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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

in honor of my mom, Patricia T. (Simonetto) Scubelek O'Connor

Patricia Terese Scubelek (Simonetto) O'Connor

PATRICIA TERESE SCUBELEK O'CONNOR (nee SIMONETTO) "Penny" Crown Point, Indiana Age 64, passed away at her home on Wednesday, November 22, 2006, after a courageous battle with brain cancer.

Born on Feb. 23, 1942, in Gary, IN, she moved with her family to Mansfield, Ohio, and Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and later returned to Lake County. After first attending Penn Hills High School and graduating from Gateway High School in Western Pennsylvania, she immediately enrolled in an airlines school in St. Paul, MN, with the aspiration of beginning a career as a flight attendant. Due to her youthful age of 18 years upon completing the course, Patricia initially began as a Teletype operator for Pan-American Airlines, based in San Francisco, CA. Despite making a home for herself in Burlingame, CA, she missed her family and eventually returned to the Gary area.

It was during her employment with Montgomery Ward Co. at the Village Shopping Center when she met her first husband, Anthony L. Scubelek. They were married March 3, 1962, and settled in the Miller section of Gary. Patricia decided to change careers, and accepted a position in the medical field in the office of her brother-in-law, Dr. John G. Gallinati. Upon relocating to Lakes of the Four Seasons in 1975, she held the position for 20 years as office manager for Dr. Jiorj Thephasdin of Merrillville. She retired in 2004 after working several years at the office of Dr. Keith Gingerich.

During her entire lifetime, she was actively involved in many organizations in support of her children's activities, including Girl Scout leader in Miller, Boone Grove P.T.O. member & band booster, 4-H leader and youth group leader at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. In addition, she was active as a eucharistic minister at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Lakes of Four Seasons Conservation Club, Volunteer Fire Department and Ladies Fire Auxiliary. In her leadership role, Patricia held many key offices in each of these organizations, including the organization of the Fire Auxiliary fashion show. For the past 25 years, she was responsible for organizing the LOFS telephone directory. From the early years, she was an important member of the LOFS Fire Department - as it was one the area's initial first emergency medical responders. She taught CPR to countless community members. Also, a member of the Indiana State Medical Assistants Association, of which she was honored as "Medical Assistant of the Year" in the late 1970s.

Patricia was an award-winning quilter, and member of Heritage Quilting Society. She was actively involved with her local Red Hat Society Chapter, and truly enjoyed the bi-monthly meetings and get-togethers. Her other favorite hobbies included ceramics, sewing, as well as flower gardening, caring for her cats, and spoiling her grandchildren.

Anthony Lawrence Scubelek, her husband of 23 years, preceded her in death in 1985; along with Arthur H. O'Connor, her second husband of 19 years; father, John Ambrose Simonetto, and sister, Carol Simonetto. Patricia is survived by her 3 children of her first marriage, Lisa (Chris) Kroll of Bloomington, Larry (Amy) Scubelek of Fishers, IN, and Eileen (Michael) Dimino of South Bend; 5 grandchildren, Stephen and Michelle Kroll, Nicholas and Jordan Scubelek, and Jacob Dimino; dearest mother, Teresa (nee Cassidy) Simonetto of Hebron; siblings, Joe (Tam) Simonetto of Munster, Pam (Bob) Pampe of Winchester, VA, Michael (Theresa) Simonetto of Roswell, GA, John (Charlene) Simonetto of Marysville, TN; also, survived by 3 nephews and 1 niece, Kemp and Jarrod Simonetto and Ryan and Erin Pampe.

Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, November 27, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. Directly at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 509 W. Division Street, Valparaiso, with Rev. David Gosnell, officiating. She will lie in state from 9:30 a.m. till time of service. Interment, Graceland Cemetery. Arrangements were completed by Savich & Semplinski Funeral Directors. Visitation will be Sunday from 2 - 8 p.m. at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be donated to L.O.F.S. Fire Department.

Published in the Post-Tribune from 11/25/2006 - 11/26/2006.

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