Andrew J. Mateja, 79 of Whiting passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at his residence. He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Irene (nee Yurkanin); loving father of George (Nancy) of Bourbonnais, IL, Michael (Diana) of Austin, TX and Diane (Mike) Abbott of Whiting; cherished grandfather of Matt and Michael Mateja, Katherine and Christopher Mateja and Tommy Abbott; dearest brother of Philip (Sue) Mateja of Whiting and the late Ann Roberts, Mary Zemen, John, Steven and Paul Mateja; dear brother-in-law of Anne (late William) Vasilko and Janet (late John) Baran of Munster; fond uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 18, 2012, 9:30am at the Baran Funeral Home, 1235-119th St., Whiting; a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:00am at the Immaculate Conception Church, Whiting with the Rev. Stanley J. Dominik, officiating; interment, St. Nicholas Cemetery, Hammond; visitation at the funeral home on Friday from 3:00 to 8:00pm.
Andy Mateja was born on November 24, 1932 in Whiting, Indiana to Stefan and Angeline Mateja and was a lifelong resident of the Calumet Region. He was a lifelong member of the Immaculate Conception Church, Whiting, where he had served as an usher form many years, and was a graduate of Whiting High School, Class of 1951. Andy was an Army Veteran of the Korean Conflict and was a member of the American Legion, Whiting Post 80 (memorial service Friday at 6:00pm.). He retired from the Lever Bros. Co. (Unilever) in 1991 following 33 years of service. Andy enjoyed fishing, his vegetable garden, Chicago Bears and Notre Dame Football, listening to his grandson Tommy’s rock band, and was a loyal Chicago Cubs fan. He was a huge supporter of his children’s and grandchildren’s activities and sporting events. He was always in the bleachers cheering for his family. Andy was an athlete himself, playing baseball and football in his younger days. He loved animals and enjoyed walking his canine buddy “Caesar” and was always willing to lend a helping hand to his neighbors. Andy loved God and County and was a devoted husband and father and he was especially proud of his grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him. Memorials to the Hospice of the Calumet Area would be appreciated.