Category Archives: Events

Fishing event at Calumet Park Cemetery – fun time on a hot day!

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A fun morning of fishing and building memories at Calumet Park Cemetery on Saturday, June 10, 2017.  A nice gathering of families reeled in some pretty good sized fish and enjoyed snacks during the annual event.  Thanks for those who attended and thanks to those who supervised to ensure that all would be safe and entertained.  Join us next year for this free day of fishing and catch and release.  For information, call Calumet Park at 219-769-8803.

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Memorial Weekend at Calumet Park in pictures…

Thank you to all who came out to show their respect for all of our veterans, and especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Giving one’s life for a just cause is going above and beyond the call of duty…giving your life for freedom is heavenly.  A special thanks goes out to the owner’s of Calumet Park (yes, privately owned and proud of it), all the grounds crew, the family service department and to the administrative departments.  It took a team effort to make Calumet Park Cemetery look so beautiful and a great deal of planning and execution for the weekend to go so smoothly.  We received nothing but compliments from the thousands who entered these hallowed gates during the past three days.  God gave us a weekend of wonderful weather, and your showing up made it a successful weekend of remembering.

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A prayer…

A Prayer

There are men and women from these great United States serving in the armed forces today who will need to be remembered for having given up their lives when this holiday rolls around again this weekend.  And sadly, as long as there are evil, crazy, power-hungry people habiting the planet, soldiers will die.  How many of our fine young men and women have to be killed before peace can truly erupt around the world?

There was a song out when I was young entitled “Where have all the flowers gone?”  by the Kingston Trio.   It had a very repetitive beat played beneath a poem that I only now realize was probably meant  to be that way as the story is the same today as it was when it first hit the charts.

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

The next verse changed to young men, then soldiers, then graveyards until the graveyards went back to flowers…”and the beat goes on, and the beat goes on” sang Sonny and Cher.  Vietnam, the Middle East and hopefully never… but looking scarier and scarier…Korea.

In cemeteries across the nation flowers will be planted and placed next to flags on the graves of so many innocent and lost souls.  I believe the fallen soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women and reserves who gave their all are all in heaven as they gave their last breath for our freedom.  That is a wonderful thought, and one day we will meet again.

However, in the middle of the night, when a parent or spouse or son or daughter finds they cannot sleep over their loss, heaven is far away.  They need strength now…today…tonight, when they are alone with their thoughts.  All the hopes and dreams and plans and fun, the tears and laughter that can no longer be shared with their guy or gal who died bleeding red, white and blue, they are the truly forgotten ones.

So, in this small space on the internet, I offer my prayers and the prayers of so many for all who have been left behind.  God is good and all-knowing and always present which means some of our prayer energy needs to be offered for understanding and faith.  I pray that a child can move though life with one parent gone forever, while a piece of the remaining parent does their best to do their best in all things.  A wife or husband who hugged their honey goodbye and finds they will never be together again lives a pain that others who did not suffer such a loss will never know.

So, God…in Jesus name, I pray that you will give strength to those who are truly vested in Memorial Day.  I pray that you will shelter them with your love.  I pray that you will help them in their most alone moments as they live in but a shadow of their “coupled” life.  I pray that you help them through this life, and that you accept their pain as their penance and forgive them if they may turn from you a little.  I pray, God that you let them remember all the great times with their lost loves, and to cherish the little moments that brought them together in the first place.  Thank you God, for the beauty that you will bless them with in the days ahead, and let their remaining time here on earth be lived in honor of their fallen soldier.  Finally, I pray that you help mankind find a way to discontinue adding to the rolls of those we salute on Memorial Day.  Amen

Come to our free fireworks show on next Saturday night at around 7:00 (May 27) at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville.  Call 769-8803 for directions and visit our webside for more info at calumetparkcemetery.com

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Happy Mother’s Day…

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers.  It is one of the most thankless jobs and at the same time, most rewarding.  Being a Mother is one of God’s most loving gifts to the universe.  Dads…while special in their own way…Mothers are the glue that holds all of life together.  Call or visit your Mom today and let her know how much she  means to you.  For many, their Moms are already in heaven.  Offer a prayer of thanks that you were lucky enough to have her as your Mom.  Enjoy this sunny day and praise the Lord for Mother’s everywhere.

