Kathleen (Kathy) Fransioli Erdelac age 78, returned to her heavenly home on March 15, 2023. Kathy is survived by Ron, her loving and devoted husband of 54 years, her precious gifts from God - Dana (Ed) Malone, Jeff Erdelac (Kayla Shelton), and Ryan (Melissa) Erdelac. Also surviving are Kathy’s incredible blessings, her grandchildren - Clara, Nolan, Finn, Elliot Erdelac, Stacy (Brett) Carney, and her amazing great-grandchildren - Isabelle, Knox, Will and Cole Carney. Kathy’s much loved family includes her two younger brothers Frank Fransioli (Eileen McGinnity), Bob (Sandra) Fransioli, her Floridian sister-in-law, Dianna Erdelac and several special nieces and nephews. Kathy also dearly loved her “Springer Family” - Bryan and Maura, Kevin, Frank and Debie, plus the priceless gift of devoted friends. Her parents, Frank and Bernice Fransioli, brother-in-law, Don Erdelac, and Kathy’s best friend and sister, Barb Fransioli, preceded her in death.
Kathy found fun, fulfillment and immense satisfaction as an educator, which was her career for several years before and after graduating from Valparaiso University in 1986. When she retired after 40+ years of being a classroom teacher, special education instructor, and teaching at the collegiate level, Kathy replaced her busy work life with hours spent in her beach-themed sunroom meditating, reading, talking to her “best friend” (Jesus), and watching the squirrels she constantly satiated with peanuts. She immensely loved the Indiana Lakeshore and enjoyed countless sunsets and miles beachcombing with Ron, who playfully called her “Sparky.” Their love for the beach, sunshine, and warm weather continued on for 15 years “snowbirding” in Fort Myers, FL.
Kathy persistently exemplified what it looked like to live a life full of love and compassion. When her children were young, sibling fights were always resolved because “friends come and go, but family is forever.” She also never let their troubles go unheard – telling them to “dump their garbage” when she could see they needed a listening ear. She continued to show that same love and compassion to her grandchildren, who she habitually greeted with, “Have I told you lately I love you? I love you!” Although you never left her house with a full stomach, you always left with an immense showering of love.
She truly embodied St. Teresa of Avila’s lesson of how to be the feet, hand and eyes of Christ, “Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good, Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world, Yours are the eyes with which He looks compassion on this world." Her daily mission was to Live in Love, and anyone’s life who was touched by Kathy can attest to that.
The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. Melody Cobleigh, Teri Dougherty, Dr. Tatebe and his team at Rush University Medical Center for their compassionate care of Kathy during treatment, and Ron, her constant companion by her side, throughout the years of treatments. They would also like to acknowledge the entire team at Dunes Hospice Center for their excellent care, especially Terri and Linda.
A mass of celebration will be held at Nativity Catholic Church in Portage on Monday, March 20, 2023 at 11AM. In lieu of a wake, join us to celebrate Kathy’s joyous life at Craft House in Chesterton on Monday, March 20 4-7PM. There will also be a visitation 10-11AM March 20 at Nativity Church preceding her welcome home mass. Rather than flowers, Kathy requests you perform an act of kindness in her name or give the money to be spent on flowers as a donation of remembrance to Nativity Catholic School because children were always dear to her heart.
