Michael L. Baranko

August 28, 1942 ~ November 24, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Michael Baranko Obituary

       Michael L. Baranko, 81, of Chesterton, Indiana, passed away November 24, 2023.  

       Michael was born on August 28, 1942 to Michael and Anna Baranko (d.) in Gary, Indiana. He grew up in Chesterton and graduated from Jackson Township High School, Class of 1960.

        Michael attended Purdue University and then, in 1962, felt compelled to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, where he courageously served two tours in Vietnam and was honorably discharged in 1966 with a Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and National Defense Service Medal reaching the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. He continued his service with the USMC Reserves for many years earning himself the nickname “Iron Mike”.

       Mike spent time in California working for TRW as a helicopter Flight Chief Engineer then returned to the Midwest where he was the General Superintendent for R & D Decorators & Drywallers in Wheaton, IL.  He was a long-standing member of the Painters District Council Union as a skilled carpenter and painter.  Michael later established his own carpentry and painting company.  After a devastating battle with throat cancer at the young age of 51, he retired early and began devoting himself to volunteer work back in his hometown of Chesterton. He was involved in The United Way, Rebuilding Together Duneland, NeighborLink and the Chesterton Lion’s Club where he was twice named Lion of the Year.

       Mike also had a passion for collecting and tinkering with classic cars, trucks, and tractors.  At one point his collection included over 60 vehicles!

       Mike is survived by his children, Michael “Mick” Baranko (Summer) and his sons Austin & Levi; Jennifer Seidl (Robert) and their children Robert Jr., Ryan, Rachael & Reece; Susan Thome, (Terry) and her children Tristan & Taylor Ramirez.

       Mike is also survived by his five siblings Irene Saponara (Joseph d.); Emil Baranko (Donna); Rose Mary Parisi (Pat); Bertha Fitzer (Steve d.); and George Baranko (Laury) along with their many children and grandchildren.

       Services for Mike will be in Chesterton, IN on Friday, December 1, 2023.

       A viewing will be held at White-Love Funeral Home, 525 South 2nd Street, from 9:00 am to 10:45am, followed by a graveside service at Chesterton Cemetery, 300 East Porter Avenue, at 11am. A luncheon will be open to all at Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria at 371 Indian Boundary, immediately after the burial.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to NeighborLink in Chesterton.

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December 1, 2023

9:00 AM to 10:45 AM
White-Love Funeral Home

Chesterton, IN

Graveside Service
December 1, 2023

11:00 AM
Chesterton Cemetery
300 E. Porter Ave.
Chesterton, IN 46304


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