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In Memory

Timothy John Wantuch - Class Of 1973 VIEW PROFILE

Timothy John Wantuch

Sep. 6, 1955 - May 1, 1971

Published in the South Bend Tribune on Monday, May 3, 1971.

Source:  Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com

05/10/2024 DEC



Every day in B lunch at exactly 11:30 I could depend on seeing Tim Wantuch making his way toward my lunch table.

He greeted me with his usual, "Hi there, Jackie!" or "Boy, you sure do talk a lot. Some days I wished I could eat just one meal in peace. Today there will be no interruptions in my lunch.

On Saturday, May 1, sophomore Tim Wantuch and four others lost their lives in a car accident.  Among those dead are a Riley graduate, Steve (Pete) Bernath, and Patty Urbanski, a Jackson student. Two other Riley students, Diane Molnar and Jane Strzelecki were hospitalized.

The site of the head-on collision between the Bernath car and a car driven by Mr. Henry Strong, Jr. was Oak Road, one-fourth mile north of New Road. Both Mr. Strong and his wife are dead as a result of injuries received in the crash.

I believe I speak in behalf of the Riley student body in expressing sympathy to the families and friends of Steve Bernath, Tim Wantuch, and the Strongs. I want to help Diane and Jane recover as soon as possible, as I'm sure we all do.  However, it is requested at this time that Diane should have no visitors . Her parents appreciate the thoughtfulness of her friends and will notify the school later on when she is able to have visitors.

NOTE: This story isn't exactly the best as far as ”form  goes”.   It is sort of a combination of a news story with my personal feelings added in. But somehow a plain news story about the accident seemed so cold  like an obituary in the TRIBUNE or something. Maybe I was too emotionally in volved with the kids in the accident, but because of my friendship with them I thought maybe I could write a better story than someone who did not know them well. Maybe I failed.  I just thank God that I went on that trip to Ball State.  Otherwise I would have been with those kids.  I don't think it was just luck that I fell asleep and didn't go with them -- there was something more than just luck to it.

Jackie Simmons




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