C. Richard Altenhof (Dick), 86, of Valparaiso, went to the Lord Monday, March 18, 2024. He passed peacefully surrounded by his family members at Saint Mary's Hospital in Hobart, Indiana. Richard was born August 10, 1937, in Gary, IN, and grew up in Hobart -- son to the late Carl William Altenhof and Lillian Louise (Maday) Altenhof. Richard graduated from Hobart High School in 1956, where he met his future wife, Darlene K. Fiorantin. He played football and competed in fly fishing tournaments. On August 12, 1961, Richard and Darlene married.

Richard proudly served in the US Army, where, as a medic, he worked under an oral surgeon. The experience sparked his interest in Dentistry. Richard graduated from the Indiana University School of Business and Loyola University School of Dentistry. He began his dental career by founding South Haven Dental, and after many successful years of practice, helped build Airport Road Dental Associates with his two long-term associates, Dr. Steven Holm and Dr. David Guzek. Richard was always giving back. He was involved in the pioneering phase of a project that ultimately led to the formation in 1975 of the Indiana University Northwest campus's Dental Hygiene Program. He then devoted more than a decade of service as a part-time instructor on the IUN campus.

Dr. Altenhof was an active member of the Indiana Dental Association, worked his way up through the leadership, and was an active member of the Governmental Affairs Committee as a chair and member. He was passionate about his work as it rekindled his interest in politics and service. He never stopped lobbying and advocating for everyone to speak to their legislators to make sure the people’s voices were heard and represented. He continuously fought for a fair balance between the rights of businesses and individuals.

Richard was a devoted church attendee at St. Paul, then St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, and an active member of the Lion’s Club. He enjoyed boating on Lake Michigan and traveling with Darlene in their RV throughout the country, especially their favorite destination, Naples, Florida. He was always there when someone in his circle needed advice, cooked meals for the sick, or needed an ear to listen. Richard will be remembered for his happy demeanor, caring nature, and sense of humor. He will be deeply missed.

Richard is survived by his wife and love of his life, Darlene; their two sons, David Altenhof of Carmel, IN, and Daryl Altenhof and his wife Aya Chacar of Miami, FL; and their grandsons, Alexander Altenhof, Ian Altenhof, and Nathaniel Altenhof.

A visitation will be held on Friday, March 22, 2024, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso. A funeral mass will begin on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 1511 Laporte Ave., Valparaiso. Interment to follow at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association.


Our most sincere condolences to your family, especially to Darlene and Alex whom we had the opportunity to meet while Richard and Darlene were our neighbors at Silver Lakes Golf & Resort during the winter. May he rest in peace. -Raymond and Lucie Viens 

My deepest sympathy to Darlene and family for your loss. May God guide you and support you during this time of loss and grief. -David Yugo 

Farewell, brother. We shared a lot of good times during our college/frat years. It was always so good to see you and Darlene over the years. You will be greatly missed and our prayers are with your family as they face the days ahead. Fondly, -Chico and Carolyn Tinkle

I remember Dr. A from the early 70's. He hired me as a receptionist and soon to chair side assistant. He was a great teacher, boss and friend. My prayers for Darlene and their sons. -Marilyn Wallin Kuiper

Dr. A was a great man. I remember going to the office and Dr. A. piercing my ears. I have thought about that time every time I put earrings in my ears. My prayers for his wife and sons Darryl and David. -Carol Wallin

My deepest condolences to the Altenhof family. I'm so sorry for your loss. Dick & I were HHS Class of '56 classmates & Facebook friends. -Mary Jo Hopkins 

The best dentist ever! He was so talented and found it funny when he made you laugh while his hands were in your mouth. He was and will always be my favorite dentist. R.I.P. -Candace Banker 

Not sure what is the prominent web site but my sincere condolences to Darlene and family. Our friendship as frat brothers during 56 through 60 at IU bring back fond memories and our get-togethers in Naples through the years. Dick was a true gentleman. We shall miss him. -Don Deganutti

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