Category: Merrillville Obituaries

Djuka Balaban

Djuka (nee Radlovic) Balaban, age 80 passed away peacefully on Monday, July 26, 2021. She was born to Jovo and Marija Radlovic in Bosankso Grahovo in 1941. She came to America in 1977 with her family. Djuka retired from School City of East Chicago after several years of service.

She is survived by her husband Mirko, three children Sons, Marinko and Mile; daughter Milena (ross) Gasich; grandchildren, Aleksandra, Svetko and Marina; Brother Mile (+Joka); Sisters Danica (+Petar), & Milojka (Stevo) Kecman; many other nieces and nephews, kumovi and friends both here and in Bosna.

Djuka was a gentle soul who welcomed everyone in her home and always put the needs of others firs.t She adored her grandchildren and had a great sense of humor. She battled valiantly until her last day. She will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Visitation will be held Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 1130am at New Gracanica Serbian Mmoastery, 35420 W Grand Ave, Third Lake, IL with funeral services beginning at 12pm. Interment New Grancanica Serbian Orthodox Cemetery. For further information please call Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840

Milinka Kosanic

Milinka Kosanic, age 89 of Merrillville passed away, July 20, 2021 with her loving family by her side. 

Born in Kamenica, Serbia to Adam and Zivka Gavrilovic. 

She retired from Gary School Corporation after 25 years of service. Member of St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Merrillville and a member of the St. Elijah Circle of Serbian Sisters. 

Preceded in Death by her husband, Ljubisa Kosanic, daughter, Milena Kosanic Ammons, grandson, Aaron Ammons, her twin sister, Milka and brother, Bogdan and her parents, all  from Serbia and in-laws, Radovan and Fina Bogosavljevic. 

Survived by her loving son Milan (Gorana) Kosanic, granddaughter, Anjelika Kosanic of Fairfax, Virginia, sister-in-law Vera Sekulich (+Steve) of Sacramento, California and sister-in-law Nada (Michael) Karas of Chesterton and many other relatives and kumovi. 

Funeral Services will be held Monday, July 26, 2021 directly at 10am at St Elijah Serbian Orthodox Cathedral 8700 Taft Street, Merrillville with V. Rev Marko Matic with visitation beginning at 9am. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lifeline Humanitarian Organization, 444 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 in memory of Milinka Kosanic to be used to help the Kneginje Ljubica Orphanage/Shelter in Kragujevac, Serbia. For further information please call Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840. 

Sophie Cichocki

Sophie Cichocki, the oldest remaining resident of Dallas Street, in the Brunswick area of Gary, passed away on Thursday, July 15, 2021 just over a month before her 98th birthday. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband George, and siblings, Evelyn and Chester.
She is survived by her loving children: Kenneth (Linda), Georgene (Carl), and Leonard; cherished granddaughters, Kathryn and Sandra; treasured great grandson, Tristan; and many dear nieces and nephews.
Sophie was a member of St. Mary’s Church in Crown Point for more than 50 years and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her. The family wishes to thank all for their prayers and support during Sophie’s final years.
A private service and burial were held at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel and Cemetery. Donations in Sophie’s memory can be made to St. Jude or charity of your choice.

Karen McLaughlin

Karen McLaughlin 56, passed away on Thursday 4:51am July 1,2021, at Brookside Care Stragties, Muncie, In

She is survived by her 2 sisters, Cathy (Andy) Svitek of Hammond and Kay (Tom) Ganser of Montana

She is preceded in death by her loving parents Lucille and Herb Mclaughlin, Brother Jimmy Mclaughlin, Sister Sue Stafford and Childhood Friend Christina Drees

Karen’s main love, was getting on the bus in the morning to go to the workshop. She was one of the first childen (age 4) when the Lake County Association for the Retarded, started in a basement in a church in East Chicago. She attended there workshop in highland till 1997, and the next 23 years at the workshop at Cardinal Services, Warsaw. She seldom missed a day of work in her life.

She was the most caring, loving and happy person you could ever imagine. She was loved by everyone she met. She Liked to talk, tease, and pamper you, especially when you needed it most. She was just so unique, She knew what others felt or needed, without words. She possessed an awareness and perception of her surroundings that was far superior than ours.

Rose Alongi

Rose Alongi, age 95, of St. John, passed away June 28, 2021. She is survived by her loving daughter-in-law, Maureen Alongi, beloved dogs Lucy & Trixie. Dear Brother Salvatore (Margherita) Arena, Sicily. Dear nephews John (Domenica) Arena, Michael (Jennifer) Arena, John (Lillian) Arena, Joseph (LouAnn) Arena, Niece Pam Arena.
She was preceded in death by her husband Salvatore and her son Anthony “Tony,” parents Giovanni & Rosaria Arena. Brothers Sam (Josephine) Arena, Michael (Grace) Arena, sister Grazia (Rosario) Affrunti, Sicily. Niece Rose Arena. Beloved dog Annie.
Rose loved family and gardening. She was a 20-year employee of Arthur Weiner in Gary. She was born in Sicily and came to the use in 1970. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 2, 2021 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm with a Funeral Service at 12:00 pm. Entombment at Calumet Park Cemetery to follow service. Please call 219-736-5840 for more information.

Sandra Smoot

Sandra S. Smoot (nee Jackson), age 84, of Crown Point, Indiana, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, after a brief illness.

Sandra is survived by her loving daughters: Jami (Ronald) Naughgle, Lori Johnson, and Sherri (David) Ward; six grandchildren: Joel (Meredith) Naughgle, Bethany (David) Gill, Rachel Johnson, Derek Johnson, Erika Ward, and Andrea Ward; six great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Jeanne Jackson Blane; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Sandra was preceded in death by her loving husband of 62 years, Walter Smoot; her parents, E. W. and Vivian Jackson; her brother, Dick Jackson; and her sister, Bonnie Leas.

Sandra was born on December 28, 1936, in Gary, Indiana. She graduated from Lew Wallace High School and earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Indiana University. Sandra retired after 28 years as a teacher in the Merrillville Community School Corporation. We will forever miss her sweet nature, joyful laughter, and witty one-liners.

Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 8, 2021, at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street, Merrillville, Indiana. The service will immediately follow the visitation at 11:30 a.m. with Reverend Linda Jackson officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society (