1948 - 2023
Obituary of Jozef Sumichrast
Born July 26,1948, one of three children in Hobart, Indiana. Son of Joseph and Stella Sumichrast. Brother to Donna Roti and Robert Sumichrast. Jozef worked in several jobs in high school, one of them in a Jewel grocery store. While in high school, Joe met a teacher who turned him onto perspective drawing. This teacher had his students work on drawings for his own home. Jozef was impacted by the intersecting lines of blueprints. He used this information when he started illustrating in advertising.
Jozef took college classes at Indiana University Northwest. Next was entrance into the American Academy of Art to become what was called back then a “commercial” artist. To pay for his tuition, he worked at U.S. Steel in Gary, Indiana. He took a chemistry test and was put into metallurgy where the “ingredients” of the metal had to be perfect to make the best steel. The pay was 2 times over base pay on Sundays which meant he had to get his art projects done at the same time working at the mill.
Joe graduated from the Academy in 1967. He continued to take classes there and at the same time delivering local newspapers with a friend. He started working part time at Stephen Gross advertising agency. 1968, enter Susie Snyder. She graduated from Bradley University with an advertising degree. She moved to Chicago to take a couple of classes in advertising, from the American Academy. Susie lived in the Three Arts Center, a house for creative women in different fields, opera, art, fashion design, and interior design.
Jozef and Susie were married in 1971. They both had jobs in advertising. They decided before starting a family they would travel in Europe for 7 months and 2 months following in Africa. The first child Kristin was born on September 22,1976. Jozef and Susie lived in a high rise on Michigan Avenue in Chicago which did not allow pets or children! They quickly purchased their first house. The second daughter Lindsey was born in Deerfield in 1979.
They spent growing up years in Deerfield Illinois, followed by moving to Lake Forest in 1986. Two years later, the advertising field ended. They had a 5th grader and 2nd grader. Jozef went on to become a renowned bronze sculptor and Susie took over a business in Wisconsin creating custom rugs and carpets for interior designers and architects.
Jozef spent hours watching programs like This Old House, learning how to remake anything and everything in an older house. That and a love of landscaping, turned an acre of land into an award winning property. 2008 saw the birth of the first granddaughter Kassidy (Kristin with husband Eric Pepping) next was Bree Pepping 2009. The third grandchild was Rachel (Lindsey with husband Greg Benner) born 2012. Maci Pepping arrived 6 months later in 2012. All girls so far, then Lindsey and Greg had two identical twin boys, Weston and Barrett in 2018.
Jozef has been an amazing artist, a wonderful husband and an active grandfather. He had a wry sense of humor, knew the lyrics to just about every 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s music. He had a “steel trap” mind for details and seemed never to forget anything. He was unique, creative, intelligent, kind and supportive.
Our beloved Jozef passed away September 3, 2023.
“Rather than mourn the absence of the flame, let us celebrate how brightly it burned”To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jozef Sumichrast, please visit Tribute Store