Category Archives: feature stories

Calumet Park Cemetery and Affiliates hold annual holiday party at Insbrook Country Club on February 3…

Kim (Hahn) Jones, Matt Hahn and Michelle Hahn at the annual Calumet Park holiday party…fun costumes on the ladies for Calumet Park’s 90th Anniversary.

A wonderful time of fine food, fellowship and laughter was had by all at this year’s holiday party.  The affair was held at Insbrook Country Club on Saturday night.  Enjoy the following pictures from the evening of appreciation for all the caring work that was performed in 2017. Click on any picture to enlarge.

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It costs how much to dig a grave?

 

 

For anyone who has had the responsibility of making cemetery arrangements for a loved one, the costs of opening and closing of a grave (O/C), a crypt or a cremation niche hits them like a slap in the face.  “To dig a grave, you want how much?” is often heard during a meeting to finalize the paperwork for a burial. “I’ll get my brothers and we’ll come dig the grave!”

There is a lot more to the opening and closing of a final resting place than just the digging of a grave.  Under the umbrella of “opening and closing”, the charges include administration and permanent record keeping.  It must be determined who has the ownership with accompanying right to open a grave,.  Permission to open the grave is only half of the process.  The second half is who has the rights of disposition for the human remains.  In other words, who is permitted by law to dispose of a human body.    Entering the interment particulars in the interment register, and maintaining all the legal records is included in the opening and closing fee.

At Calumet Park, a triple verification system is in place which means locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling in the interment space, the installation and removal of the lowering device, placement and removal of artificial grass and set up to allow for a safe burial site for both the family and friends attending a committal service and for the cemetery crew responsible for the burial.  When weather conditions permit, the costs for setting up and taking down of a tent is part of the O/C charges.

Upon the completion of a burial, the grave must be filled in immediately, and again a number of times until the dirt has settled.  Once the dirt has settled, and after tamping and re-grading of the topsoil, grass must be planted.  When markers are in place, they must be tended to which usually means removing and replacing to allow the grave to by prepared for the burial.  Finally, there is a pro-rated insurance that must be maintained for the cemetery for the protection of both the families served and the employees against any possible damage from equipment while processing the interment and financial protection should any person or persons be injured during the burial process.

A burial includes the digging of the grave, removing the dirt from the site (to be brought back after the interment is completed), the setting of a vault (outer protective receptacle into which the casket is placed), the lowering of the casket into the vault, filling in of the grave and grave completion process as described above.

The good news, if such a thing exists when considering all that goes into the O/C process, is that you can prearrange and freeze the price for the opening and closing of a grave.  Currently at Calumet Park, the price for an O/C is $2140 and can be prearranged with as little as 10% down and interest free monthly payments of $80.25 per month for 24 months.  Of course, we are an old fashioned company in that we will accept payment in full on credit cards, debit cards, personal check or actual cash.

It should be noted that there are no payment terms except payment in full when you find yourself in an immediate need situation and short of money.  A grave will not be opened without this fee paid at the time of need.  It is not the intent of cemeteries to require payment before burial.  The facts are that some people do not pay their bills, which puts an unfair burden on all the others who do pay.

Stop in today at Calumet Park Cemetery for more information or to prearrange an opening and closing for yourself or other loved one.  Call 219-769-8803 now to set up a personal meeting with one of our caring Family Service Counselor.  There is no obligation to get educated in regards cemetery and funeral arrangements.

 

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Do not lose hope – Spring is less than two months away

March 20 is the first day of Spring – warm weather is coming so have faith.

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Christmas is just around the corner…

Christmas is just around the corner…

By Daniel Moran

Depending on one’s perspective, Christmas can be a wonderfully happy time of year, or the holidays can be filled with sadness.  Celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus, should be a time to be filled with hope for eternity

For those who have lost a mom or a dad, a child, a spouse or friend in 2017, the joy of Christmas will be somewhat overshadowed by the sadness of such a loss.  But for those who truly believe in the grace and mercy of God, Christmas can be wonderful…even if someone you loved died.  For, you see, we all want to go to heaven but few of us want to do the things that are necessary to get there:  believe in Jesus and die.

I believe our date of death was pre-ordained.  We should all do the best we can each day since none of us know when we will depart this world.  We should all enjoy our favorite Christmas carols, and savor the flavor of candy canes and cookies.  We should all learn how to give without expectations, and learn how to graciously receive with a simple ‘thanks’.  All hearts seem a little more caring during the month of December.  When Nat King Cole sings ”chestnuts roasting on an open fire” or “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, how can we not be transported to all of our yesteryears of love and family, surrounded by the smells of turkey and pie and, dare I say, fruit cake?

Those who have passed away, whether this past year or in years past, remembering the good times can help to balance out the sadness of their not being with us, in the flesh, this year.  Think of the special gift that had so much meaning that only that loved one would have known enough about you to give it to you.  Think of the hugs by a fireplace, or the sledding or skating that made any given Christmas in your life together  a Christmas to remember.

Nothing will ever take the place of those special people in your lives, nor should anything be so overpowering that those times could be replaced.  There is room in each of our hearts to look back at the first kiss from our mate, the first smell of our first baby, the 60th anniversary or the first anniversary with that someone special.  I believe that is one of the best benefits of being human.  God gave us the ability to feel with our hearts besides just feeling with our hands.  He gave us billions of storage cells in our brains where each special moment could be captured and pulled out as a memory when we need to feel good, even in our loss of a loved one.

Did you ever notice that a smell, or a song, or a sunset can take us right back to an important time in our lives?  My father’s favorite song was “Oh my Papa.”  That was sung back in the ‘50’s but to this day, when I hear it, I am immediately transported back to a time that Dad was holding my hand.  He did not spend his time saying I love you.  He lived his “I love you’s”.  Too bad I only had him for the first 11 years of my life.  Yet, though he is gone, his impact was such that, even in the many Christmas’s that have come and gone since he died, I still know him.  I still feel him.  I still love him and know that he is in heaven rooting for me.  And that is a good feeling.

So, yes, Christmas will be sad for many this year because of the loss of a special person in their life, but I ask all who read this article to cry your tears and offer your pain up to God.  Know that your heroes, your lost loves, your reasons for living are alive and sitting at the table of our Lord, just waiting for you to join them when your appointed time comes.  You will feel their presence when you pull good Christmas memories from your very smart brain.  Love the ones you are with and cherish the time that you have with your husband, or wife, or parent, sibling, children and friends.  There is lots of room left in your heart to store up great moments of joy so you will be able to give and get a spiritual hug whenever you need it.  It is up to you to build those precious moments that can be drawn upon as needed after a loved one is gone.

God bless you all and I pray for your happiness, good health and prosperity for the coming year.

 

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Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville hosts the 13th Annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony …

Under the leadership of Carrie Evans (funeral home supervisor), Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville sponsored its 13th Annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, December 2.  Along with her team of Raquel Santos, Teresa Dille, Greg Schafer, Marcia Ochoa, Sandy Ferris, Matt Hahn, Marilyn Kligler, Mike Poweska,  Mileva Savich, Richard Stake,  Rick Kalk, and Barb F. planned and executed a wonderful event.  Other participants were Kim Jones, Paul Vogel, Brant Vogel, Renee Wilson, Carolyn Moore, Sara and Matt Courtney, and the Merrillville H.S. Choral group.

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE.

Thank you to all who attended this beautiful ceremony to honor those who have passed away and thanks to all those involved in the planning and perfectly executed service to the community.  Please remember that the birth of Jesus is the reason for the season and have a happy and healthy Christmas holiday.

For information on future events, call 219-769-8803.

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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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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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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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