Chesterton Tribune



Artist Robert Sirko passes away at age 62

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Robert Sirko, age 62 of Valparaiso, IN, passed away peacefully on April 12, 2020 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on November 19, 1957, in Gary, IN, to Steven E. and Leona H. (Balcerak) Sirko, both of whom preceded him in death.

On July 16, 1983, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, he married the love of his life, Katie (Schaerer) Sirko, who survives in Valparaiso, IN.

He is also survived by his loving sons: Andrew Sirko, Matthew Sirko and Gregory Sirko, all of Valparaiso; by his sister Cheryl (Sirko) Pleva and her husband Tom of Monroe, CT; by his nieces Lori Pleva, of Jersey City, NJ, and Amy (Pleva) DeAngelis and her husband Anthony of Westport, CT; by his grandnephew A. J. DeAngelis and his grandniece Chloe M. DeAngelis, both of Westport, CT; by his aunt Betty Sirko of Crown Point, IN, and his Uncle Jerry Balcerak of Baytown, TX; and cousins in NW Indiana and Texas.

Bob earned his BFA at IU in Bloomington, IN, and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. He began his career in graphic design in Chesterton, IN, then later in Los Angeles and Chicago. He was always grateful to his mentors, Rick Valicenti, John Coy and Richard Brauer. He owned and operated R Sirko Design for many years.

Bobís life centered on his passion of art and an insatiable, intellectual curiosity. When he joined the faculty at Valparaiso University in 1989, he shared those passions with his students. He went on to become an associate professor and chaired the art department. Throughout, he worked ceaselessly on his own paintings and drawings, some of which are on display at The Nest in Michigan City, IN.

He loved gardening, going to the beach, camping, spending time in nature, music and his dogs. He also loved baseball, and not just the Cubs. He spent many happy years coaching State Park Little League teams.

Bob was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, mentor and friend. His compassion and sense of humor touched many lives.

A private Mass will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of the family and the community at large, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations in honor of Bob may be given to: The Lymphoma Research Foundation, Wall Street Plaza, 88 Pine St., Suite 2400, New York, NY 10005. ( Please send ecards to

Professional arrangements are entrusted to the White-Love Funeral Home, Chesterton, IN. Memories may be shared at:

Posted 4/15/2020





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