Judith Louise "Judy" Kroczek
July 9, 1942 - September 15, 2022
Judith Louise “Judy” Kroczek, 80, of LaPorte, passed away on September 15, 2022 after a long and debilitating illness.
Mass of Christian burial will be conducted Friday, September 23, 2022 at 10:30 AM in St. Mary's Catholic Church, 10th & Buffalo Streets, Michigan City, Indiana with Rev. Jordan Fetcko officiating. Visitation hours will be Thursday, from 4:00 PM till 7:00 PM and Friday from 9:00 AM till 10:00 AM both in the Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, Indiana.
Judy was born July 9, 1942, in Salisbury, MD, to Laura (Sinclair) and Col. William H. Hayes, US Army, both deceased, into a family with a strong military tradition. She grew up in West Germany, Texas, and Hawaii, among other places. She graduated from Baldwin High School near Pittsburgh in 1960. After attending the University of Georgia for a year, she completed her studies at the University of Maryland and received her BS-RN in 1965. Later that year, while working at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, CO, she met Capt. Stephen E. Kroczek, US Army Medical Corps. They were married in 1966, and Stephen survives her. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Indianapolis, where Judy worked at IU Medical Center. They relocated to Michigan City, Indiana in 1970, and finally moved to rural LaPorte County in 1977. She was a registered nurse and worked at Franciscan Health-Michigan City for many years.
Outgoing and friendly, with a penchant for striking up a conversation with almost anyone, Judy truly knew no strangers. Her parties were known for bringing together and connecting people of widely different interests and backgrounds. Judy’s kindness and helpfulness impressed everyone she met and suffused everything she did.
Judy’s first priority was always her three children, who all survive her: Eric Kroczek (wife Catherine Day), of Muncie, IN; Scott Kroczek, of Kouts; and Kelly Kroczek (partner Ryan Wall), of Michigan City. She is also survived by six loving grandchildren: Alexander, Laura, and Emily Kroczek; and Vivien, Isabel, and Charlotte Wall; and many nieces and nephews. Judy also leaves behind two surviving brothers, Richard Hayes and Donald Hayes. She was preceded in death by her brother William Hayes, and by her sister Suzen, with whom she enjoyed an especially close relationship and spoke to on the phone at least once a day.
She also took her commitment to the healing arts very seriously, and in addition to her nursing career, she became a certified Healing Touch practitioner and instructor. Her motto was, “Always a way to help,” and she lived up to it.
Travel with Judy was frequently interrupted by stops at antique shops, where she would search for additions to her vast collection of vintage glass hats, which filled several display cases in the Kroczek home.
Finally, Judy was justifiably proud of her gardens, where she grew hundreds of varieties of day lilies and hostas, many of which live on through her donations to Friendship Botanical Gardens and Sharing Meadows. Her spectacular July garden shows were widely-renowned events, and benefited the Open Door Community Alliance of Michigan City.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Open Door Community Alliance of Michigan City, P.O. Box 9726, Michigan City, Indiana 46361 / 219-877-1881.