Tag Archives: Calumet Park Cemetery

From the archives….

2017-02-03-20-18-22Found in the archives, the invitation that was sent out for the dedication of the Catholic Sections from back in 1933.  Calumet Park, always and still family owned and operated.

2017-02-03-20-18-47 2017-02-03-20-18-54From its humble beginnings in 1928, Calumet Park has grown to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the country.  Besides the cemetery, Calumet Park now owns and operates two crematories and three funeral homes:  Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville, Rendina Funeral Home in Gary and Calumet Park Funeral Chapel and Crematory in Hobart.

For information on pre-planning your cemetery and funeral arrangements, call 219-769-8803 or stop in for a tour of any of our facilities.  Find out more about us by reading some of the posts in this blog or go to http://calumetparkcemetery.com

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Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville adds casket display area that is family friendly…

2017-01-17-21-37-34 2017-01-17-21-37-57 2017-01-17-21-38-30 2017-01-17-21-38-54 2017-01-17-21-39-15 2017-01-17-21-39-53 2017-01-17-21-40-05 2017-01-17-21-40-53 2017-01-17-21-41-01 2017-01-17-21-41-22 2017-01-17-21-41-48 2017-01-17-21-42-13 2017-01-17-21-42-36 2017-01-17-21-43-06 2017-01-17-21-43-35 2017-01-17-21-43-58 2017-01-17-21-44-05 2017-01-17-21-44-17 2017-01-17-21-44-27 2017-01-17-21-44-53-2 2017-01-17-21-44-53-6 2017-01-17-21-45-52 2017-01-17-21-46-24 2017-01-17-21-47-00 2017-01-17-21-47-08 2017-01-17-21-47-52 2017-01-17-21-48-02 2017-01-17-21-48-43 2017-01-17-21-48-56Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville recently added a casket display area at the cemetery.  There are so many people wishing to pre-arrange their cemetery and funeral needs that it has become a must to have a place that they can see the actual caskets and fabrics for the interior without having to go to a local funeral home.

You may click on any photo to enlarge it to see the detail of design and color.  All the caskets shown are Batesville caskets made in the USA in Batesville, Indiana.  Batesville is one of the oldest and biggest casket manufacturing companies in the country.  They are highly respected and admired for the quality and variety of their products, from simple to “how much?”  There is literally a design that meets all budgets.

Stop in for a free tour of the room and consider preplanning with Calumet Park using our interest free monthly payment plans, and do not forget to ask about our veteran program.

Call 219-769-8803, or stop by any of our locations as shown on our website http://calumetparkcemetery.com

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Everybody has a Christmas story…here is mine for this year…pleasant reading.

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In the still of a night…

By Daniel G. Moran, Calumet Park Cemetery G.M.

In the middle of November, my 90 pound Airedale woke me up at 4:00 a.m. one morning by shoving his huge head under my cheek and jerking upward.  When he wants to go out there is little that one can do but accommodate his needs.  That, or listen to his deep and loud barking until you give in and get up.  Truth be told, as I get older, I get up more often in the night anyway so you could call us the “middle of the night relief team”.

Mac is actually a very quiet, well-mannered dog.   I adopted him from a rescue center last year and he has since become part of our family.  After grooming and getting his curly hair cut, he looks like the pure bred dog that he was born to be.

Anyway, that morning when I came in and got all cozy in my bed for another couple of hours of sleep, I started thinking of Christmas decorating.  My wife had already put up the small tree and all sorts of snowman and snowwoman stuff in the living room.  The family room would be next and that is where the big tree goes.  It is a large room and one that is always so Christmassy looking when decorated.  As I lay there, my thoughts were turning to hanging stockings, and 28 year old red Santa snack cups and plates for the cookies and milk lovingly put out by the girls when they were ‘believers’, and sugar plums dancing in my head.

