On its website, the Munster Fire Department announced: “It is with deep regret and profound sadness that the Munster Fire Department announces the death of its Chief, James Knesek on 8 February 2014 – Time of service: 1979 to 2014 – James’s assignment is completed and he has returned to quarters.”
James Joseph Knesek, 59, a lifelong resident of Munster, IN. passed away suddenly on Saturday, February 8, 2014. Jim was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Joseph and Josephine Knesek; father and mother-in-law, Dean and Mary Langel. He is survived by his loving wife of 29 years, Julie (nee Langel); proud and loving father of James Joseph Knesek, Jr., cherished brother of Donna (Nick) Krizmanic, Gerald (Andrea) Knesek, Karen (Ron) Smith and Mark (Christine) Knesek; caring brother-in-law of Sandra (Dale) Carlson and Jeanne (Don) Nadzieja; devoted uncle to numerous nieces and nephews. Many fond cousins and many many dear friends; faithful companions, Aimee and Sadie.
Jim served with the US Army and was a graduate of Lewis University with a Degree in Fire Science and Public Administration. He was a basketball referee with the IHSAS and coached C.Y.O. basketball. He was a member of I.V.F.A. , Lake County Fire Chief Association and MABAS 24. Jim was the Munster Fire Chief since 2005 and the Director of Operations for the Munster Public Works since 1995. Jim lived his dream in the town he loved and grew up in.
Kish Funeral Home provided the funeral service followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Thomas More Church. Interment is at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, IN.