Chesterton Tribune

Long time Westville prison employee dies

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Elaine Zschoche, a 44-year employee of the former Beatty Memorial Hospital and current Westville Correctional Facility, died unexpectedly on Sunday, August 8, 2010 at her home. She was 65.

Zschoche began her career on March 7, 1966 at what was then the Beatty Memorial Hospital, a facility for people with mental illness. On Jan. 28, 1979 she became the training director for the Westville Correctional Facility when the site completed its transition from a mental health facility to a prison.

A graduate of Concordia Lutheran Junior College and Valparaiso University, she was recognized in 1990 as the Employee of the Year among the 1,000 staff employed at that time, and was the facility’s Supervisor of the Year in 2000. In 2007, she was invited by the FBI to complete their Citizen’s Academy, and was presented the Department of Correction Distinguished Service Award by DOC Commissioner Ed Buss in 2008.

During her career, she trained thousands of new staff hired by the facility. She also took the time to get to know each employee, and she annually sent hundreds of greeting cards with hand-written notes to staff to celebrate their birthdays, send her condolences upon the loss of a family member, thank them for helping out in special circumstances, and celebrate their promotions.

“Elaine represented the heart and soul of Westville Correctional Facility. Her loss will be mourned by the thousands whose lives she touched,” Buss said.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, August 13 at St. Mary Parish Hall, 101 N. Church St., Westville. Rev. Michael Steinke will officiate. Burial will be at Pinhook Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Newhard Funeral Home in Westville. Memorials can be made to LaPorte County Humane Society and Valparaiso University.





Posted 8/11/2010