Category: Merrillville Obituaries

Mary Ann Behnke

MaryAnn Behnke, age 93, of Menifee, CA passed away Sunday, November 29, 2020. She was a Gary area resident for 80 years. MaryAnn was a past member of St. Mary’s Eastern Orthodox Church and Descent of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Indiana and also a member of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in California. Preceded in death by her loving husband, LeRoy. Survived by 2 daughters, Deborah (Ronald) Krupinski, Catherine (Thomas) Crouch, 4 grandchildren; Carl (Becca), Nick (Melissa), Tim, MaryAnn (Jim Crail) and 3 great grandchildren; Violet, Scarlet and Greyson. Also, 2 sisters Olga (William, deceased) Atzhorn, Helen (Lee) Campbell and 1 brother Nickolai Diachuk (deceased) and infant brothers Philip and David. Funeral service Thursday, Dec 3 at 3 pm at St Nicholas Orthodox Church in California with Father Andrew Lesko officiating. Burial service Monday, Dec 7 at 11 am at St Mary’s Cemetery, Gary, IN with Rev. Father Lev Holowaty officiating. For further information please call Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840.

Higinio Cortez

Higinio Cortez , age 76, resident of Merrillville, IN passed away on Friday, November 27, 2020. Higinio was born January 15 ,1944 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He is survived by his beloved wife, Elena Cortez of 47 years; children Carlos H. Cortez, Erica Cortez, Elizabeth (Adan) Diaz, Victor Cortez, and Francisco Cortez; grandchildren Stephanie Torres, Ayanna E. Diaz, Jesus Torres Jr., Adan E. Diaz Jr., Adrian E. Diaz, Victoria Torres, Olivia Cortez, Rosalina and Violet Cortez. Higinio was preceded in death by his parents, Maria Del Refugia Cortez and Carlos Cortez.

He was a great father who always took care of his children and did the best he could to teach and guide them. He retired from being a crane operator from U.S. Steel in 2003 with over 30 years of service. His best skill was to uplift the spirits of those around him, and passing his knowledge on to his children and grandchildren. Higinio always had a warm smile and a friendly word for everyone, but his greatest impact was made during his free time with his children and grandchildren; they were his greatest joy.

He is truly loved and will be missed by many!

Friends and family may visit on Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 3PM – 7PM at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel -7535 Taft St, Merrillville, IN 46410. Friends and Family can meet again Friday morning from 10 am to 11am at Our Lady of Consolation before. Mass services will begin promptly at 11AM with Father Peter Muha officiating at Our Lady of Consolation Church- 8303 Taft St, Merrillville, IN 46410. Interment will follow mass at Calumet Park Cemetery.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared on Calumet Park’s website for the Cortez family.

Ruben Barrera

Ruben Barrera, Sr., of Merrillville, Indiana, passed away on Thursday, November 26, 2020.
He was married to Gloria Barrera (Gomez) of Gary who passed away in 1977.
He was survived by his children Ruben Barrera, Jr., of Pickney, Michigan; Rey Barrera of Las Vegas; Diana Barrera Furbeck of Indianapolis/The Villages, FL; Gregory Barrera of Las Vegas; Ed Furbeck (son- in-law); Susan Barrera (daughter-in-law); Ashleigh Barrera (daughter-in-law). David Barrera, his fourth child, passed away earlier.

His grandchildren: Julia Barrera of Indianapolis; Laura Barrera of Tuscon; Christine Barrera Dulger and great granddaughter Ela Nur Dulger of Ypsilanti.
He is also survived by his siblings Herlinda Trevino of Tucson; Ester Trevino of McAllen, Texas; Miguel Ramirez of La Grulla, Texas; Obdulia, Andrea, Aurora, Andrea, Leticia, and Javier of Reynosa, Mexico. His deceased siblings are Belen, Hector and Juan.

Ruben was born in La Joya, Texas. He came to East Chicago and later Gary to work at Inland Steel Mill. He was employed as a Millwright for 38 years. He was a loving husband and father who worked hard to provide a good life and education for his family. His last residence was at the Cumberland Trace Senior Living facility in Plainfield, IN. He liked the staff and in turn the staff like him.