I realized that I was decorating the room in my half-dream state, so why not get up and actually decorate?  I did get up and I did decorate…very quietly.  Mac  laid  by the fireplace and up went the tree and colored lights.  We treasured the Christmas decorations made by our girls, Megan and Colleen, from their early art classes in grade school.  They went on the tree along with all the other shiny and bright ornaments bought or gifted to us over the years.

I listened to Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole as they sang all the old, familiar Christmas songs… as only they could do.  I cannot hear Nat King Cole sing “chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” without feeling nostalgic about the days of old when life seemed less complicated than the world we live in today.  It was then that I un-wrapped the manger scene and looked around for just the right place to put  Jesus, Mary and Joseph for all to see.

In the quiet of the early morning, I held the manger and looked intently at the detailed ceramic baby Jesus, and could truly feel the reason for the season.  If that particular moment would have been part of a Hallmark Holiday Movie made for TV, the viewer would have been transported from the here and now back to a memory bubble of me as a young boy in 1956.  I was with my father and we were knocking on the door of a very needy family.  I know they had to be needy because we lived in a house with no running water or bathroom and only the heat from a pot belly stove to keep us warm, and very few presents under the tree and still, my dad said we had to take some food to a family that was really poor.

I clung to a basket of canned goods and dad held a turkey (it may have been a chicken or a crow for all I knew… as a little seven year old boy, what did I know from turkeys?) as he knocked on the door.  The porch had broken boards, and the screen was torn.  When the door creaked open, a mom stood there with a mess of wee one’s clinging to her skirt and tentatively asked us what we wanted.

The entire drive to their house was spent with my rehearsing what I was to say when the door opened, so when I blurted out “Merry Christmas.  We wanted to share our blessings with you.”, I think I scared her and her kids.   Somehow, I choked the words into the crisp air, and the lady looked down at me and up to my father and back to me.  I remember her tears, but even more, I remember my father’s tears.  Men don’t cry and yet, there was dad, wiping away nearly frozen droplets of water as he told her that “God was good to us this year, and we wanted to bring some good cheer to your family”.

Hallmark Productions would then fade back to the present as one tear slid down my cheek.  Oddly, Mac opened his eyes at that moment, started to get up, and we stared for a  few seconds at each other. He plopped back down, to the floor and was soon snoring.  I placed the manger on a shelf and thanked God for the memory.

Sixty years had passed since that little boy learned that wealth is not in having things but rather being taught to see beyond the trappings of the holidays.  Shopping and living a month in the hustle and bustle of modern day X-mas has no meaning when Christ is taken from the greetings of the season.  I learned that one can be rich in one’s soul when a soul is opened to Jesus, our Savior.  My dad knew that in his simple approach to life.  He was good, and kind, and tolerant and a man of love.  He took the command to love your neighbor to heart and quietly went about his life letting his actions speak for him.

There are so many that like to hear themselves quote from the bible.  Then, there are others who do their best to live the precepts that were taught to us by Jesus during the last three years of His life.  I was not created as the best looking person in the room with the most wonderful and likable personality.  But I was created in the image of God, and I continuously strive to be the best person that I can be.  There have been many failed days over the past 67 years for this writer, but my faith has always remained strong through thick and thin.

A gift to me for this year was being awakened by a dog so I could decorate a tree so I could put up a manger so I could be reminded of the fact that love is the reason for the season, and real wealth is in our hearts.  Share a smile, a meal, an angel tree gift for children so they can feel, even if but for a moment, that humans do not always have to be on the take.  Let them learn how to receive so they may one day find the joy in giving.

Merry Christmas to all.  Help me take the X out of X-mas!

 

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A time to….

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To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; and more… for 6 more verses.   Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2

Yes, it is September already.  Didn’t we all just welcome in the new year?  Yet, enough time has passed this year already for a baby to be born.  Although it is not something I usually pay that much attention to, it was announced on Christmas weekend last year that a family member was expecting their second child.  And on August 22, little Evelyn was born.

