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Heavy Traffic for Fire Chief Funeral Procession

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Funeral services for Munster Fire Chief James Knesek are being held this morning (Thursday 2/13) at St. Thomas More Church in Munster, to be followed by interment at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville.  Heavy traffic is expected from about 12 noon to 12:30 this afternoon for the funeral procession that starts at St. Thomas More Church.  Vehicles will travel northbound on Calumet Avenue to Ridge Road, then eastbound on Ridge Road to Cleveland   It will then proceed southbound on Cleveland into Merrillville to Calumet Park Cemetery.  Over 200 vehicles are expected to be in the procession.  Munster officials are asking motorists if possible, to please choose an alternate route.
Officials say Chief Knesek passed away from an apparent heart attack Saturday at his home, after returning from the scene of a motor vehicle crash.    Munster Town Hall will be closed to the public from 9am to 2 pm today (Thursday) to allow employees to attend the services. Knesek, who worked for the town for 34 years, had served as fire chief since 2005 and was also director of operations since 1995.  Knesek was 59. 
From the Town of Munster:
On Thursday, visiting fire departments will assemble at St. Thomas More at 9:30 am for a briefing on
their role at the Church Service and the logistics of going to the Cemetery.
The procession from the funeral home to church will be without visiting departments. Visitors are
encouraged to go to church directly for the funeral at 10:30 am.
After the conclusion of the services, the funeral procession will leave church heading north on Calumet
to Ridge Road. At Town Hall two ladder trucks, one from Calumet City FD and one from Lansing FD,
will have ladders raised and fly the garrison flag over Ridge Road. The procession will stop at Town
Hall for a moment. The processional will continue to proceed east on Ridge to Cleveland and south to
Calumet Park Cemetery. For those that may be using these routes, please note that traffic will be
affected by the processional.
Once at the grave side there will be several traditional services including the presentation of the flags,
retirement of the Chief’s helmet to the family, last call tone out of radios, the traditional sounding of the
fire bell, taps, a military salute, and bag pipes.
After the service we will retire to Centennial Park for fellowship and lunch beginning approximately at 2
pm. Carpooling to any and all of these events is highly encouraged.
On Thursday, Town Hall will be closed to the public beginning at 9:00 am until 2:00 pm to allow
employees to attend the services.
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