News from Northern Indiana Unit 154

Editor: Kim Grant, Fort Wayne IN

(260) 740-7348       Unit website:


We bridge players are a fortunate people. We participate in a game that helps keep us mentally astute, that provides us with numerous opportunities to have positive social interactions, that provides a topic for stimulating conversation, and gives us all this for very little monetary cost. Much of the rest of the world is not so fortunate. Please look for and act upon an opportunity to make a small difference in the life of someone who is not as fortunate as you. Please bring some joy to someone who needs it.

I wish all of you a most joyous holiday season and hope 2018 is the year you find that missing queen.

Gary Chaney -- President, Unit 154


Bridge players and an IU Northwest Oral Indiana History class have been paired together during this fall semester to share bridge experiences and Northwest Indiana days of yore in a weekly correspondence. The students’ journals will be filed in the IU Northwest Calumet Regional Archives as part of the bridge collection. Dr. James Lane is spearheading this unique plan to involve university students in the bridge experience and bridge players to become more familiar with Indiana’s past.

Joe Chin has spoken to the IU oral history students and has given them a beginning lesson about bridge. Joe’s lessons are sprinkled with humor and always have the participants enjoying his thoughtful and worthwhile presentations. We hope that some students will be encouraged to develop an interest in this intriguing game. We have seen several IU students coming to our games — shadowing their assigned partners from the bridge community.

Iris Contreras, IU student from Hammond, and Helen Boothe, bridge player from Porter Beach, share memories of the Calumet region and the joy inherent in bridge.

This exhibit is in the IU Northwest Anderson library/conference hallway during the months of October and November.

Joe Chin presents a bridge lesson to an oral history class at IU Northwest.


Here are some very well known celebrities who play in the South Bend Bridge Club. 

MARTIN (Marty) & LEWIS (Margaret)

LEWIS (Robert) & CLARKE (Chris)


TOM (Hebron) & GERRY (Wardzinski)

RUTH’s (Minish) CHRIS (Barker)

70% + GAMES

Terry Bauer, Portage & Dottie Hart, Chesterton: 71.88%  8/1

Joe Chin, Highland & Indra Gupta, Munster: 74.44%  8/2

John Goring, Frankfort, IL & Larry Rabideau, Saint Anne, IL: 72.73%  8/14

John & Karen Fieldhouse, Valparaiso: 70.83%  8/15

Keith & Marci Meyer, Long Beach: 70.24%  8/21

John Teshima, Trail Creek & Bill Wendt, LaPorte: 71.10%  9/4 

Marcy & Chuck Tomes, Valparaiso: 70.83%  9/27

Barbara Graegin, Dyer & Lou Nimnicht, Crown Point: 75.00%  9/30

Bill Blauvelt & George Cramer, South Bend: 71.5%  10/4.

Jim Angell, Munster & Barbara Walczak, Munster: 74.09%  10/7

Joan Tobler, Niles, MI & Marian David, South Bend: 70.83% 10/13

Elaine DeLaney & Jimmy Cordas, South Bend: 74.24%  10/17

Sharon Massey, Portage & Judy Selund, Ogden Dunes (299er game): 73.75%  10/20

Donald & Rose Ferguson, Fort Wayne: 76%  10/21

Don Valiska, Highland & Carol Osgerby, Dyer: 70.03%  10/30

Wayne Carpenter, Chesterton & Laverne Niksch, Portage: 76.62%  11/6

Laverne Niksch, Portage & Wayne Carpenter, Chesterton: 72.22%  11/13



David Dinius, Fort Wayne

Penny Krug, South Bend

Joseph Mihalov, Valparaiso

Gerry Wardzinski. South Bend


Mariana Bruce, Michigan City

Dena Davis, Fort Wayne

Robert Enyeart, Fort Wayne

Kathy  Klein   Columbia City

Kathleen Peterson, South Bend

Michael Ridenour, Fort Wayne

Robert Young, Fort Wayne


John Gadd, South Bend

Robert Lewis, Granger

Marc Kaminsky, Fort Wayne

Benjamin Paulson, South Bend


Terry Bauer, Portage

Philip Eyermann, Churubusco


Thomas Hebron, Edwardsburg

Glen McGeady, Long Beach


Jane Bailey, Syracuse

Robert  Grant, Fort Wayne

William Wendt, La Porte


Sheila Kiefer, Fort Wayne

Like many others, I had played party bridge for several years, however, upon retiring, I began to take it more seriously. A friend persuaded me to play with her at the Fort Wayne Duplicate Center. There, I learned of conventions and techniques that would aid in bidding and playing. After some relative success, I set a goal for myself to become a Life Master. Little did I realize how long this would take to become a reality.

I am so grateful for all the help I have been given throughout these past years. My long term partner, Jim McChessney; Kim Grant and Gary Chaney who have periodically given of themselves in instructing and assisting; and friends, Joan Smith, Judy Jenkins & Anne Bruick who propelled me to the status of Life Master & Bronze Life Master at the recent Fort Wayne Regional Tournament. Thanks to all those who have helped me reach this long sought goal!

BRONZE LIFE MASTER:  Jane Bailey, Syracuse


BRONZE LIFE MASTER:  Jill Culby, South Bend

Jill grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan where her Mom raised two children, Jill and her brother, on her own. Her Mom’s one ‘fun thing’ was duplicate bridge, and she passed her love and enthusiasm for the game on to Jill.

Jill’s choice of college was Michigan State University where she earned degrees in English and Psychology. She married Larry Culby in 1970 and moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan, where his family had been farming since 1830. They hoped to set the world on fire, but along came a recession. With no jobs anywhere and being broke, Larry became a farmer and she became a writer.

For the next twenty years, Jill wrote 86 books under various pseudonyms (Jennifer Greene, Jeanne Grant, Jessica Massey, Alison Hart). One reason for writing romance novels was that the publishers would take on new writers, and she & Larry had two children to support. The kids grew up, got their masters degrees and charged off into life. And she had the “roms” to thank for that.

There were setbacks including an unfortunate fall requiring shoulder replacement at Cleveland Clinic, back surgery, and being hit by a truck. All these vicissitudes of life brought her to seek out a local duplicate game. She discovered a great way to heal herself - “playing this marvelous game and meeting so many wonderful people”. CONGRATULATIONS, JILL!

BRONZE LIFE MASTER:  Bob Knoblock, South Bend

Congratulations AGAIN to Bob Knoblock (Life Master in October 2016) who has now achieved the rank of Bronze LM.

Bob wants to thank his partners who helped him earn the points necessary to get to this bridge plateau. He sends special thanks to his regular Monday and Wednesday partners, Karen Nagy and Dick Scheibelhut, “who are always ready and willing to play with me, regardless of any bidding and playing errors I might make...”

It doesn’t look like he’s made many mistakes! Your partners & the rest of the Club send you our best wishes.

SILVER LIFE MASTER:  Keith Meyer, Long Beach

RUBY LIFE MASTER:  Ruth Minish, Granger

GOLD LIFE MASTER Gary Chaney, Woodburn

SAPPHIRE LIFE MASTER:  Chris Grande, Mishawaka


Thelma I. Van Poppel, 88, of Decatur IN passed away Sunday, October 1, 2017.Thelma was born on April 11, 1929 in Bryan, Ohio to the late Kenneth W. and M. Doris (Strup) Hesrick.

Thelma was a resident of Decatur for 50 years. She was a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, the Rosary Society and also a member of the Fort Wayne Duplicate Bridge Club. She worked for 10 years at the Fort Wayne State Development Center. She will be missed.