John Francis Pleva

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Retired Colonel Indiana National Guard John Francis Pleva, age 82, passed away July 21, 2013 in Valparaiso, IN. Born October 31, 1930 in Cedar, MI to the late Joseph and Michaeline (nee Brzezinski) Pleva, John was a graduate of Holy Rosary High School, Isadore, MI and earned an Electrical Engineering degree from Michigan Technological University. He married the love and light of his life, Donna Kay Brow on August 25, 1956 in Isadore, MI and they enjoyed 55 wonderful years together before her passing in October 2011. A retired Colonel, John was a proud military veteran collectively serving more than 39 years in the U.S. Air Force, Michigan and Indiana Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserves. During his 28 years of employment, John held various management positions at U.S. Steel, Gary Works. Additionally, he served as Inspector General for the State of Indiana and was a member of the American Legion and Knights of Columbus. John held the philosophy that anything could be achieved with hard work and he lived this mantra by example, including building the family's first vacation home in Drummond Island, MI. He was an avid sports enthusiast, especially baseball, and even had a tryout with the NY Giants in 1949; however, his greatest joy in athletics came from cheering on the endeavors of his children and grandchildren. John was strong in his faith and an active parishioner at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Merrillville, IN participating as an altar server. John and his wife had the opportunity to see the world and even resided for a time in Indonesia, but ultimately returned to Hobart, IN to be near his beloved family. In their later years, the couple enjoyed playing golf and euchre while also wintering in Sarasota, FL. John is survived by his two sons: Robert Pleva of Lake Station, IN and Steven (Linda) Pleva of Trumbull, CT; darling daughter, Ann (Bruce) Deckard of Chesterton, IN; five grandchildren: Carolyn (Robert) Plaza of Cedar Rapids, IA, Kimberly (Jason) Larsen of Fort Mill, SC, Kathryn (Aaron) Yankauskas of Grovertown, IN, Joseph and Karilina Pleva of Trumbull, CT; five great grandchildren: Claire and Charlotte Plaza, Chase and Eleanor Larsen, and Callie Yankauskas; sister, Gertrude (Maurice) Schopieray of Cadillac, MI; two brothers: Raymond (Margaret) Pleva of Cedar, MI and J. Thomas (Cheryl) Pleva of Monroe, CT. Preceded in death by his daughter, Carol Pleva; brothers: Andrew Pleva and Bernard Pleva. Family and friends may call at Pruzin Brothers Funeral Service, 6360 Broadway, Merrillville on Friday, July 26, 2013 from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Prayer service at 3:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. from Pruzin Brothers Chapel and 10:00 a.m. From SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church (5885 Harrison St., Merrillville) with Rev. Roy Beeching officiating. At rest Calumet Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to the VNA Hospice of Porter County, 2401 Valley Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383 or the , Greater Indiana Chapter, 50 E. 91st Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46240 Family and friends may share an online condolence or memory at

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6360 Broadway
Merrillville, IN 46410
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Published in The Times from July 25 to July 26, 2013
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