This was such a beautifully written remembrance of the fun-loving, compassionate, faith filled gift God gave to this world when he created Kathy. I never saw anything but a warm smile on her sun-kissed face. I am saddened by her passing from this life, but happy to visualize the celebration in heaven upon her arrival. I am praying for Ron and all of your family as you mourn your painful loss. -Shanona Piegat
Kathy was my dear friend and "beach bum buddy." We spent many times talking about our love for the Lord. I will miss her dearly. I'll see you again, my friend. Nan, -Nancy Beavers
In my youngest years, Kathy was like a second mom to me. I can still hear the sound of her voice and the kindness, laughter and joy in that voice. She was so lovely. I know her loss will leave a hole in your hearts … but let the memories of her joy be a blessing. Love, -Little Annie Pearman
Ron, Dana, Jeff & Ryan, Our hearts are broken for your loss, which is immeasurable. Kathy’s passionate love for her family was always so beautifully evident, and your love for her the same. Our hearts are broken also, but at the same time full, because we were so fortunate to have been blessed by her love & friendship. The grace of God flowed through her to others, always. The wonderful memories of our times & travels together with her over these many many years are endless. We shared so many laughs, and sometimes tears. She left us with so many valuable lessons on grace & unconditional love. We will miss her so much, but will carry her forever in our hearts. Our love & prayers to all of you. -Dale & Ruth Ann Marino
Ron, sending sympathy and love to you and the family. Kathy was such a brave person and an inspiration to all of us. I was proud to have gone to school with her, taught with her, and had her as a friend for many many years. Blessings to all of you. -Peggy McGuckin and family.
Dear Ron and family, Kathy’s deep faith and spirituality radiated from the center of her being. Her trust in God and her commitment to following Jesus along the Way was a magnetic pull that drew us all closer to her. She was a radiant soul whose answer to everything and for everyone was to LOVE more. Recently she said, “just as grace is there for ALL and is everything and everywhere…God is Love. ‘Tis so simple and why does it become so hard to understand? Kindness, love, acceptance…ALL one body.” She was a blessing to all who knew her and I am deeply sorry for your loss. -Barbara Hanson
I am a former student from Yost Elementary, Saddened to hear of her passing, she was always so sweet with a beautiful smile. Keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers, -Samantha Shofroth
We are so sorry for your loss. So thankful that through Kayla we got to know and cherish her warm beautiful spirit. God’s blessings upon all who are hurting during this time of loss.—Kate Johnson and family
I remember going to Mrs Erdelac's classroom with some friends and we helped her set up her room at SS Peter and Paul. A real nice person, -Ari Damaskos
I am so sorry for your loss. May The Lord Almighty give family and friends the strength through this difficult time. I'm so honored to have meet Kathy and received a warm
hug from her. -Nancy Santiago
When I first met Kathy, I was immediately drawn to her depth of being. She eluded a truth of the best of what anyone wanted to achieve to be in life and I believe it was due to her deep faith.. My sincere condolences to your family. You mourn this beautiful gift in your life and she rejoices being at peace with our Lord and God. -Jackie Sopko Whetstone
I remember Mrs. Erdelac when I became classmates with her Ryan in grade school. Not realizing she was already part of my family’s group of friends- from the early Andrean days- (Ex Bob and MaryJo (Grillo) Dunn’63 ) and other family members who were in the Andrean ‘64-‘66 classes. Mrs. Erdelac was always a joy to be around and it was a special treat when she would be the surprise substitute teacher for the day. May the Lord bring peace and comfort to all the family at this time. She may be gone in body but her spirit lives on with every heart she has touched. Thank you, Kathy for service to the hearts and minds of so many kids over the years. -Kelly (Casale) Edwards
Dear Ron, Dana, Jeff, Ryan and extended family - Your sorrow wrapped in hope and everlasting joy is shared by the hearts of those who were privileged enough to know Kathy. Kathy lived and breathed by these words, “Let all that you do be done with LOVE” … “God is LOVE.” In these words, she believed, hoped, trusted, waited … now, she is in the Presence of pure LOVE and her soul shares in the glory of her Lord and God. This is how I will always remember Kathy and thank God for the intersection of our lives here on earth. Kathy saw Christ and loved others with the very heart of Jesus. I wonder … did she know … in her shining blue eyes and her loving smile, others, including myself, saw and experienced Christ in her. May the Spirit of LOVE comfort your hearts with peace and lead you through these days of sadness with the confidence that Kathy is where she longed to be and you will see her again. In the LOVE of Christ, -Kathryn Meyer