Chesterton Tribune

John Geffert dies at 91

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John J. Geffert, 91, of Whiting, passed away peacefully at home Monday, March 2, 2009.

He was born December 24, 1917 in Whiting, the son of John P. and Veronica (Durick) Geffert, both of whom preceded him in death.

On March 4, 1943 at Camp Sibert, Alabama, he married Elinor F. Kashak, who after 59 years of marriage, preceded him in death June 26, 2002.

He is survived by children, John (Patty) Geffert of Chesterton, Ellen (Steve) Williams of Angola, Ruth Geffert of Munster and Greg Geffert of Whiting; brothers, Don (Dolores) Geffert of Schererville and Ray Geffert of Whiting; sisters, Dorothy Geffert and Dolores Decker all of Whiting; sisters-in-law, Julie Geffert of Whiting and Annette Yuritic of Las Vegas, Nev. and many nieces and nephews.

He is also preceded in death by brothers, Richard and Joseph Geffert.

John was Scout Master of Boy Scouts of America. He was a graduate of St. John School and Whiting High School, Class of 1935. He was a devoted member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whiting, where he was also active in the Marian Theatre Guild (St. John Drama Club), as a make-up artist. He was a WWII Army Veteran attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. John participated in the Invasion of Normandy, European Theatre and survived the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the American Legion Whiting Post 80 (life member) and the VFW Walter Kleiber Post 2724.

John and his wife operated the “Corner Grocery Store” in Whiting. He was owner of Geffert Hardware in Robertsdale for the past 50 years and was also a retiree of the Amoco Oil (BP) Whiting Refinery with a service of 39 years. He was a member of the Hammond Park Board and the Hammond Plan Commission and was very interested in the development of the Lake Michigan shoreline from Hammond to the Indiana Dunes.

As a conservationist and community activist he was truly dedicated to the preservation of Wolf Lake and the Hammond Park System. John loved nature and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, family road trips and especially time spent with family at cookouts and outings in Chesterton at son John’s country retreat. He was a very patriotic man and a “history buff”. He loved cowboys, western movies, was a huge John Wayne fan and had visited the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Holiday time was a time to be surrounded by family and acknowledge the pride he had in his Slovak ancestry. John could be seen daily taking long walks with his son Greg’s dog, “Josey”. Devoted to his family and a friend to all, John will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Funeral services will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Baran Funeral Home, 1235-119th St., Whiting; a Mass of Christian Burial, Rev. John E. Kalicky, C.PP.S., officiating, will be offered at 10 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whiting. Interment, will be at St. John Cemetery, Hammond.

Visitation will be at the funeral home from 2-8 p.m. Friday. Members of the parish will offer prayers at the funeral home on Friday at 4 p.m. American Legion Whiting Post 80 and the VFW Walter Kleiber Post 2724 who together will conduct memorial services at the funeral home on Friday at 7 p.m.

For more information, call 659-4400.


Posted 3/5/2009