Category Archives: feature stories

Coming soon to Calumet Park Cemetery…two new niche columbariums overlooking the Meditation Pond…

Watch this space to see when the new columbarium project will be available for sale.  A columbarium is a bank of niches that are designed as permanent placement of the cremains of a loved one after cremation.  Each of these spaces will accommodate the ashes of either one or two cremains.  The personal information will go on the black granite niche fronts.  There are 160 individual niches.  They are set between the bridge at the Meditation Pond and the gazebo.  During the spring, summer and early fall seasons there is a fountain in the pond which will offer a quiet place of contemplation and remembrance for families that choose this new addition to Calumet Park Cemetery’s constantly growing inventory of peaceful and beautiful final resting places for our departed ones.

There will be a stream surrounding the Columbariums with a waterfalls and bridges to get to this small but beautiful island paradise.

For information on this or any of the many wonderful choices for the cremation-oriented families that we serve, please call 219-769-8803 or stop in for a tour of the new facility.

 

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Filed under Calumet Park Cemetery, Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville Indiana, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville Indiana, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel of Hobart and Portage, Calumet Park Funeral Home, Cremation, feature stories, Funeral home, mausoleums, Rendina Funeral Home, Uncategorized, Veterans benefits

First annual Fall Festival a huge success at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel on County Line Road in Hobart just north of County Line Orchard. More pics added.

Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Hobart on Country Line Road held its first annual Trunk or Treat Fall Festival on October 21.  Free pumpkins, face painting, games, prizes, hot dogs, drinks and popcorn (provided thanks to IMAX in Portage),  and 15 local business with open trunks for trick or treating made for a wonderful couple of hours.  A great time was had by all who worked to make it a success and for those who came for the fun.  A special thanks to Violet de la Torre-Corona and Mike Poweska for organizing the event and to Bethany Music for providing all the pics shown below.  Misti Ferkull and Sandy Ferris greeted everyone at the check in table and students from Portage High School and Crown Point High School helped with the games.  A number of other CPC employees worked hard to ensure that  great memories could be made including Matt Hahn, Michelle Hanrahan, Rob Vogel, Marcia Ochoa, Emily Dominguez, Kim Jones, Raquel Santos, and Brant Vogel.  See you all next year. (hopefully I did not leave anyone off who worked to make this a great day)  Click on any pic to enlarge for better viewing.

Prize winners for best costume (some kids with great costumes were gone at time of contest winners)

Rob, Michelle and Brant

Mike and Marcia

Carl Paunicka (Owner and BOD member) and Daniel Moran (GM)

Misti and Sandy

Mike and Violet

Unique to Calumet Park – the Harley Hearse for a final ride to remember

 

Once again, thanks for coming.  If you would like a tour of the newly remodeled funeral home, call Violet (speaks Spanish) or Mike at 219-940-3791 or stop in any time.

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Filed under Calumet Park Cemetery, Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville Indiana, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville Indiana, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel of Hobart and Portage, Calumet Park Funeral Home, Events, feature stories, Funeral home, Rendina Funeral Home, Veterans benefits, veterans day ceremony

Fall Festival 2017 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel a huge success…

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this annual fall event a success.  To all the families and kiddies, hope you had a great time.  If you missed this year’s event in Merrillville, mark your calendars for our second Fall Festival on October 21.  It will be at our newest funeral home on County Line Road just north of the County Line Orchard in Hobart/Portage.  There will be a Trunk and Treat as part of this event so come at 11:00 am and stay for the whole two hours.  There is no cost and it is guaranteed to be a fun couple of hours building memories with your wee ones.  The Apple Orchard is tons of fun but Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Hobart will offer free pumpkins for painting, refreshments, games and safe trunk or treating.  Call 219-940-3791 for directions and details.  A special thanks goes out to Bethany Music for providing the photos in this post.

