continue to share his inspiration and his love for living life to the fullest. Gary will be deeply missed.

Visitation will be held, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft St, Merrillville, IN. from 2pm to 7pm. For further information please call Mileva or Dave at (219) 738-5840.

Wendy Schwandt

Wendy Schwandt, age 71, of Wanatah, formerly of Merrillville and East Chicago, passed away on Friday, September 11, 2020. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Gerald E. Schwandt and parents Edward and Jeanie Mae Stan.

She is survived by her loving children- Keith Schwandt, Derrick (Evonne) Schwandt, Penny (Alex) Tracy, and Jeremy (Ginny) Schwandt; grandchildren- DJ Schwandt, Kayla Tracy, Lexi Tracy, Candace Schwandt, Kilion Schwandt, Caleb Schwandt, Korban Schwandt, Kolon Schwandt, Ainsley Schwandt, and Archer Schwandt; brothers- Toby (Sally) Stan and Randy (Debbie) Stan; her canine companion- Brie; several nieces and nephews and many special loved ones.

Wendy cherished her time rescuing animals for a non-for-profit organization. She also enjoyed bowling and most of all spending time with her grandchildren. Wendy was a loving mother and will be so deeply missed by all that knew her. Her memories will forever be etched in our hearts.

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:00 pm at Liberty Bible Church, 824 N. Calumet Ave. Chesterton IN. Funeral arrangements entrusted with Calumet park Funeral Chapel. Any questions please call 219-736-5840.

Alfonso Vega

Alfonso P. Vega, age 93, of Merrillville, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, September 6, 2020. He is preceded in death by his wife Melva Vega and son Richard Vega. Alfonso was a fun-loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great great-grandfather, sibling of 3 brothers and 2 sisters, and several nieces and nephews. He was a loved neighbor and friend.
Alfonso married his beloved wife Melva, and began their life-long legacy together. They shared 8 children: Raymond Vega (Margaret), Shirley Vega, Alfonso Vega, Jr. (Lala), Robert Vega (David), Richard Vega, Linda DeLeon-Grisham (Michael), Gregory Vega (Sharon), and Alice Vega-Martinez (Joe). He was an amazing grandfather to Lisa, Kristina, Michelle, Melissa, Bernadette, Dannette, Salina, Al III, Jessica, Tiffine, Timothy, Jose, Juan, Jesse, Jules, Miranda, Gregory Jr., Alfredo, numerous great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren.
Born in Chicago, raised in Mexico, Alfonso came back to this country in pursuit of the American Dream. He came with nothing, but knew with hard work and a dream for a better life, he would succeed. He was not only an amazing provider, but strong and dedicated. He served in the United States Army during World War II. Later, he retired from Standard Forgings in East Chicago after 40 years. After retirement, he worked many different jobs as he always needed to keep busy. There he made many friends.
Friends and family can celebrate his life on Thursday, September 10th from 3-7pm at Calumet Park Funeral Home in Merrillville (Prayer service with Fr. Meid at 6:30 pm). There will be a mass at St. Andrew’s Church in Merrillville- Friday, September 11th at 10 am. Burial to follow.

Ilija Muvceski

Ilija Muvceski of Crown Point, Indiana passed away on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Ilija is survived by his wife of years, Lazorka Muvceska; his son: Zoran (Vesna) Muvceski and two daughters :
Jordanka (Vlado) Sotiroski and Vera (Simon) Pejoski. 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren:

Steven and Nikola Muvceski. Tanya (Feras) Musleh and their son Luai. Dimce (Jamie) Sotiroski and their two children Elliana and Samuel Sotiroski. Daniela Sotiroski and her three children, Antonio, Anabella, and Kristian. Jovce (Dijana) Pejoski and their two daughters, Emily and Melania. Diana (Zoran) Ilijoski and their two sons Viktor and Luka.

Merle E. Rukes

Merle Eugene Rukes

Merle E. Rukes, 91, of Crown Point, Indiana passed away on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. He died of natural causes.

He was preceded by his first wife Patricia Jean Rukes, his parents Raymond and Frances Rukes, and his brother Robert Glen (Libby) Rukes,

Merle is survived by his wife of 9 years, Dorothea Sypniewski Rukes; his three sons:
Gregory (Debbie) Rukes of Holt, MI, Bruce (Jan) Rukes of Franklin, IN, and Garry (Becky) Rukes of Portage, IN; ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren:
Erin (Keith) Schulueter, Leah (Don) Holm their daughter Abby, Mari (Ben) Kesting and their children Bryce, Mason and Alivia, Todd (Rachel) Rukes their sons Roman, Beckam and Chandler, Jeff (Rose) Rukes, Katie Rukes, and Stephen, Hannah, Bethany and Joshua Rukes; as well as two step daughter; Venessa (Tom) Zapchenk and their children Eric Zapchenk, Michelle (John) Morris and T.J, and stepson; Bob (Robin) Long and their children Katie and Emily Long.
Merle attended Indiana State Teachers College where he had earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, General Science and Physical Education, Health and Safety and a Master’s degree in Science. He taught in the Gary School System for 35 years and in Anderson, SC for 6 years. He was a business owner of “Frost Top” in Hessville, IN and an ice cream/candy store in Merrillville and Crown Point, IN. After he retired in 1987 he volunteered at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Crown Point, IN. for several years.
IU Basketball and the “CUBS” were two of his favorite past times.

While attending Glen Park Baptist Church in Gary, IN he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He was currently a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Crown Point, IN.
He not only loved God and his family very much, but also loved his country as he was a proud US Army Veteran in the Korean War.
Visitation will be Thursday, September 3rd from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street, Merrillville. Funeral service 11:00 AM Friday, September 4th at Bethel Church 10202 Broadway, Crown Point with additional visitation 10:00 AM until time of service. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. For info, call 219-736-5840 or visit

Charles A. Pena

Charles A. Peña was born on July 2, 1995 in Munster, Indiana to Valerie S. and Antonio M. Peña.  Charlie graduated from Merrillville High School in 2014.  He worked for Whole Foods in their distribution center.  Charlie, a talented artist and musician, enjoyed playing video games and disc golf with his friends. 

Charlie passed away August 29, 2020 at his home in Merrillville, Indiana.  He was preceded in death by grandparents Charles and Ione Watt, and Antonio and Evangeline Peña. He is also preceded in death by two beloved cousins Phillip Farler and Justin Felty, and Uncle Steven Peña. 

Charlie is survived by his parents and sister, Lauren, and a plethora of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends.

Visitation is from 3 pm to 7 pm Friday, September 4th, with a service at 6:00 pm, at the Calumet Park Funeral Chapel on Taft in Merrillville.