Since it did not directly affect me, I did not take notice of the way time can sneak up on a person, and zoom past them, without as much as a thought given to the seconds – minutes – hours – days and months that pass us by so quickly.  To me, it was just yesterday when the “with child” announcement was made at Christmas and an immediate pic of the baby popped up on my i-Phone shortly after the birth.

Regardless, King Solomon from the Bible wrote a lot about life in his old age, and he was spot on with the verses shown above.  In fact, back in the 1960’s, Pete Seeger wrote (plagiarized from Solomon) a song entitled Turn, Turn, Turn that was a big hit in September of 1965 by The Byrds and later by Judy Collins, part of which is shown below”

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To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

When my own two miracle daughters came into my life back in 1988 and 1990, their growing up years lay in front of my wife and me and back then, the next 25 or so years seemed like eternity to be filled with unknowns by the box full.  From changing diapers many times a day to the pure joy of making the babies giggle, to learning to walk and talk and uncover the many challenges of learning in books and school, and seeing their world as days of discovery, time had a way of passing us by.  Before we knew it, there were dances and picking out dresses, and make-up for play and make-up for real, and the fun of being a kid and the pain of the hurts that no parent could prevent.  How can a dad stop a BFF from changing alliances and leaving his baby in tears?  One day they make the winning basket and the next they blow the match point in tennis.

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Sports, and report cards, and learning to drive and learning what drives a parent nuts and discovering that love does not mean that one is always going to be liked.  I remember the many times when I had to “be” a parent and not a friend that I would tell my girls that I love you always but I do not like what you have done or are planning to do.

Time – so much will happen over the next 20 years for Evelyn and sister Molly.  And that is the time to be born and all the other times to do things that are described by both King Solomon and Pete Seeger.  And sadly, there will come a time, unknown to all of us and recorded as both prophesy and ultimately as historical fact as we all pass through our allotted time here on earth, that our time to die will be upon us.  Without any mercy, or so we believe, and almost never with warning, we are all going to give up our spirit and leave those we love and need and cherish and laugh and cry with.

One day, we will die.  It is a reality that nobody reading this article can deny and yet many of us go into denial.  What!!!  Many of us think that pretending that we will live forever and that we can take care of funeral and cemetery arrangements somewhere down the line is in their control.  But in those quiet and sometimes scary moments of introspection, when we know that our days are truly numbered on this big blue ball that is sailing through space, we know…we know!  And it is those times that this author would like you to consider what happens right then, right after your soul has left your body….for those left behind.

making-funeral-arrangementsPre-needing one’s cemetery and funeral arrangements is not weird, it is not an invitation to the challenge the superstition gods, nor is it a silly thing to consider.  There was an old commercial that the narrator smugly said “pay us now or pay us later” which could be a  catch phrase for the death care industry.  Or, you could decide that you want to get what you want, with the budget you want to fall within, and take away all of the difficult decisions when a time to die comes and has your name on the work-order from heaven.

We prepare for all the things that might happen in our lives such as insurance for house, car,  health, and life and pray that we never need to submit a claim.  Yet, on the one thing that is an absolute, whether King Solomon or The Bryds  pens the words a time to die, many of us do not act for the benefit of those left behind.

Calumet Park Cemetery and its three funeral homes in Merrillville, Gary and Hobart/Portage have caring staff who will be happy to sit down and answer any questions you may have.  If it is a good thing for you to do, they can help you make your commitment to personal and family peace of mind by writing up a mutual commitment that lays out what you want your final wishes to look like with a price that is frozen in time, never to be a penny higher.  Call 769-8803 and see if you can eliminate some of the hidden fears that we all harbor concerning final arrangements.

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The “back” entrance to Calumet Park Cemetery is also beautiful…

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Driving into the cemetery at Calumet Park the other day, I noticed how beautiful the plants and flowers are this year.  The “back” entrance to the cemetery is on 73rd avenue, about a quarter mile west of Taft.   Once inside the cemetery, you are greeted with the road divider as seen above.  Just a couple of seconds farther north and you would come to the Butterfly Garden in the Back to Nature Section of the Cemetery.

