Chesterton Tribune

Indiana service set for Jim Jontz

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A memorial service is planned for next month at the Indiana Statehouse for former U.S. Rep. Jim Jontz, who died in April at the age of 55.

The memorial is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 23 in the Indiana House of Representatives chambers, where Jontz spent 10 years as a legislator after winning a Monticello-area House seat in 1974 when he was 22.

The Indiana memorial is among three being planned for Jontz, with the others in Washington and Oregon, where he had lived since 1999, said his sister, Mary Lee Turk.

Details of the Indiana service were still being worked out, she said.

“We’re trying to cover his college years and even his high school years, his time in the Indiana Legislature, his environmental work and in Congress,” Turk said.

Jontz died April 15 at his Portland, Ore., home, two years after he was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer that had spread to his liver.

Jontz, a Democrat, was elected to the state Senate in 1984 and two years later won the first of his three terms in Congress, representing a swath of northern Indiana from southern Lake County through Kokomo and Marion.

Turk said the Oregon service was being planned for an old-growth forest near Portland.

“It will be in an area where Jim was instrumental in keeping the forest from being lost,” she said.


Posted 5/21/2007