Alvin John Papich
October 22 1926 - May 24 2016 - Age 81

Alvin John Papich known as Jay Alvin born on October 22,1926 in Thunderhawk, South Dakota to Emily Mataya and Stjepan Papic. With his brothers, Anthony and Ernest, stepbrothers Richard and Farrell was raised between Centerville, Iowa and Chicago, Illinois. Alvin attended Assumption School in Chicago and Assumption Parish while in elementary school. He then attended Lindblom Technical High School and left his senior year to join the Marines to fight in WWII.

After his discharge, he was going to work but the Korean Conflict took place. Alvin then enlisted in the Armed Forces where he earned the Korean Service Medal, 3 Bronze Stars and Good Conduct Medal with a Silver Star. He was discharged on April 27, 1952 and that evening met the love of his life, La Verne. They became inseparable and married on January 3, 1953. He attended school to become a radio announcer. He started his career in Iron River, Michigan and moved on as time progressed going to Iron Mountain and Escanaba.

While in Michigan he became the proud father of Teresa Marie (Salcich) and David Gerard. He moved on to Chicago where he worked at WTTW and then on to Gary to WJOB and then to Valparaiso where he started WNWI. While in Chicago he became another proud father of Paula Jean and Gregory Alan. After leaving radio when things became automated he was offered a position at US Steel.

After retirement he worked parttime at K-Mart, then retired but continued to volunteer to become as he always said “his wife’s official unpaid secretary”, working as such at St. Bridget and St. Francis. They both took retirement but volunteered at Holy Rosary and Holy Angels till this last Easter. He was ill from the past 2 years with Alzheimer’s and finally went to sleep peacefully on May 24th to be with his Creator. He loved life, his family and was especially proud of being a grandfather to Andrew, Joshua (deceased), Zachary and Beth Salcich, devoted daughter-in-law, Sandra, her son Jason Weise and granddaughter, Marissa Papich. He was a devoted Catholic, a member of Nativity of Our Savior Church in Portage, he sang in the Choir, was a cantor for the Funeral Choir and a Lector at Mass since 1970.

Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, May 28, 2016, 10:00am at Nativity Of Our Savior Catholic Church, 2949 Willowcreek, Portage with Rev. Andrew J. Corona officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Evergreen Park, Illinois. Visitation will be Friday, May 27, 2016 from 3:00-8:00pm at Rees Funeral Home, Olson Chapel, 5341 Central Avenue, Portage with additional viewing on Saturday from 9:30-10:00 at Nativity of Our Savior. Call 219-762-3013 or online at

Portage, IN (current)
Thunder Hawk, SD (birthplace)

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