Emil Benko

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  • "Hi I am Michael Benko Emil's Brothers Grand Daughter I am..."
    - Victoria Carrasquillo-(benko)
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    - Lee Bollhorst
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Obituary

EMIL LUDWIG BENKO WHITING, IN
Emil Ludwig Benko, age 94, of Whiting, IN, passed away at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, IN on Wednesday, November 14, 2007. He was the beloved husband of 56 years of the late Martha Rose (Ciesar) Benko who passed away May 13, 2002. He is survived by his two daughters: Arlene (Henry) Hart of Granger, IN and Jean (Larry) Fritz of Highland, IN; six loving grandchildren: Amber (Matthew) Dittoe, Andrea, Justin and Krystin Hart, Natalie and Douglas Fritz; three great-grandchildren: Ryan Elizabeth, Jacob Matthew and Alex Marie Dittoe; sister, Ann (John) Navta of Whiting, IN; brother-in-law, William (Ruth Lorraine) Ciesar of Whiting/ Schererville, IN; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and faithful caregivers: Kathy Brinks, Ann Shelton and Ann Grabowski. He was also preceded in death by four brothers: John, Michael, Stanley and Walter; and one sister, Mary Ranostaj. Funeral services will be held Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 118th Street and Atchison Ave., Whiting, IN with the Rev. Kevin Bergmann officiating. Interment to follow at Concordia Cemetery, Hammond. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 3:00-8:00 p.m. at the Baran Funeral Home, 1235-119th Street, Whiting and at the church Monday from 9:00 a.m. until time of services. A Devotional service will be held at the funeral home Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Emil Ludwig Benko was born on November 9, 1913 in Whiting, IN to Michael and Susan (Labda) Benko and was a lifelong resident of Whiting. He was a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Whiting and a graduate of Whiting High School Class of 1931. Emil was a member of the American Legion Whiting Post 80 (memorial service Sunday 4:00 p.m.), United Lutheran Society and the National Slovak Society. For many years he bowled at the Whiting Community Center for then, Standard/Amerian Oil Company. In the late 1930's, he began playing basketball for the Phil Smidt and Son Restaurant. He went on to play for Whiting Ciesar's, the first semi-pro team that played at the Community Center, and then they moved to the Hammond Civic Center and changed the name to the Hammond Ciesar's who were coached by Frank Martin. In 1936 he began work at then Standard Oil Company and retired in 1973 with 37 years of service from Amoco Oil (BP) Whiting Refinery. He also worked many years for his in-laws at the Ciesar's Chrysler/Plymouth dealership in Whiting. Emil was a WWII Army Veteran, attaining the rank of staff sergeant in the 933rd Engineer Aviation Regiment, spending two years (March 30, 1942-February 26, 1944) on Ascension Island. Having witness was as a soldier in the Army during WWII, he said nothing about the care of death, but rather talked about his friendships and fun times. There, he had made lifelong friends and honored their friendships. He was honorably discharged on October 23, 1944. Emil will always be remembered for his generosity, his love of children (whether his own or someone else's); he loved his time spent with his children and grandchildren and he was always the one who could get a grandchild to settle down, especially when they were crying. He had a great love of working outside in his yard or the yards of his daughters and showd a deep devotion to his family. Emil was a very talented handyman who was always willing to lend a hand to his family and friends wherever and whenever needed. A loving, caring, generous husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, he will be missed tremendously. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Whiting, IN. (219) 649-4400.
Published in The Times from Nov. 17 to Nov. 18, 2007
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