Chesterton Tribune

Mary Remes dies at 97

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Mary Remes, “Nana”, “Grams”, of Crown Point and Gary, passed away Friday, February 27, 2009 at St. Anthony Medical Center, Crown Point.

She was born March 2, 1911 in Gary, the daughter of Johan and Veronica (Rakos) Irak, both of whom preceded her in death.

In 1934, at St. Hedwig Church in Gary, she wed Frank (Franjo) Remes, who preceded her in death.

She is survived by a brother, John (Evelyn) Irak of Lakes of the Four Seasons; a son, Frank (Helen) Remes of Crown Point; a daughter, Veronica (Philip) Jensen of Chesterton; grandchildren, Frank (Candice) Remes of Texas, Sarah (Sergio) Carillo of Texas, Dylan (Alison) Jensen of Indianapolis; great-grandchildren, Sergio Carillo of Texas and Milena Jensen of Indianapolis and many nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Irak and her two best friends - her sisters, Ann Mazlack and Albina Wansac.

Mary was the eldest of five children in a close-knit Croation/Bohemian family. Her wedding ceremony was attended by seven bridesmaids and six groomsmen; a stunning start to a 39 year long marriage. As a Glen Park resident, Mary was active in her community as a Girl Scout Leader and Executive District Chairman for the local Scout Council. She served on the Lew Wallace School library committee for many years. While a parishioner of St. Mark Church, she joined the Daughters of Isabella, remaining a member up to her passing.

To her neighbors and friends, Mary was known as an avid and voracious reader, excellent home sewer, maker of outstanding apple strudel, bunco club ace and dedicated employee of Montgomery Ward in the telephone sales department. Her acerbic wit and incisive observations will long be remembered. Perhaps most of all will be recalled her oft-repeated favorite phrase, “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken”. And she never did. After retirement, she enjoyed travel to Spain, Morocco, Croatia and numerous places in the U.S.

Funeral prayers will be said Wednesday March 4 at 9:15 a.m. at Geisen Funeral-Cremation and Reception Centre, (Note: new location) at 606 E. 113th Ave., Crown Point followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Catholic Church, 321 E. Joliet St., Crown Point, Fr. Pat Kalich officiating, at 10 a.m.

Interment will be at Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville.

Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 3 at Geisen Funeral-Cremation & Reception Center, Crown Point.

To share a memory visit the guestbook on the obituary page at

For information call 663-2500.

Posted 3/2/2009