The men and women that you see at the entrances to Calumet Park Cemetery on Mothe’rs Day are passing out flowers and a newsletter with the Memorial Weekend activities.  If you are looking for something to do on May 27, bring the family out for a fun evening of free fireworks, hayrides, and horse and buggy rides.  Bring a blanket to sit on or a comfortable beach chair.  You will have a fun evening.  Starts at sevenish.

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Memorial Weekend Events at Calumet Park Cemetery….

We hope to see you all at the cemetery over Memorial Weekend.  Following is a list of scheduled events:

May 27, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. – free fireworks show with free hayrides and horse and buggy rides

May 28, Sunday at 1:00 p.m. – veterans memorial service with the American Legion 1st District, Rep. Visclosky to speak

May 29, Monday at 10:00 there will be a Catholic Service, a St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Service, and a Bethel church in Hobart-Portage service

May 29, Monday at 11:30 there will be a SS Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Service

Sale:  20% off all pre-need graves, 15% off all monuments and markers and 25% off the Veteran Memorial Columbarium niches

The sale runs through May 31 so if you are in need of any of these sales items, stop in and see how much you can save by acting now.  Zero interest payment plans available

For directions or if you have any questions, call 219-769-8803

Hope to see you over the weekend.  Be safe and enjoy the unofficial beginning of summer.

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What the…..

 

     “What the….?”

I was finishing up a hot, salted pretzel with melted cheese at Subway recently.  My wife was doing some shopping at Walmart, and I was along for the ride.  But the salted, baked dough drew me away from the sock isle, so God bless the little things in life.  That is when he came in.  And that is when I learned a little about prejudging people without knowing anything about them except how they look.

As I dipped my last piece of pretzel in the cheese, a man came into the Subway space.  His hair was not so long as it was frazzled…windblown in a not so attractive way.  His beard appeared to be a blotchy three day growth and his mustache was long and drooping over his mouth.  He had on a camouflage shirt and sweat pants with no-name gym shoes on.   If I had to guess his age, he might have been anywhere between 60 to 70 years old.

In an instant, he pulled a chair right up to the counter and sat down right in front of the register.  He stared at the teenage girl working the counter that evening for what was to me an uncomfortable amount of time.  The first thing that came to my mind was “What the….?”  As in many trips to Walmart, I felt I was going to see something that I never saw before so I cupped my ear to better hear where this was going, if and when he should speak.  I was seated about 10 feet from the action and was ready to rescue the girl if things went bad.

Of course, with my own aged knees, it would have taken me some time to leap into action, but that is another story.  Sixty-eight year old legs do not respond quickly to messages from the brain.  It was then that he bent down, pulled up his left pant leg, and removed his artificial limb.  He rubbed the stump for a minute or two, then put the leg (from the knee down) back on, returned his pant leg back into place, stood up, and pulled a note from his pocket.

I was embarrassed by my quick reaction that trouble just sat down.  He spoke softly, slowly, and almost bashfully as he placed his order for four foot-longs.  Reading from the note, he completed his order.  I was into the moment by this time, and I approached him.  Politely I told him I saw that he lost a limb, and asked if he would mind sharing what happened to him.  Keep in mind that I have never gone up to a stranger and asked such personal questions before, but I was drawn to this man.

His answer hit me in the gut.  I am sure that my face got red as my own emotions regarding his answer brought up some long suppressed memories of my own.  “Lost it in Viet Nam,” he answered simply.  Just then the teen rang up his order and asked how he wanted to pay for it.  I told her that I would get it which opened up a small debate between myself and the stranger.  I said it was the least I could do as he paid so much on the battlefield.  I won the argument as I told him that I spent a couple of tours in Nam myself.  He was a marine and we joked about who needed who the most…the marines needing the Special Forces or vice versa.