Visitation will be held on Monday, November 30, 2020 from 2 to 6 PM at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel. Funeral Service follows on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 10 AM at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel. Masks are required, please follow social distancing guidelines. For more information call 219-736-5840 or visit

Radovan Vraniskoski

Radovan Vraniskoski, age 82 of Crown Point passed away Nov 25, 2020 with his family by his side. Radovan was born September 7, 1938 in Mali Vlaj Macedonia.

Radovan was an active member of S. S. Peter and Paul Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral in Crown Point. He was also in the Yugoslavian National Army from 1959-1961. He was a Brick Layer in Macedonia and enjoyed playing the accordion. He was a retired employee of US Steel with over 30 years of service. He thoroughly enjoyed his side job at Dunkin Donuts. He took great pride in helping others. The love he had for his family was extraordinary, especially the love for his grandchildren. He leaves memories of a beautiful life filled with deep love. Radovan was a selfless man. He taught his family to be giving and accepting of everyone. He was a dad who taught his children to be compassionate and strong. Radovan taught everyone around him to love life as much as possible and he did. Radovan walked into a room with a big smile that was so contagious, he lit up the room. Everyone admired his heart and his smile. He enjoyed his time with family, friends and being outdoors. The love his family has for him will never disappear; he will walk beside them every day. He was a kind and gentle soul, he will be fondly remember and forever missed. May his memory be eternal.

He was preceded in death by his parents Vangel & Ruska Vraniskoski; brothers, Avram & Tode Vraniskoski, sisters Zivanka Bakraceska, Mirjana Sekeroska and Elena Vraniskoski.

Radovan is survived by his loving wife of 59 years Jovana; four beloved daughters, Jasmina (Mark) Herring, Rose (Mendo) Ristovski, Helen (Steve) Clark, & Elaina (Mike) Deranek; six cherished grandchildren, Christopher, Amanda, Nick, Alex, Ben and Joey; siblings Gligor (Nikolina) Vraniskoski, Makedonka Tanaskoska, & Lube Vraniskoski and their families; and many other relatives, and close family friends.

Funeral Services will be Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 at SS Peter & Paul Macedonian Cathedral, 9660 Broadway, Crown Point at 11am. Visitation will begin at 9:30 am prior to the service. Fr Georgij Gligorov and Fr Aleksandar Mitrov officiating. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. For further information please call Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840 or

Rory J. Dimos

Rory J. Dimos, 66, of Hobart passed away on November 23, 2020.
Rory is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Jackie; his mother, Ethel; better known as “Rita”; son, Christopher; daughters: Michelle and Kelly; brothers: Tom, Eric (Annette), and Matt; sister-in-law Rhonda; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his father, John; brother, Kevin; and sister, Carole Westberg.
Rory worked at US Steel for 44 years before his retirement. He was a relentless Cubs fan and loved keeping his hands busy with wood crafting. Rory had a great sense of humor and was always a joy to be around. He was great family man and will leave a void that cannot be filled. Rory will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him.
Visitation will be 3-7 PM on Friday, November 27, 2020 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street, Merrillville, with a chapel service at 6 PM. Masks are required, please follow all social distancing guidelines. For more information, visit

Thelma Markley

Thelma (Kennett) Markley, age 96, formerly of Highland, IN and New Lenox, IL, passed away at Lantern Crest Senior Living in Santee, CA on November 21, 2020. After a private service, Mrs. Markley was laid to rest at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Schererville, IN.

Born on April 14, 1924 in Parma, MO, Mrs. Markley, who worked at Rand McNally Corporation, Hammond, IN for 26 years before retiring in 1980, is survived by sons Glenn (Shirley) Gray, Sierra Vista, AZ; Scott (Nada) Markley, Lakeside, CA; daughter-in-law Diane (late Robert) Markley, Highland, IN; grandchildren Scott Markley, Chicago, Illinois; Ryan (Sandra) Markley, Peach Tree City, GA; step-granddaughter Nicole Markley, Valparaiso, IN; great-grandchildren Alexa and John Patrick Markley, Peach Tree City, GA; and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Markley was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Ray Markley; daughter, Bonnie Gray; son, Officer Robert Markley (Highland Police Department); parents, Addie and Grover Kennett; brothers, Garold (Beulah) Roadman; Grover (Jean) Kennett; and sisters, Rene (George) Moore; Opal (Adolph) Anderson; and Donna (Paul) Cantrell.

Memorial donations may be made to the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 122, P.O. Box 1743, Highland, Indiana 46322.

Doris Onder

Doris Marie (Koruga) Onder passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020.