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Paul R. Vogel “Attila” obituary…

Obituary for Paul R. Vogel “Attila”

Paul R. Vogel “Attila”, of Chesterton, IN, age 73, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, September 28, 2017. He is survived by his loving sons: Paul R. (Tammy) Vogel, Robert F. (Michelle) Vogel II, Brant E. (Kai) Vogel; cherished grandchildren: Gavin, Maya, Hunter, Ava, Ian, Quinn, Isabella and Ocean; sister, Cheryl (Larry) Wolfson; nieces and nephews: Michelle, Kim, Tammy, Robert, Michael, Aaron, Ryan, Ashley, Marc and Sara; brother-in-law, Matt Hahn; sister-in-law, Linda (Burt) Myers; longtime DEER best friend and hunting partner, Carlos Rivero and incredibly special companion, Christine Price-Priesol.
Preceded in death by his parents: Robert F. and Ellen Vogel (Holme); wife, Leslie L. Vogel (Barth); and sister, Janis M. Hahn (Vogel).
Paul was a graduate of Indiana University where he earned a Bachelor degree in business. During his college years Paul was an influential part of the IU Rugby Club and there are many stories that are still told about what happened during that time. Shortly after graduation he went on to proudly serve his country in the U. S. Army during the Vietnam War where he developed a true life bond with the soldiers that fought with him. During his Vietnam years, Paul was able to expand his love of rugby internationally while playing in both Germany and Australia.
When he returned from Vietnam, Paul was hired with Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company where he sold law books to law firms all around the Chicago area. During this time he met the love of his life, Leslie Barth. They married on July 12th 1971. Paul Vogel was a founding father of the Chicago Lions Rugby Club. The Lion’s Rugby was a huge part of his life beginning in the early 70’s where he developed friendships and stories that are still told to this day. All of his manly stallion sons ended up playing competitive rugby.
Paul Vogel was CEO of Calumet Park Cemetery and Funeral homes (Merrillville, Hobart, and Rendina) and 3rd generation of Vogel’s Restaurant of Whiting, IN. Paul was also a second generation Board of Director of Liberty Savings Bank and he definitely knew how to count his pennies. Paul had a love for flying as a commercial pilot in airplanes and helicopters with around 50 years of flight instructing; His passion for firearms led him to become an expert marksman in the military with the M60 and he remained active in the North Porter County Conservation Gun club in recent years where he shot machine guns competitively and IDPA steel challenges. Paul was an avid shooter and a walking firearm and ballistic encyclopedia. He was a member of the Izaak Walton Portage chapter, American legion in Chesterton, and the VFW of Merrillville, IN.
Paul was an avid hunter and adventure seeker. Motorcycles soon took the place of the game of rugby when he no longer was able to play. Paul was a proud man who loved his sons and his grandchildren. His entire dream was to keep the family united. Paul was a family man who had a soft spot for his boys. He had a love for hunting in Montana and hunting all over the country whenever possible, just to carry on the family tradition of the outdoors. In his later years, the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association was a huge part of his life, and this helped develop great relations with veterans awareness groups such as Resurrection Lives Foundation for the support of those in need. Paul not only was a Life Benefactor member in the NRA, he was a life member of LIFE!!!!
Paul was a loving father & papa and will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten.
Ride on “Attila” Combat Vets FM-721
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 12:00 p.m., at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (7535 Taft St. Merrillville, IN) with a short visitation from 10 a.m until time of service. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. Friends are invited to visit with the family on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Floral arrangements may be made with Lake Effect Floral Chesterton, IN 219-926-7117 (lakeeffectflorals.com)
or Memorial donations may be made to:
National Rifle Association (nra.org)
The Resurrecting Lives Foundation (resurrectinglives.org)
Augsburg Lutheran Church
100 N. Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304

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Can one or two people make a difference in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey?

Paul Vogel from Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, Indiana and Jim Bognar, a Merrillville police officer, in Houston to help families after Hurricane Harvey blasted the Texas with wind and almost unending rainfall.

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Mr. Liu with Paul Vogel. Mr. Liu is a Vietnamese homeowner who just moved into his home three weeks before the storm. He liked the river location because it reminded him of home. His family escaped Vietnam after the communist takeover via a boat to the Philippines.

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Paul Vogel (left) with his team, working to help families with clean-up in Houston.