After we talked about when, and where and the why’s of how we spent our time so many years ago in a jungle on the other side of the world, I found out that he was my age, was a “region rat”, now lived in Vegas and liked to come back to NW Indiana once a year to go fishing and visit with old friends.  I thanked him for his service and he turned and started to walk away.  I sat back down and finished my cold drink, lost in thought.

It was shortly after that I felt someone standing beside me on my blind side.  I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see this walking-wounded veteran looking down at me.  I no longer saw the mismatched clothes, or the straggly hair or the answer to my “what the?” from minutes before.  I saw clarity in his eyes and a smile.  His hand was outstretched waiting for a traditional handshake.  I extended my hand and he spoke softly, slowly and clearly.

“Thanks for the sandwiches.  It has been 45 years since I got home and you are the first person who has ever done anything like this for me.  Just wanted you to know that meeting you was special.”  I could barely hold back my own tears and mumbled  “no problem, sir” as we both felt a little weird, but in a good way.  He turned and walked away, and I spotted my wife at the checkout counter.  She asked who was the guy I was talking with since she knows I am not a talk-to-strangers kind of person.

So, what is the point, Dan?  The point is that Memorial Weekend will soon be upon us.  The point is not a stranger buying a stranger a sandwich.  The point is that there are so many walking wounded men and women that cross all of our paths every day who wore the uniform of the U.S. armed forces.  Much of their pain and injuries are mental.  It is easy to see a man’s artificial limb in one hand while massaging a stump of a leg with the other and think, “Oh, let me buy him a sandwich”.  What about all the survivors who have been in all the wars we have been involved in that walk around each day struggling to just maintain.  There are ghosts that fill the dreams of so many, ghosts of horrors that few can ever comprehend unless you too walked in their shoes.

Memorial Weekend is a time to honor these people.  To realize and appreciate the sacrifices that they and their families made to keep us safe and free.  Whether one’s leg is torn away in a firefight in the jungles of Vietnam, or a soul is twisted and crushed from man’s inhumanity to man during times of combat in the Mideast, men and women come home from war changed.  They need love and patience and understanding and space.  They need to be acknowledged, even if only on Veteran’s Day or Memorial Weekend.  It is in the power of every person that reads this story to buy a sandwich for a vet, or cut the grass for an old timer who helped to secure your rights as a U.S. citizen…and say thanks.

Nobody who has seen the things our military has seen, or been called upon to do the things that they are called upon to do should ever sit alone and wonder what it was all for.  Oh, we will be embarrassed when you say thanks for your service…we will not want you to buy us lunch…we will try to refuse your help even though it may truly be needed.  Extend yourself, and appreciate those brave men and women who have given so much.  A good place to start is visiting Calumet Park cemetery over Memorial Weekend.  Find time to share an hour of your life in showing you care.  The official Memorial Day Service at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville will be May 28 at 1:00 p.m.  Invite your friends and take the opportunity to show you care.

Call 219-769-8803 for information on prearranging for your cemetery and funeral needs

 

 

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2017 Spring Newsletter

Family enjoying a day of fishing at previous Catch and Release events that happen every Spring at Calumet Park Cemetery. Click on newsletter link for more information.

2017 Spring Newsletter  Click here to see the newsletter.  A complete schedule of the Memorial Weekend events are listed.  Also, there are a number of other community oriented activities that you may want to save the date for that are shown in the newsletter.  Thank you for following us on facebook.  If you have any needs or questions about the cemetery, our funeral homes or prearranging, feel free to call.  Visit our website at www.calumetparkcemetery.com

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New Calumet Park Funeral Home in Hobart has ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber’s of Commerce of Hobart and Portage…

On December 15 the Chamber of Commerce for both Hobart and Portage joined together in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Hobart.  the funeral home is located just south of Ridge Road on County Line Road between Hobart and Portage.  Considering the day was the coldest of the year to that point, a nice turn-out of local businesses and residents stopped by for the ceremony.

