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Barbara J. Raske (nee Austin)January 10, 1936 ~ November 9, 2017 (age 81)
Barbara J. Raske (nee Austin), 81, of Merrillville, IN, formerly of Calumet City, IL, went to be with the Lord on November 9th, 2017, at St.. Mary's Hospital in Hobart, IN. Born January 10, 1936 in Chicago, Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Ethel (Tamburich) Austin of Oak Lawn, IL and her late husband, Gilbert Allen Raske of Chicago, IL.
Barbara is survived by her sisters, Judith (the late Stanley) Gratt, Elizabeth (Peter) Grimm , Gail (Don Bosch) Austin, and brother Peter (Mike) Austin; her three sons Gilbert Jr., Davin, Richard (Nancy), and her two daughters Joan (Rick) Ponthier-Garcia and Kathleen (Terry) Raske-VanLaningham; 8 grandchildren Stacy, Austin, Alex, Jessica, Kevin, Courtney, Allison, and Gabrielle; 4 great grandchildren Cameron, Sophia, Jack and Logan; many nieces and nephews, as well as her beloved dog Bella.
Barbara moved to Oak Lawn, IL in 1945, graduated from Blue Island High School 1953, married Gilbert A. Raske of Chicago, at age 17 and moved to Calumet City, IL where she lived for 50 years, before moving to Merrillville, IN in 2008. She was a widow at age 42, never remarrying.
Barbara was strong-willed, independent, hard working, and always loved a challenge. She started working as a waitress at age 14 and later worked at the Calumet City Police Department for almost 30 years. She learned how to canurf, play the guitar, ride a unicycle, loved camping, exercise, and took care of her house. Donning her tool belt, you could see her on the rooftop repairing shingles at age 70.
She was the ultimate mom supporter, who encouraged and supported her children in each of their individual interests. Ice hockey, baseball, scouts, track meets, drama club, student government, music lessons, and junior cadets to name a few.
Barbara was fun-loving, had an incredible sense of humor, loved entertaining, and loved laughter. She was also empathetic towards others, had a giving spirit, and always had a seat open at the dinner table for whoever was hungry in the neighborhood. She believed a stick of butter on any hot dish would always make it better.
An avid reader, she was passionate about learning, books, libraries, and donated the 5 books she read per week to her local library. She was an animal lover, dogs in particular, and took in strays and all the classroom animals her children brought home from school.
She believed in the power of prayer, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Lord, her God, who has lovingly welcomed her home. We rejoice and celebrate her new home and body in heaven. She will be missed, but forever in our hearts.
Memorial service Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 12:00pm (doors open at 11:00am) at Castle Hill Funeral Home: 248 155th Place, Calumet City, IL 60409 followed by Interment Services at Holy Cross Cemetery with Pastor Doug Sheehy of Living Hope Community Church officiating. In lieu of flowers, donation memorials to South Suburban Humane Society www.southsuburbanhumane.org; or Fisher House Foundation www.fisherhouse.org are appreciated. For information (708)862-4480 or visit www.castlehillfuneralhome.com for online guestbook.