She was born on Nov. 28, 1934 in the city of Gary, Indiana where she resided for 35 years, married, and started her family.

Over the years she lived at several different locations including Crown Point, IN, Siesta Key, Florida, The Villages Florida, and Merrillville, Indiana. She had several interests and passions including Girl Scout Troop Leader, interior design, business ownership, and traveling. She was also a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority in Indiana.

Doris was preceded in death by her husband Andrew L. Onder and her second James Bencie.

She is survived by her 4 children Joseph Onder (Rheasa), Mary Kay Hovanec (Terry), Jeffery Onder (Nancy), David Onder (Sandra). 9 grandchildren, Michelle, Matthew, Jacob, Amber, Nathan, Casey, Jared, Nicole, and Corey. And 16 great-grandchildren.

She will be interred next to her husband Andrew at Calumet Park Cemetery.

Rest in peace Mom.

Froilan Guzman Jr.

Froilan Guzman Jr. of Merrillville, Indiana passed away peacefully on the morning of Thursday, November 12th, 2020 at the age of 43.

Froi was the Proud Father of Faith (Nathan) Guzman; Beloved Son of Froylan and Abigail (nee Diaz Guzman); Cherished Brother of Anna Rosa (Robert) Ortiz and Gloria (John) Vargas; and Dearest Cousin and Uncle to many.

He is preceded in death by his Uncles: Melesio Guzman and Hector Escalante; his Beloved Grandmother Enedina Silva; Dearest Niece, Erica Ortiz; and Brother-in-Law Javier F. Ortiz.

For those that knew him by Froi, Tio Froi, Froi Dogg, or “Ghost,” he was a person that anyone and everyone knew they could depend on. With his big, warm hugs, boisterous laugh, charming wit, and giving nature, he could always put a smile on your face.

Froilan had an avid love for music, sending his favorite songs to family and friends. Throughout his life, Froilan enjoyed painting and gifting his artworks to his loved ones.

It goes without saying that Froilan had an innumerable amount of friends that he made throughout his life and treated as his own family. The Guzman family is incredibly grateful to those that continued to bring happiness to his life, even during the difficult times.

Froilan Guzman Jr. will be greatly missed by all the hearts he touched.

Family and Friends are to gather for the Visitation Monday, November 16th, 2020 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a Funeral Service at 5:00 p.m. at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street Merrillville, IN, 46410. Interment will be private.

Due to current health guidelines, the Guzman family is asking that all guests please wear face masks.

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.

James E. O’Marrah

James “Jimmy” O’Marrah
Griffith, IN
James E. O’Marrah, age 52, unexpectedly passed away on Friday, November 6, 2020. Jimmy was the O in OZ Tax Services where he worked side by side with one of his greatest and dearest friends, Rick Szromba. Jimmy loved sports; “Da Bears”, the Bulls, and Chicago White Sox. He was born in Munster, Indiana and grew up in Sauk Villiage, Illinois where he learned to play baseball. He later coached his kids in Hessville, Indiana. Jimmy graduated from Bloom Trail High School then moved to Maryland to work side by side with his father at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Jimmy also enjoyed making friends and playing softball with his dad till he moved back to Indiana. Jimmy was introduced to the love of his life Dottie by his God Mother “Momma Jan” at Vogels Restaurant where Dottie worked. They soon after started a family. Jimmy was so full of life. There were not many moments where he wasn’t making someone laugh. Jimmy adored his family and was proud of each and every one of them. Jimmy is survived by the love of his life, Dottie; Sons: Stevin (Justine) Tyrka, Tim (Emily) Tyrka, Richard (Heather) Williams and James “Jimmy” O’Marrah Jr.; Grandchildren: Christrian, Adrian, Avery Raven, Noah, Jeremiah, Jade, Keinan and Richard III; Mother: Bonnie Ricci “O’Marrah”; Step-Mother: Diane O’Marrah; Siblings: Katie, Skylar (Richie) Rusk and many friends who will dearly miss him.
Preceeded in death by his father, Phillip O’Marrah: Brother, P.J. O’Marrah and God Mother Janis “Mamma Jan” Hahn.
Funeral Service will be held 1:30 PM on Friday, November 13, 2020 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street, Merrillville, IN
Interment at Chapel Lawn Cemetery
Friends may meet with the family from 2-6 PM on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel. For more information please call 219-736-5840.