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Longtime Lake Superior judge dies at 78

January 10, 2014

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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