American Patriotic 11

Charles F. Krcmaric

September 14, 1924 ~ January 12, 2021 (age 96)


Charles F. Krcmaric


Charles Francis “Chuck” Krcmaric, 96, passed away on January 12 , after a long life filled with laughter, simple pleasures and gratitude.  Chuck moved to South Bend in 2007, following the death of his wife of 60 years, Mary Theresa.

Chuck was born in Whiting, Indiana on September 14, 1924 to Zora Petrak and Peter Krcmaric. He was blessed with 10 loving and boisterous siblings: George, Peter, Irene, Edward, Matthew, Ann (Sister Angela), Joseph, Helen, John and Richard, all raised on the south side of Chicago by their mother after the passing of their father at a young age. Growing up in the Depression Era, Chuck maintained a positive outlook, a joyous spirit and a grateful heart.

After graduating from Bowen High School, Chuck entered the Naval Air Corps in 1943. With two brothers in combat zones his request to serve overseas was denied, so he reveled in the opportunity to travel the country going to different bases and serving as a bomber gunnery instructor and captain of the base swim team. When the war ended he returned to the Midwest where he met and married his pen pal, Mary Rukavina, in Gary, Indiana.  Their union produced his greatest joys, his sons Michael Peter (deceased 2004), Mark Charles (Laurie) of South Bend, and Charles Steven of Ogden Dunes, IN. Chuck was a loving grandfather to Kathleen (Eric) Heath, Daniel (Laura) Krcmaric, and Thomas Krcmaric.  His joy was compounded by great-grandchildren Ryan, Nora, Bridget and Andrew Heath and Theo Krcmaric.

Chuck’s positive persona and his mechanical abilities proved useful in his decades in the car business in Gary where he especially loved sales as he always enjoyed meeting people. He proudly acted as the general contractor for the sturdy brick home in Merrillville where he raised his three sons. Always willing to share a memory, Chuck’s favorites revolved around his kids’ activities in the basement rec-room, childhood antics with his many siblings, his Navy years, his abundant vegetable garden and Sunday barbecues in his backyard.

After moving to Holy Cross Village in 2007, Chuck relaxed and indulged in one of his great pleasures, listening to his extensive music collection.  He shared this joy with the other residents, hosting a weekly “Music Memories” program for over a decade.  Throughout the years Chuck made many friends, but most dear to his heart was Dixie Kaiser, his special companion with whom he shared daily Mass, meals, exercise, family events, joys and sorrows until her death 2 months ago.

When asked to offer advice to succeeding generations, Chuck’s declaration echoed the way he lived his life. “Be a great optimist. Don’t ever say, ‘I can’t.’ Remember that God is first. Then comes family.”

He will be missed every day.


A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated privately by Chuck’s immediate family.

Interment will take place privately at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, IN.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.

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