Longtime local resident Eleanor P. Valadez died on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009,
at Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus. She was 74.
Born on May 13, 1935, in Johnstown, Pa., she was the daughter of the late
Miguel and Pasquala (Ramirez) Alva.
She is survived by her husband, Victor Valadez; daughter Vickie Lipniskis
and son-in-law Paul of Chesterton; son Victor of Queens, New York; Michael
of Chesterton; grandchildren Sarah and Renee Lipniskis and Alana and Michael
Valadez, all of Chesterton; sisters Dolores Barto, Amelia Wagner, and
Elizabeth Mack, all of Johnstown, Pa.; sister-in-law Mary Louise Bove of
West Grove, Pa.; brother-in-law Michael Valadez of Gambrills, Md.;
sister-in-law Leah Valadez of Scottsdale, Ariz.; sister-in-law Gloria Miller
of Silver Springs, Md.; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Her
brother Robert Alva died in 2003.
Eleanor graduated Johnstown High School in 1953. In 1955, she was the winner
of the AMVETS Andrews Flores Post 171 Beauty Pageant, later serving as
president and historian of that same post and receiving several awards
throughout the years. She later married on April 9, 1957. After having three
children, the Valadez family moved to Chesterton in 1969.
In 1974, Eleanor quickly established herself in the St. Patrickís Catholic
Community as a teacherís aid in the art department at the elementary school
where her sons were attending, eventually serving 18 years as the head of
the department. In addition, Eleanor taught English as a Second Language for
the Portage Adult Learning Center, encouraging students from other countries
to apply for their citizenship exam.
In 1987, Eleanor became one of the ten founding members of the LULAC
Duneland Council No. 5016, where she later served as Deputy State Director
for the Elderly for four years. In her role, she dedicated her efforts to
ensure equal rights for the Hispanic elderly and helping them attain
As a LULAC member, Eleanor also organized bake sales, taco luncheons at
Hawthorne Park, in addition to preparing and selling meat, beans, pierogies,
and nut rolls. For her efforts, Eleanor raised more than $100,000, providing
over 100 scholarships to local area students.
In 2005, Eleanor was inducted into the National LULAC Womenís Hall of Fame.
She was passionate in every aspect of her life, and an inspiration to each
and every person she met.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. today, Monday, Jan. 4, at
the White-Love Funeral Home, 525 S. Second St. in Chesterton, with a prayer
service at 6:30 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial, concelebrated by Fr. Lawrence Heeg and Fr. James
Meade, will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, at St. Patrick Catholic
Church. Burial to follow at Graceland Cemetery Valparaiso.
Memorials may be made to St. Patrick Catholic School or the Porter County
For information please call White-Love at 926-1309.