Margaret J. Kuchta, age 88, a longtime Hobart resident, passed away Thursday, February 23, 2012. She was born on January 13, 1924 in Kensington, Pensylvania, to the late Charles and Barbara Bodnar.
Margaret served as the first woman Mayor of the city of Hobart from 1988 to 1991. She also served as Hobart clerk-treasurer from 1976 to 1987. Margaret represented Hobart’s fifth district on the City Council from 1996 to 2000 and served on the Hobart Township Board from 2002 to 2010.
Margaret was a member of St. Bridget Church, St. Anne’s Confraternity, Sigma Epsilon Alpha, Hobart Community Foundation HIEDC, Hobart Kiwanis, the 61st Avenue Redevelopment Joint Board, past President and current Vice President of the Lake County Public Library Foundation, Vice President and past President of Hobart Redevelopment Commission, member and past President for the Cerebral Palsy Center for Possibilities, board member of the Maria Reiner Senior Center, St. Mary Medical Center Auxiliary with more than 4,000 volunteer hours, former member of board of directors of the American Red Cross and American Cancer Society local chapters, past President and member for 27 years of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Board, past board member on Purdue Council on Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching (PCARET), Indiana State PCARET delegate to Washington, past board member of Southlake Mental Health, Liberty School PTA past President and District Director of the Lake and Porter County PTA.
She also worked as a Post-Tribune columnist specializing in Hobart news, Community Club Director for WLTH Radio Station, public relations for Burger King, and also as a long-distance operator for Illinois Bell.
Margaret was proud to call herself a Hobart resident. She considered her greatest accomplishments to include raising a great family in Hobart, and organizing and fundraising for the construction of the Lou Kuchta Memorial Bridge over the Lake George dam, which was built by volunteer union Carpenters and volunteer union Iron Workers and paid for by donations from friends and family.
She is survived by 3 sons, Robert Kuchta of Hobart, IN; Richard (Sandra) Kuchta of Hobart, IN; Michael Kuchta of Hobart, IN; 2 sisters-in-law, Betty Bodnar of Hobart, IN; Mary Bodnar of Gary, IN; 7 grandchildren, Jannette (John), Bobby, Christopher (Lorri), Elizabeth (William), Justin, Kelly (Don), 6 great-grandchildren, Tony, Kylie, Abigail, Matthew, William, Jayden, and Azure.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Louis M. Kuchta; five brothers Frank, John, William, Joseph (Violet), and Thomas (Marcie) Bodnar, two sisters, Elizabeth “Betty” (Eugene) Sable and Ann (Ernest) Kish.
Memorial donations in Margaret’s honor may be made directly to the Maria Reiner Senior Center, 705 East 4th Street, Hobart, IN 46342.
Funeral services are Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 10 a.m. directly at St Bridget Church with Rev. Dominic V. Bertino officiating. Burial will follow at Hobart Cemetery. Visitation is Monday, February 27, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a 3 p.m. St Mary Medical Center Auxiliary service at the Hobart Community Center, 111 East Old Ridge Road. Arrangements completed by Rees Funeral Home, Hobart Chapel. Call (219) 942-2109 or visit us online at www.Reesfuneralhomes.com.