There is a story of a man who came upon a small child tossing starfish back into the ocean.  The man asked the boy what he was doing.  The boy picked up another starfish and threw it as far as he could, and told the man he was saving the starfish’s life.  The man looked around and saw hundreds of beached starfish and told the boy he was wasting his time.  “There are hundreds of starfish here so what difference will it make if you save a few?”, he asked.  The boy went about his business as he threw another starfish into the water, turned to the old man and declared, “It made a difference to that one.”

Loading up a truck of all sorts of things that will be needed for the people of Houston.

Items collected from Calumet Park Cemetery and affiliates employees and members of Valley Baptist Church and Bridgepoint Church in Valparaiso.

And so it is with two local men who felt that driving to Houston, hooking up with the Second Baptist Church and Pastor Craig Reynolds (a former Houston Astros shortstop) in Houston, and donating their time and energy to helping where needed.  Their mission is to help in any way possible and to answer the simple question of WWJD. .. What would Jesus do?  Paul and Jim are on a mission to “save some starfish”, and what better way than to get your hands dirty and help families, one at a time.

As difficult to believe it to be possible, looters are going through neighborhoods and stealing from those who have had their lives turned upside down from the storms. There should be a special place in hell for such sinful behavior.

The devastation from Hurricane Harvey is beyond anything that words can describe.  Pictures can show the destruction of homes, cars, businesses and even life.  Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and everything you owned was gone.  Include in this the business that you worked at, the paycheck that no longer exists, the lack of food and shelter, and the despair and loss of hope that you would be feeling.  And in every direction you look your friends and family and neighbors by the millions are frightened to their last nerve as you all wonder how you will survive.  There is no electricity, no water, no food, no stores to buy food, no way to get to stores if money were not an issue,  and all the while the threat of another hurricane lurking in the Atlantic.

Storms do bring out the worst in people, but they also bring out the best in so many others.  There are thousands of Paul Vogel’s and Jim Bognar’s descending on Houston and Florida with but the muscle on their bones and a desire to help every family, rich or poor, white or black or Hispanic, and every color in-between, and every faith under God.  Seen nailed over one door was a simple sign:  Grant me patience Lord, but hurry!!  Our TV’s are filled with videos and pictures that try to capture all that is going on in Houston and now, Florida, and all the other countries that were hit so hard by Hurricane Irma.

The simple phrase This Too Shall Pass makes for a nice graphic to place over a sofa in one’s home, but it is hard to believe the message when the sofa and the wall of the house has been blown away.  This is where true faith comes in as there will come a time that all of the houses will be rebuilt.  All the furniture, and clothes and appliances and cars and all that has been lost will be replenished.  Eternity is what ultimately matters, and all of those who have joined in the quest to rebuild Houston and the East Coast and beyond are following their hearts as they seek to be of service to all of the victims as God’s helpers.

So, thanks to Paul, and Jim and the thousands who have donated to the cause of rebuilding lives.  Find a charitable group, from the Red Cross to veterans groups to local churches that are collecting money to help those who cannot help themselves, and give as though you were the one that needed to receive.  Forego the steak and go with a hot dog and send the extra money to help.  Every penny does become a dollar which does become a life savor to those who need your kindness and generosity more now than ever before.  You will feel great when you give more than you think you can afford.

And prayers are always welcomed…for the victims and for those trying to make a difference to every starfish and every child of God.

For information of prearranging for cemetery and funeral needs, call 219-769-8803.

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In memory of Tony Rendina…

Obituary for Anthony S. Rendina Jr.

