Category: Obituaries

Valentine Sanchez Jr.

Valentine F. Sanchez Jr., a Gary, IN resident since 1964, passed away peacefully on July 30th 2021 at the age of 57. He was preceded in death by his parents: Valentine F. Sanchez and Rita Sanchez; his brother, Joseph Cintron; brother-in-law, Raymond “Ray” Cortazar; and grandmother, Emma Hernandez.
Valentine is survived by the mother of his children, Tammy M. Hernandez; his 4 children: Valentine F. Sanchez III, Dolores G. Sanchez, Nicole E. Sanchez-Leal (Jose Leal), and Rita M. Sanchez; his 6 grandchildren: Alicia Leal, Alyssa Boland, Jose Leal Jr., Alena Boland, Ezra Valdivia, and Valentine Sanchez IV; siblings: Theresa G. Sanchez-Cortazar, Patricia Sanchez (Debra Sanchez), Frances Sanchez, Edward Sanchez (Kimberly Sanchez), Lou Martinez (Patricia Martinez), Maria Torres (Ramon Torres); sister-in-law, Carmen Cintron; his Uncle John ‘Yonko” Hernandez (Mary Mickey-Hernandez); and a host of nieces and nephews and family and friends.

Stephen Ruisard

Stephen Bruce Ruisard, age 72, a resident of Portage for more than 30 years, passed away on July 28, 2021. Steve was a parishioner of First United Methodist Church in Portage and former parishioner at the Garyton Covenant Church. He was a dedicated member of the United Steelworkers Union and The American Legion. He had retired a few years ago after nearly 50 years with Bethlehem Steel/ISG. He served as an infantryman for the U.S. Army in Vietnam, earning medals and honors. He graduated from Demotte High School. He will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity by his family and church, and by the many charities to which he contributed.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Mary Ruisard; and brother Bruce Ruisard.

He is survived by his children, Stephen (Carla) Ruisard and Amber (Dan) Lexsa; grandchildren, Xavier English, Isabel Ruisard, Riff Ruisard, and Allie Lexsa; siblings, Rodney Ruisard, Richard Ruisard, Charles Ruisard, Jeff Ruisard and Lisa Way; several nieces, nephews, extended family, and dear friends.

Steve loved spending time with his family, who will miss playing board and video games with him (and losing to him at trivia). Steve passed on this love of old classic rock, reading, science fiction, and classic cars to his children and grandchildren. He was handy at fixing things and was often sought out for his advice. He was passionate about gardening, growing mostly vegetables, and about cooking; he loved a chance to share a new recipe. He enjoyed new technology, whether he was building himself a computer or getting a new gadget for the kitchen. He had an entrepreneurial spirit, having started several small businesses of his own over the years. He will be deeply missed by so many who knew and loved him. May his memories be with us until we meet again.

Funeral services entrusted with Calumet Park Funeral Chapel Hobart/Portage. There will be a memorial service for Stephen on August 29, 2021 at First United Methodist Church in Portage (2637 McCool Rd.Portage IN. 46368) at 2:00 pm. For further information please call 219-940-3791.

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. 

Frankie L. Yates

Frankie L. Yates, age 69, of Portage passed away surrounded by his loving family on Monday, July 19, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Gladia Yates; brothers, James, Roger and Aaron Yates.

He is survived by his lovely wife, Katherine Yates; sons, Frank Yates, Jason (Helen) Yates; daughters, Melissa (fiancé Joe Walden) and Erica Yates; grandchildren, Sierra Mueller, Sonnie Mueller, Brody Mueller, Jazmine Yates, Jesse Yates, Jelena Kidwell, Alexis Larson, Victoria Larson, Kayla Yates and Dylan Meeks; great-grandchildren, Boyce Morris, Waylon Morris, and Harlee Erdmam; brothers, Samuel (Cindy) Yates, Delbert (Barb) Yates and Larry (Gloria) Yates; sisters, Patti (Adolph) Boudreauk and Tina Adams.

Frankie retired from Laborers Local #81, he was a proud Vietnam Veteran USMC. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 100. Some special things Frankie loved doing in his spare time included managing Little League baseball, the cooking channel, his dog Blue, everyone that knew him knew how much he enjoyed his cookouts and he especially cherished is precious family. He sure did leave a mark on everyone he met. He will be missed by so many that knew him. May his memories be forever etched in our hearts.

Friends are invited to visit with the family on Saturday, July 24, 2021 from 12:00pm – 4:00pm with a funeral service beginning at 3:30pm at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (370 N. County Line Rd. Hobart IN 46342) Zdravko Suleski “Z” officiating. For further questions please call 219-940-3791

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.