Walter S. Smolar, 99, of Munster passed away peacefully on May 3, 2020. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 65 years, Margaret (Chermak) Smolar on August 3, 2009. Walter was the loving father of Robert Smolar and James Smolar both of Schererville, Nancy (Daniel) Weinberg of Munster and David (Yolanda) Smolar of Schererville; cherished grandfather of Brandon and Courtney Weinberg and was a dear uncle to many nieces and nephews. Walter was also preceded in death by his brothers John, Benedict, Rev. Joseph, Richard and George.
Due to current conditions, a private service was held at the Baran Funeral Home and a Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the immediate family on Thursday, May 7, 2020 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whiting with the Rev. Mark R. Peres, C.PP.S., officiating; interment followed at St. John Cemetery, Hammond.
Walter Smolar was born on October 22, 1920 in Whiting, Indiana to John and Theresa (Dedinsky) Smolar and was a lifelong resident of the Calumet region. He was a graduate of Hammond Clark High School, Class of 1938, a member of the first four year graduating class. He was a retiree of the Amoco Oil Company with a service of 42 years. Walter was a member of the First Catholic Slovak Union and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. He served with the Air Force in WW II and saw duty with the 313th Bomb Wing Mission on Tinian Island in the Northern Mariana Islands. Growing up during the Great Depression and serving in WW II were the basis for some great stories of his life experiences. His recall of events 70-90 years ago made for countless hours of history and real-life experience conversations. He was a Whiting historian, recalling vividly watching Tom Harmon play football against Whiting High and seeing Babe Ruth hit a ball over the roof (although it was foul) at Comisky Park in the twilight of his career. He told great stories of seeing Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain play in an exhibition game at the ECW gym and watching George Halas coach a Bears scrimmage game at the ECR football field. He loved all things Notre Dame and held on until the Cubs won the World Series. Walter was a generous and caring person, never asking for anything for himself. He enjoyed giving generously of everything he had to his family and the church. He was a quick wit and found humor in almost anything. He could make anyone laugh. Walt’s goal was to live to 100 years old. We’ll round it up and call it 100. He deserves it. Memorials to the St. John School Endowment Fund or just do something nice for someone you care about. Walter touched a lot of lives in a positive way. He will be missed.
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