Nicholas M. "Coach Nick" Crnkovich

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  • "Just now read of Nicks passing. I lived across the street..."
    - Eddie Brown
  • "Coach Nick was one of the finest persons I have ever met...."
    - Charlie (Blue Moon) Camp
  • "Our deepest sympathy to Coach Nick's family.My wife and I..."
    - David, Veronica Aguilera
  • "As a teacher and coach, every time that I've walked into a..."
    - Jim Messina
  • "I remember Coach Nick from our years on the Andrean..."
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Nicholas M. Crnkovich "Coach Nick", age 80, late of St. John, IN, formerly of Whiting, IN passed away on Sunday April 6, 2014. Beloved husband of Patricia Crnkovich (nee Evans) for 56 years. Loving father of Tim (Marissa) Crnkovich of Schererville, IN, Christina Crnkovich of St. John, IN, Nick (Michelle) Crnkovich of Baltimore, MD, Charlene Crnkovich of St. John, IN, Michael (Nancy) Crnkovich of Orland Park, IL, Roseanna Crnkovich of Schererville, IN, and the late Thomas Crnkovich of Highland, IN. Devoted grandfather of Joey, Alyssa, Amanda, Anna, Ellory and Emerson. Dear brother of late Ann (late Peter) Chovanec. Mr. Crnkovich was a U.S. Army Korean War veteran. Nick was a doting husband, proud father, loving grandpa, loyal friend, influential teacher, respected coach and caring mentor. The son of Croatian immigrants, he was born in East Chicago, IN and raised in Whiting, IN. Nick graduated from Whiting High School in 1951 playing football and baseball. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a medic. Nick then earned an athletic scholarship to play football at Lewis University (while being married to his lifelong sweetheart, Patricia) and graduated in 1960. He later earned a masters degree from Purdue University. Coach Nick lead the Andrean Football program from 1967-1971. Under his guidance, Andrean enjoyed an unprecedented stretch of excellence. That success led to his induction into the Andrean Athletic Hall of Fame. Moving on to Whiting High School in 1972, his coaching success continued. He taught History at Whiting until his retirement in 1995. His teaching style and antics would have made for a great TV show. With his jokes, facial expressions, nicknames and influence, he was one of a kind. Nick's Driver's Ed career began in 1972. He later founded and operated the original Certified Driving School in Highland and Merrillville with business partner and lifelong friend, Jerry Mazur. His Driver's Ed classes and lessons were legendary. As a fixture in the classroom, on the playing fields and especially at home, his outlandish wit, humor and love will be forever remembered. Coach Nick's final night of gridiron glory came in January of 2013 when he humbly received the Gary Old Timer's Lifetime Achievement Award. Nick will be missed by many: friends, neighbors, family, his children and grandchildren. He always said his most proud accomplishments were his seven children and six grandchildren, whom he had nicknames for all. Above all, he will be missed mostly by the person who supported all his successes and accomplishments without ever seeking acknowledgement, his wife of 56 years, Pat (or Patsy, as he often called her). Visitation Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 1:00-8:00 p.m. at the Elmwood Funeral Chapel, 11300 West 97th Lane (1/2 block west of U.S. 41 / Wicker Ave. at 97th Street), St. John, IN. A visitation will also take place on Monday, April 14, 2014 DIRECTLY at St. Maria Goretti Church, 500 Northgate Drive, Dyer, IN 46311 from 10:00 a.m. until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. Rev. Charles W. Niblick officiating. Cemetery private. 219-365-3474.

Funeral Home
Elmwood Chapel
11300 W 97Th Ln
Saint John, IN 46373
(219) 365-3474
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Published in The Times from Apr. 10 to Apr. 11, 2014
bullet Korean War bullet Purdue University bullet U.S. Army