The arms of the Lord welcomed the radiant soul of Ann Kiraly, 95, on July 25, 2017. She now
rests eternally with her husband and buddy, Andrew "Jake" Kiraly, 1980; her two-day-old
baby, Kathleen, 1950; her son, William, 1984; her youngest daughter, Christine, 2000; and
numerous spoiled canine family members.
Anne leaves behind her daughter, Ann Marie (George) Timko, Jr.; grandchildren, Teresa Lowe,
Robert Timko, Maribeth Kennedy and Amy Lopatin; and great-grandchildren, Andrew,
Matthew and Timothy Lowe, and Lauren and Brooke Kennedy.
She parts from son William's children, James Kiraly and Amanda Singh, and greatgranddaughter,
She also leaves behind her daughter, Kathryn (Myron) Kalwinski and grandson, Nick Kalwinski.
Very special people who made her life fuller are her beloved Godson, Ron Benko; her friends,
Roberta Matthews and Kathleen Kortokrax-Haehnel; her nephews and their wives, Ray (2017)
(Jan) Varga and Arthur (Linda) Varga; and the man who has helped keep the spirit of Christ
alive for the Kiraly family throughout the decades, Rt. Reverend Koloman Karl Ludwig.
Born to Hungarian immigrants Melchior & Mary (Eberhardt) Geber, Anne was raised in the
Burnside neighborhood of southeast Chicago, a section with strong ethnic ties among the then
mostly Hungarian, Polish and Italian residents. Ann loved school but, like many others of the
era, ended her formal education early and began working full-time to help her then-widowed
mother and siblings.
A friend's wedding brought Ann, a Catholic who eventually relocated to Whiting, together with
Andy, a Hungarian Protestant who worshipped at Whiting's Hungarian Reformed Church, of
which his father was a founding member. Gypsy "varazslat" happened, and they wed quietly
in a St. John the Baptist Catholic Church rectory ceremony, as the Vatican frowned upon
mixed-faith marriages, and forbade the holding of such ceremonies at the altar. Andrew had
to take lessons in the Catholic faith, not to convert but to play nice, and to promise to raise his
children as Catholics, which he did. Years later, in ironic fashion, Ann found the leadership and
fellowship of Whiting's Hungarian Reformed Church more meaningful than that into which she
was baptized, and - health allowing - took part in its services, bingos, and holiday sausagemaking.
Ann held the Blessed Mother and Christ close, embracing her turn-the-other-cheek mantra so
strongly that her head seemed in perpetual rotation. She made a career out of being a wife
and mother. She was a true lady: humble, kind, and fearless but for thunderstorms. She
never quit or engaged in self-pity, despite her personal losses and health issues.
She was a student of life and a street-savvy advisor who loved reading, listening to Big Band
music, watching old movies, doing jigsaw puzzles, completing crossword puzzles IN INK, and
buying an occasional scratch-off lottery ticket. Eachsummer for decades, she nurtured
glorious flowers and abundant vegetables in her back yard. She created the very best cakes
from scratch and outstanding pies from her own cherry and apple trees, and lovingly prepared
the proverbial three-squares for her family. She crocheted and sewed, making wedding
garments, curtains, school drama costumes and creative Halloween outfits with an eye toward
durability, as evidenced by daughter, Kathy, happily being the same clown for five years
running. She was a true partner in her marriage: She kept an extraordinary household, but
also helped her mate with home maintenance projects, lawn care and decorating.
Feeding the neighborhood squirrels & birds made Ann feel grounded. She loved the family
dogs, who laughed and cried with her through the years, calming her with their intelligence
and loyalty. She did occasional ride-a longs with daughter, Christine, a volunteer who rescued
stray animals for a local organization. Ann was also a sixteen-year volunteer at Greater
Hammond Community Services.
Unable to navigate safely at home alone toward the end, she finally relaxed at the Hammond-
Whiting Care Center, free of day-to-day responsibilities, with devoted nursing and physician
care, warm and engaging staff interaction, professional physical therapy, group activities and
many new friends! Ann devoured each new novel given to her by friends and family, lending
them later to other residents at the Center; the virtual library in her mind monitored the loans
by tracking who wanted to borrow a particular book next.
At the end, Ann was in an enviable state of peace, ready to embrace her Lord when He called.
As a final nod to her maternal responsibility, she had quietly groomed her loved ones for her
passing, confident that she had imparted her Hungarian spirit and grit to them.
Per her long-standing directive, there was no visitation, since Ann always favored two-way
interaction, and interment at St. John's Cemetery in Hammond was private. Final
arrangements were entrusted to Baran Funeral Home, 1235 - 119th Street, Whiting.
Isten tartsa meg bezami, Mama! I'm betting that Dad has some Tokaji Aszu, hot coffee and
poppyseed cake waiting!