Anthony S. “Tony” Rendina, Jr.
Merrillville, IN

Anthony S. Rendina, Jr., passed away on Saturday, August 19, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Tony was preceded in death by his wife, Lee Rendina in 1989. He is survived by his son, Tony (Donna) Rendina III; daughter, Beth (Steve) Hitt; grandchildren: Tony Bill Rendina, Kristin (Chris Holland) Rendina, Mandi (Chad) Bogue, Anni Bartok and Rich Bartok; great grandchildren: Triston Spencer, Jaycie Bogue, Autumn Rendina, Ryan Bogue, Joey Brazeau, Ben “Bengy” Bogue, Izzy Smith and Cooper Holland; brothers: Vince Rendina and Romeo (Dorothy) Rendina; sister-in-law, Mary Lou Rendina; special friend and companion, Barbara Fedorchak. Also survived by and a very large extended family. Also preceded in death by his parents: Antonio and Michelina Rendina; sisters: Angeline Orosz and Rose Truax; and brothers: Joe, Phil and Mike Rendina.
Tony was a well-respected funeral director in Indiana for 62 years. He also retired from EJ&E Railroad. Mr. Rendina proudly owned and operated Rendina Funeral Home in Gary, IN with his brothers for many years. Tony was a Veteran of the U. S. Army and also a member of the Sons of Italy and Gary Lions Clubs. A devout Catholic, Tony was a longtime parishioner of St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church in Merrillville. He also served as former president of the Indiana State Board of Funeral Directors as well as a past Merrillville Police Commissioner.
When Tony wasn’t caring for families at the funeral home, he enjoyed going to the casinos, cruising in his convertible, telling a funny story or joke, giving children Dairy Queen money, praying the rosary…but most importantly he loved spending time with his beloved family. They were his world. He was generous, caring and always willing to help those in need. Tony will be truly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 24, 2017, 10:30 a.m. at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church (5920 Waite St. Merrillville, IN). Rev. Michael Maginot officiating with prayers from Rendina Funeral Home (5100 Cleveland St. Gary, IN) at 9:15 a.m. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. Friends are invited to visit with the family on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at Rendina Funeral Home from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary service at 7:00 p.m. and Sons of Italy service at 5:00 p.m.
For information call 219-980-1141

Tony with Kathy Chepela and Dianne Correll on Memorial Day 2017

 

It has been a privilege to work with Tony and his family over the years.  He was a man of honor, of character, generous to the 10th degree, and kind to all who have had the good fortune to have met him.  Tony was detailed in his work and lived to serve his families.  He had a wonderful sense of humor and was a born story-teller.  He was a friend to many and he seldom met a person that he didn’t like and his outer toughness was but a mask as all could see the great heart that this man had – for families he helped through times of loss to children to vet groups and within his church.  Tony will be missed by all and is in our prayers as he takes his place in heaven.  Goodbye, Tony…the world is a lesser place with your passing.

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Memory challenges – age or Alzheimer’s

Memory challenges – age or Alzheimer’s

by Laura Conant, Calumet Park Correspondent

Have you been forgetting things a lot lately? Can’t find your keys or glasses? Is the worry of Alzheimer’s nagging at the back of your mind?  More than 5 million people in the US are living with Alzheimer’s so it’s in the news a lot.

Let’s put your worries to rest by finding out what are symptoms of normal aging vs. symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Memory problems such as forgetting recent conversations, misplacing items, difficulty in solving problems, can be normal as we age. It may take us longer to do complex tasks but we can do them without a lot of confusion. Signs of Alzheimer’s would be misplacing something and be unable to know how to retrace your steps to find it. Balancing your checkbook may become difficult as numbers no longer make sense. You may start getting lost on familiar routes while either walking or driving. Familiar areas now feel foreign.

Language problems can include not remembering the names of familiar objects like the TV or phone, or suddenly stopping in the middle of a conversation because you can’t remember what you were talking about. It’s not just losing your train of thought-it’s that you don’t remember starting the conversation at all. You may start having trouble reading by not recognizing or understanding the words.

Depression and becoming very easily agitated is another sign. Losing interest in things you previously enjoyed and being in a flat mood, personality changes and the loss of social skills are other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. You, yourself, may not be able to perceive these changes but may experience family members or friends telling you about them.

If you or a loved one are having any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a physician to start treatment to slow the progression of the disease.

Dear Family and friends,

Please try to understand what I am now; not think of me as I was.  I am alone, shut in, with my fears, my frustrations, my forgetfulness.  Forgive me if I strike out at you.  Why do I do that?  What has happened to me?  I cannot cope in this alien world.  I feel threatened.  I am frightened.  Speak softly, approach slowly.  Repeat again and again what you want of me.  Those twisted tangles in my brain have messed up my world.  Be patient, for I do love you.  And I need your help and love so very, very much.  Your Alzheimer Patient.  by Joy Glennner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Visit us at the Lake County Fair from August 4th – 13th

983.pngWhen you need a break from the rides, elephant ears, corn dogs etc., come visit us at the Industrial Building.  We will be at booth 101 and will be giving away a free spinner with each short survey that is filled in.  Don’t know what a spinner is?  Ask your kids as it is the hottest craze.   Take advantage of our Fair Special:  35% off graves in new sections at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville and for niches in the Beautiful Veteran Memorial Columbarium.  A columbarium is a bank of niches for permanent placement of a loved one a Calumet Park Cemetery.  Call for more info at 219-769-8803.  See you at the fair.

