Michael Tartaglia, 85

Michael John Tartaglia, 85, a resident of rural Columbia City, passed away at 6:04 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne. Although he had been hospitalized recently, his death was unexpected.Mr. Tartaglia was born in Chicago on June 2, 1927, a son of Guseippe and Maria (Coppola) Tartaglia, and spent his formative years there. As a young man he served with the Merchant Marines during World War II, and was later married in Chicago Dec. 19, 1953, to Jeannine M. Hopkins.Following their marriage the couple lived in Berkeley, Illinois for a period. They moved to Fort Wayne in 1971 and settled at their present home in Smith Township in 1973. In his early years he was employed by Ford Aircraft in Chicago, and later became associated with Dana Corporation. He was employed as an engineer for them for 38 years, retiring from their Weatherhead Division in Columbia City in 1990.He was a member of the Collins United Methodist Church, where he volunteered in a variety of positions. In his leisure time he enjoyed woodworking, fishing, gardening, and Chicago sports teams including the Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks. In addition he enjoyed Civil War history, and most especially will be remembered as a caring and loving husband, father and grandfather.Surviving relatives include his wife Jeannine, to whom he was married for more than 59 years; his children, Mike (Debbie) Tartaglia of Churubusco, Lorraine Tartaglia of Columbia City, Karen (Lon) Ladig of Wolf Lake, Bob (Michelle) Tartaglia of Churubusco, Bill (Michelle) Tartaglia of Aurora, Ill., and Richard (Slena) Tartaglia of Appomattox, Va.; a sister Angie Stefani of Elmhurst, Ill; 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Santo, Louis, and John Tartaglia and three sisters, Frances Sgobba, Rose Lombardo and Jean Mangan.Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Collins United Methodist Church with Pastor Larry Schmoekel, officiating.The family will receive friends at Sheets & Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco on Tuesday from 2 to 8 p.m, or at the church one hour prior to the service Wednesday morning.Interment with military graveside rites will be in the Blue River Cemetery, Whitley County.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Collins United Methodist Church, 5524 E. Darland, Columbia City, IN 46725To leave an online condolence for the family in Mr. Tartaglia’s memory, log on to www.sheetsandchilds.net.