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Calumet Park has 160 beautifully developed acres with another 240 acres of land for future development as needed.  After you do all the fancy math, one discovers that there is land enough at Calumet Park to last us at least 600 (that is not a type) years, not counting going up as mausoleums are added.

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For information on preplanning for your cemetery and funeral needs, call 219-769-8803 now or stop in for a free quote and a tour of the facilities.

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Stylish gazebo is now in place overlooking the Meditation Pond at Calumet Park…

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For those who would like a peaceful place to think about your lost loved ones, or to just sit and contemplate the challenges and joys of life, Calumet Park Cemetery has added a gazebo on the grounds overlooking the fountain at the Meditation Pond.

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Taken from a walk around the pond, the different perspectives of the gazebo spell peace and tranquility when combined with the sparkling water fountain and the reflections of trees off the calm, clear water of the pond.

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North West Indiana’s most beautiful memorial park just got better with this addition to the many features within the 400 acres of professionally kept grounds.

For info on pre-planning your cemetery and funeral needs, from a single grave to estate programs to private mausoleums and cremation columbarium’s to community mausoleums, stop in or cal 769-8803.  Look through the archives of this blog for stories and photos of Calumet Park, or visit our website at calumetparkcemetery.com

ATTENTION ALL VETERANS:  Calumet Park Cemetery, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel and Rendina Funeral Home has special discount programs for all honorably discharged veterans.  Call Now.

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Leslie Vogel…may this great lady rest in peace.

Leslie L. Vogel as a beautiful bride.

Leslie L. Vogel as a beautiful bride.

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 Know this...you are loved and will be remembered all the days of our lives.

Know this…you are loved and will be remembered all the days of our lives.

Goodbye for now...look down upon us until we meet again.

Goodbye for now…look down upon us until we meet again…and let the joy you shared on earth fill the heavens with your arrival.

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Thoughts from Leslie, Spring of 2000…

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Leslie Vogel and Kim Jones

 

The Merry Merry Month of May

Make way

one by one    two by two    or more

the annual right-to-do-whatever-I-want-to

Spring in through the door, glaring

indignation –

“Take this “blanking” registration.

Rules are absurd!

(planting becomes a dirty word)

Your mower ran over my flower!

My evergreen looks obscene!

You took my hook!  Who runs this place?

Mutilated my vase!  It’s a disgrace!

Dare you take my bush away!”

Mayday!  Mayday!

Blood pressure rises, our patience decreases

Temptation to ‘Kick in the butt’ pops up

God sends

One smiling sweet sincerity

“I’m proud my grandparents are buried in

     this beautiful cemetery.  thank you very much!”

Sigh.

What a life.  Take care of death and memory.

Forgetting in order that we help others remember

Perspective.

Two by two one by one

Out of the building we run – done

Call it a day in May

Will the June bugs come out tomorrow?

All we can do is pray

Perspective.

Leslie, you will always be loved by those whose lives you touched.  You will be missed.  It is always a tragedy when one of God’s best is taken away.  So many lives will be poorer now that you have gone home to Jesus.  We are certainly sad for us, but for you, there will be nothing but joy, peace, comfort, and love as you are welcomed by our Lord and Savior.  There is an old saying that beauty is only skin deep, but your beauty came through to all you touched.  Please remember us as we struggle to become but half the gentle soul that you were during your all too short of a stay on planet Earth.

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Water is life…the drinkable book saves lives…

Drinkable-Book-Will-Teach-You-Sanitation-and-Give-You-4-Years-of-Drinking-Water-441521-2

Go to WaterisLife.com to see how you can help save lives.  A simple way to purify water has been invented and if you have a few charitable dollars that are not earmarked for anything special, look into this program. 

Donate By Mail:  For those who prefer to donate by mail, send check to: WATERisLIFE P.O.Box 7481  Edmond, OK 73083-7481 

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“James assignment is completed and he has returned to quarters.”

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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.

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