John Gerald Pastrick celebrated his last birthday on May 1, 2020 with a gathering of his extended family on a Zoom call from all over America and Canada. It was a final living celebration of his good, long life. Although the journey of his 90th year was short-lived, it was the culmination of a full life filled with selfless expressions of love for his family, beloved friends, hard work, and interesting world travel. Born in Gary in 1931, John was a son of East Chicago, IN where he was known as Jerry by his family and friends. He was deeply devoted to his mother Mary Oleska Pastrick, owner of Oleska-Pastrick Funeral Home, and older brother Robert A. Pastrick, longtime Mayor of East Chicago, IN.
After graduating from what is now known as Bishop Noll Institute, he attended St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN. He was a proud Puma graduate and later a Fellow. In 1953 he married the first love of his life, Nannette Prevo Pastrick. Together they raised six children in Hammond, IN and enjoyed a beautiful marriage and life together. It was through his wife Nan that he developed a taste for travel and experienced the world often accompanied by their dear friends. He was the Vice-President of Welsh Oil Inc. (Gary and Merrillville, IN) before retiring in the late 1980s. After the loss of his wife to cancer, good fortune and love graced John again when he married Joan Jones of California City, CA. Together they enjoyed 20 years of marriage. They skillfully navigated holidays and time with their extended families. John embraced Joan’s three children and their spouses, Kathi (Otto) Schwarz in Washington State, Danette (Kelly) Gentry and their 3 children Joelle, Seraphina and Grace, California, Danell Jones (Tim Lehman) Montana, as well as numerous other grandchildren, while she embraced his far-flung children and grandchildren. Annually Joan and John moved between their shared homes in California, Manzanillo, Mexico, and Munster, IN. Their life together was a source of joy to his children, who were so grateful they found each other as loving companions in their later years. John, who died on June 1, 2020 was preceded in death by his wife Nannette (Nan), father Andrew and mother Mary, and brother Robert (Bob). He is survived by his wife Joan, sister-in-law Ruth Ann Pastrick, son Greg (Rebecca Schroeder) of Portland, ME, daughters Gayle (Sandra Wilkinson) of Vancouver, BC Canada, Jill Schaefer (Hal) of Wilton, CT, Janet Dremonas (Chris) of Wilmington, NC, Karen of Chicago, IL, son Keith (Sheila Scullin) of Chicago, IL, and seven nieces and nephews. His grandchildren include Sam Pastrick (Megan Dropela), Jordan Dremonas, Dr. Ariana Dremonas, Alex Dremonas (Lena), Charlie Schaefer and Clare Pastrick. Among his many affiliations, John was a parishioner of Our Lady of Knock in Calumet City, IL and St. Thomas Moore in Munster, IN. He was a member of the BPOE Elks, Cursillo Diocese of Gary, Hammond Optimist Club, Indiana Society of Chicago, Lansing Sportsman’s Club, Woodmar Country Club, and the Hammond YMCA. His board memberships included American Community Savings Bank, Greater Hammond Community Services, and Tradewinds. He served honorably in the U.S. Army and was a member of the American Legion Post 16, Munster, IN.
In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to Hospice of the Calumet Area, 600 Superior Dr. Munster IN, 46321 or Greater Hammond Community Services, 824 Hoffman St. Hammond IN, 46327 Visitation will precede celebratory mass which will be held 9:30 am Monday, June 8, 2020 at St.Thomas More Catholic Church, 8501 Calumet Avenue, Munster. At rest, Ridgelawn-Mt Mercy Cemetery, Gary, IN Masks and social distancing will be required.