Location supervisor Roy McNeal and his assistant, Mike Poweska, had the newly renovated funeral home looking great.  The entire Board of Directors joined in the ceremony, with gifts handed out to all attendees.  Hobart Mayor, Brian Snedecor welcomed Calumet Park to the business community, and both Lisa Winstead from Hobart and Nancy Simpson from Portage shared some thoughts as the ribbon was cut making Calumet Park an official member of the community.

Stop by anytime for a private tour of the facility and meet the staff.  For more info, call 219-940-3791.

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Calumet Park Funeral Chapel and Rendina Funeral Home Angel Tree Lighting Ceremonies well attended…

2015-10-09-08-07-29The Merrillville High School Choir greeted the attendees of Calumet Park Funeral Chapel’s annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday afternoon, December 3.  Over 150 men, women and children enjoyed the choir singing Christmas carols as they found their way to their seats in the chapel.

 

 

Harpist Renee Wilson treated the audience with soft holiday music while waiting for the program to begin.

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A special thanks to Michelle Hanrahan and all those who helped make the evening a success.  Assisting as needed were Kim Jones, Carrie Evans, Teresa Dille, Matt Hahn, Misti Ferkull, Sandy Ferris, Marcia Ochoa, Rick Kalk, Richard Stake, Dianne Correll, Kathy Chepela and Tammy Vogel.  Paul Vogel offered some thoughts and stories to remind us all of the reason for the season, while his brother Brant sang a song inspired by his grandfather and days fishing.  Matt and Sara Courtney and Caroline Moore shared a heavenly song and all enjoyed fellowship after the door prizes were awarded over delicious punch and an assortment of sweets.  And, for the first time, pictures of loved ones were projected on the wall as names and dates were read as loved ones placed glass angels on the tree.

Rendina’s ceremony was on Thursday afternoon organized by Taylor Wise, with Greg Schafer and many of the people mentioned above all helping out. (click on pictures to enlarge)  2015-10-07-08-22-48 2015-10-07-08-25-43 2015-10-07-08-26-30 2015-10-07-08-27-32 2015-10-07-08-43-06 2015-10-07-08-43-46 2015-10-07-08-44-59 2015-10-07-08-48-20 2015-10-07-09-02-22 2015-10-07-09-13-52

 

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Halloween of 1994 American Eagle Flight 4184 plane crash in Roselawn remembered

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Theresa Ann Severin, shown above, wrote a truly amazing account of the events before and after the doomed American Eagle flight back in 1994.  Terri lost her sister Patricia and her nephew, Patrick Henry on that day.  Stop in at Calumet Park Cemetery and pick up a copy of this story, powerful in and of itself and brought alive by the courage and tenacity of the author.  Each copy is personally signed by the author and can be yours for only $20.

In looking for the perfect poem or inspirational story to read this afternoon, I could not find one. They all felt too heavy with grief or regret.

I then realized the perfect thing I wanted to recite today was not about remorse, or loss, but about gratitude.

I am grateful for having had my only sibling, my best friend, Patty, for 36 years.

I am grateful to have had little Patrick in my life for 4 years.

I am grateful for the playfulness and small antics Patrick brought to my life.

I am grateful for the sisterhood and the big antics that Patty and I engaged in.

All of us have experienced blessings and miracles from the ongoing presence of our loved ones in our lives, giving us support and hope for the future. So, even when speaking of their departure from this earthly plane, I believe they continue to shape who we are today. Just like all of us here have assisted each other, in even small ways, on our journeys and transformations.

Reflecting on my relationship with my sister, and never wanting to have been selfish, all I can do is hope that I haven’t somehow held Patty back from fully embracing the life she is now meant to live. My strong emotional ties may in fact have been tethers holding Patty to the earthly plane. So, with that said, I fully release Patty and Patrick. I have attempted this throughout the years, but this time, with you as my witness, “I really mean it this time!”

I know our love will never be lost or diminished.

Finally, I am grateful to be here with all of you today to honor our loved ones, who are free and in the light and love of God.

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