Chesterton Tribune

Lucille (Fedorwitz) Erdelac dies at 95

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Lucille Erdelac, of Portage, passed away at home in the company of family on Sunday, May 11, just two months after a celebration in honor of her 95th birthday.

The eldest child of parents who pioneered Gary, the name Marie Lucille Fedorwitz is listed in the cityís first book of registered births.

She moved to Portage in 1966 with her late husband, Joseph, to whom she was married for 57 years.

She is survived by four children, Robert Erdelac of Brighton, Colo., Marianne (Bill) Silaghi of Lady Lake, Fla., Edward (Donna) of Chesterton and Lucy Erdelac (Ted Mader) of Philadelphia, Pa.; grandchildren, Cindy Jones, and Ken, Todd, Tony and Jim; great-grandchildren, Gabrielle Nelson-Erdelac and Kailee, Kyle, Anthony and William Erdelac; a pantheon of first, second and third nieces and nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law and goddaughters and the loving staffs of Sterling House and Clare Bridge Cottage in Valparaiso.

She was preceded in death by her parents Anthony and Marie (Riese) Fedorwitz, a brother Alex and a sister, Albina Eng.

She was a founding member and past president of the Gary Firemanís Auxiliary, 1950-1951.

She worked in her fatherís hardware store before learning to drive at age 12. While still in her teens, she was established in her own wallpaper business. A talented dressmaker, Mrs. Erdelac worked for The Singer Sewing Company as an instructor until 1938 before returning to work at Fedorwitz Hardware on 25th Ave. in Gary.

Mrs. Erdelacís extensive travels and eclectic interests made her an engaging conversationalist with people of all ages. She recognized history in the making and talked about what it felt like to witness it as a spectator or participant: Neil Armstrongís first walk on the moon; her grandsonís first throw from the pitcherís mound; weekend trips to the 1933 Chicago Worldís Fair; dancing at Jimmy Carterís 1977 Inaugural Ball.

But the heart of her conversations centered on her family, husband Joe and children feats and foibles; family gatherings; current events in the lives of in-laws, nephews, nieces and their kids; her dogs and grand-dogs.

Mrs. Erdelac was a member of Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 15 with visitation from 9 a.m. till time of service at Nativity of Our Savior Parish, 2949 Willowcreek Rd., Portage.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 14 at Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home Portage Chapel, 6941 Central Ave., Portage.

Donations may be made to VNA Hospice Center, 501 Marquette St., Valparaiso, IN 46383.


Posted 5/13/2008