 

 

Veteran Memorial columbarium

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A boo-boo needs a kiss…

 

For over 10,000 days, I have held the title of father.  For me, every day is Father’s Day.  My girls and my wife fill my heart and soul with love for each day that I am blessed to share with them.  I have tried many things in my life, and succeeded in some and failed in others.  But in my quest to be a good father, I have succeeded far more times than I have failed.

I say this because I have two adult, well adjusted, loving daughters who became that way because of their Mother and me.  We had no guide book on how to parent, although I read a lot of parenting books over the years that never quite gave answers or procedures for unique moments that presented themselves on a regular basis.  There is such a thing as book smart but real life events quite often force a parent into being street-smart on the run.  There is not always time to consult with what all the professionals have to say about challenges faced as a parent.

A simple example might be a toddler falling and scraping a knee.  Their crying gets our attention, soap  water and bandages treat the physical wound, but it is the hugs and kisses that takes away their fear and pain.  All of us with the title of parent understand this.  It did not take Dr. Spock to tell us that a boo-boo needs a kiss.

I believe, and I can only speak for myself, being there in the moment goes a long way to being a good parent.  Being there with patience and willingness to apologize to a child when we are not successful in being patient…being there to listen…being there to guide and to protect and be a home base that kids can return to…all part of good parenting.  I had to learn that my girls (and my wife) are not always looking for answers.  Men seem to think that we have to solve a problem, check it off an imaginary list, and be ready for the next time superman is needed.   Sometimes we just have to shut up and listen.  Very hard for me as I am like an action figure…give me a problem and we will fix it, eliminate it, go around it or through it but I need to act.

I remember being schooled by both of my girls over the years when I show up with the proverbial hammer and saw cause “the fix-it man is in the house” when they would let me know that they did not need a “Tool Time With Tim” dad right then.  What they needed was an understanding male figure who could listen, nod his head up and down, right and left, but mostly to shut up…open my heart, and try to feel their pain or fear.  Going to a new school, or breaking up with a boy friend, or getting a cold shoulder from their BFF’s…they only wanted to think it through, out loud, to a dad, and then get the hug and kiss for their emotional boo-boo’s.

Megan and Colleen taught me to be a good father.  There was never a question of the love part of it.  The first time I held each in my arms I knew.  The smell of a freshly diapered and powdered baby (or even a poopy one for that matter) made my chest swell with pride and unconditional joy.  Looking at their little round faces and their big blue eyes was like looking in the eyes of God.  No man could ever “make a baby”.  No woman could ever will themselves into motherhood.  The power of God took all those eager little swimmers and created Megan, and Colleen and me as a Dad and Teri as a Mom.  And we loved it.

We have loved every blessed minute of being a parent, and continue to enjoy the high of the two wonderful kids that blessed our home.  So, Happy Father’s Day to me.  I may get the greeting cards that utter the sentiments of some Hallmark wordsmith signed by my Meg and my Colleen, but a simple look into the blue eyes of my babies from heaven and I know that it is my day on June 18th,  and on every day that I am allowed to share with my girls.

So, that is a bit of my story.  It is my sincere wish that every father out there realizes the wonder that has been given to them when their children were born.  To you all, I wish a very Happy Father’s Day.  written by Daniel Moran

You are invited to Saturday’s fishing event at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, Indiana.  This is an annual catch and release program for kids 12 and under and must be with an adult.  Calumet Park will provide bate and snacks.  Come on out on June 10 and build some memories with your kids.  All you need is a fishing pole and a desire to share some quality free time with those little ones in your life.  Call 769-8803 for info or directions.  It is from 11:00 to 1:00 so bring the kids, suntan lotion and a comfortable chair and join in on the fun.

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