Obituary of Bertha Urbancic Gorka
BERTHA J. URBANCIC GORKA
Kind hearts, like garden flowers,
Bring grace and harmony into our world (author unknown)
Bertha Justine Urbancic Gorka, 103, Fishers, formerly a life-long resident of Indianapolis, passed away July 19, 2018. The first of four children of Anton Urbancic and Francesca Pozar Urbancic, Slovenian immigrants, she was born in Indianapolis on October 21, 1914. She attended Holy Trinity School, where she learned to speak English, then graduated from St. Mary Academy, finishing first in her class. She continued her education at Indiana Business College, Indianapolis, completing a one year program.
One of her first jobs was at the Indianapolis News as a supervisor in circulation. Later, she and her husband and life partner, Walter L. Gorka, owned and operated Western Hardware, Inc. on Indianapolis' west side for over 30 years. They married in 1945 and enjoyed a lifetime of sharing, family, conversation, fishing trips to Minnesota/Canada, and vacations. In the early 1970s they sold the business and retired. Bert later 'un-retired' and worked in bookkeeping for another 15 years for her brother, Charles Urbancic and his business, Nora Wholesale Supply in Indianapolis and later in Westfield, enjoying every day of it. She retired a second time at 82.
Bert was well known in Indianapolis women's league bowling. In 1941 she was the first woman in Indiana to bowl a perfect 300 game, the seventh woman in the United States to do so. She won numerous singles, doubles, all-events and team championships at the state and city level from 1940 - 1953 and was a leader in 600s league play for over 15 years. She was a member of the famous White Rock Girls team that traveled the country in the 1940s participating in national tournaments and exhibitions. She also loved her team of Indianapolis league bowling friends having a great time until she decided to retire from bowling in the late 1960s.
Bert was inducted into the Indianapolis Bowling Hall of Fame in 1969 and also the Indiana State Bowling Hall of Fame (Women's International Bowling Congress) in 1996.
Preceding her in death are her parents, her beloved husband Walt, favorite son-in-law Thomas Bennett, and brothers Henry Urbancic, Justin Urbancic, and Charles Urbancic. Surviving family members include her daughter Lois Bennett, son Wally Gorka, two grandchildren, two great grandchildren, first cousins Rose Tempey and Louis Urbancic, and many caring and loving nieces, nephews, cousins, dear neighbors and friends.
Bert was a member of St. Anthony Parish for 40 years and later St. Christopher Parish.
She will be remembered for her great strength, her generosity, her faith, her encouragement, her hard work, her love for her family, and unbelievable attitude to keep going. And, reading and watching national news, politics, Colts, Celtics, Pacers, pro golf and all college sports (except ice hockey) on tv.
A special thank you to Dr. Andrew Cougill, Dr. David Rardon, Dr. Thierry Wilbrandt, Dr. Elizabeth Lewis, Dr. John Lucia, Dr. Brian Clarke, Dr. Lawrence Lloyd, Dr. Marjorie Knotts, the staff of Prairie Lakes Health Center, Noblesville, the staff of Kindred Hospice, and Stevens Mortuary. Thank you, too, to caring neighbors who helped so much.
Stevens Mortuary is a family owned and operated funeral home that has served the Indianapolis community and surrounding areas for the past 89 years. We offer a wide variety of services and merchandise to fit any budget, which include traditional services, memorial services, cremations and life celebrations.
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