Longtime Lake Superior judge dies at 78

IL Staff
January 10, 2014
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Lake Superior Judge Gerald N. Svetanoff, 78, died Wednesday. Svetanoff was the longest-serving Lake Superior judge at the time of his death.

Svetanoff was appointed to the bench in 1981 by Gov. Robert D. Orr. He was presiding over Lake Superior Civil Division 4 when he petitioned the Indiana Supreme Court to appoint a judge pro tem “while he is unable to attend to the duties of his office” due to an illness, according to the Sept. 17 order.

Svetanoff was highly respected by attorneys who practiced before him and his fellow judges. His successes inspired his son, Joseph Svetanoff, to become a lawyer. Svetanoff was admitted to the bar in 1960 and was a law clerk to the Indiana Supreme Court. He entered private practice in Gary and also served as a judge pro tem in the Superior Court, County Division, in Crown Point.

He was a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and belonged to many legal organizations, including the Lake County Bar Association.

Svetanoff was a lifelong resident of northwestern Indiana. He was born in Gary and attended Lew Wallace High School. He earned his degrees from Indiana University School of Business and the law school in Bloomington.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; son Joseph (Cathy); and grandchildren Natalia and Alexander.

Visitation is from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point. A short memorial service is at 7 p.m. Sunday. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home, with burial directly following the service at Calumet Park Cemetery, 2305 W. 73rd Ave., Merrillville.


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.