David Michael Jatczak was born November 27, 1958, to the late Frances and John Jatczak. David married Brenda on September 20, 1997. He was the love of my life, and I was his. We had almost 20 years of wonderful married life. We did not have children of our own, but he became a stepfather of four, a grandfather of fourteen and, within the last nine years, a great-grandfather to two more wonderful little ones. David was an amazing man. Our get-togethers with family were always special. He loved cooking and doing magic tricks for the kids, always leaving them wondering, “How did he do that?”
Dave had a love of the fire service unmatched by many. He graduated from University of Maryland, becoming a fire protection engineer. While he was there, he was on the Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department and the College Park Volunteer Fire Department. After graduation, he returned home to Merrillville Fire Department and Ainsworth Fire Department in northwest Indiana.
The year after we were married we moved to Indianapolis, where he became assistant chief at IUPUI. We returned to Lake Station, Indiana, in 1997. He became a lieutenant and trainer for the Lake
Station Volunteer Fire Department, where he served for nine years. David continued his education and fire protection up until the day of his death. He was going for Firefighter III the week of his passing. David was well-loved and respected for his knowledge of the fire service. He was also well-trained in technical rescue, HAZMAT, and so much more in 38 years of fire service.
David was a beloved husband, son, brother, uncle, stepfather, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He had a great love for his fellow man. He was a kind and gentle soul, always willing to help in any way he could. One of our fondest memories of Dave was when he was introduced to his fellow man. His standard greeting, said with great respect, was, “Very glad to meet you, sir.”
David will be missed always by his wife, Brenda Jatczak, all other family members, friends, and coworkers. The loss of David has been great and affects so many. It’s hard to cover all he accomplished in such a short life. Dave, we have wonderful memories of you. You will be in our hearts forever. Your great love helps to carry us through until we meet again.