In Memoriam

Larry Hemdal
1941 – 2022

Lawrence Spink Hemdal, 80 of Kouts, passed away Sunday, March 20, 2022. He was born September 28, 1941 in Peru, IN to the late Olaf J. and Genevieve (Spink) Hemdal. Lawrence was a graduate of George Williams College and worked as the C.E.O. of the YMCA in Rockford for 10 years, Joliet for 22 years and 7 years in Valparaiso. He was a member of the Rotary Club and enjoyed electronic gadgets, 30-day road trips and traveling, and the development of his family’s property into a personal park.

On June 10, 1962, Lawrence married Carol (Kehler) Hemdal who survives along with their children, David (Heather) Hemdal and Karla Hemdal; grandchildren, Kevin, Joslyn, Kylie, Olaf, Jesse, and Kendall; and his brother, John Hemdal. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Elizabeth Migliore.

Larry Hemdal was an integral part of Indiana Wildlife Artists. I don’t remember a meeting or event where Larry wasn’t present. For several years he served as the Treasurer for IWA. His knowledge, experience and willingness to keep us in line and up to date with all things pertaining to our Not-For-Profit status helped us all sleep at night.

From our President, Diana Hunter:
“Larry Hemdal (served IWA) with outstanding excellence which has not be equaled. He helped IWA on so many issues helping us avoid liability issues and running our exhibits. He will long be remembered for his faithfulness and diligent service and how he befriended so many of us.”
We will miss you, Larry.

Raymond B. Berg
1938 – 2020

Crown Point, Indiana. Ray was an Associate Member of Indiana Wildlife Artists, a member of Lake County Fish & Game Protective Association, a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the Astronomical League.

Born on May 23, 1938 to Bernard Berg and Helen Stepnoski Berg, Ray passed away on June 29, 2020. Ray’s wife of 59 years, Lois is a Signature Member of IWA as well.

Ray graduated from Purdue University in 1960 as a metallurgical engineer and worked for United States Steel Corporation for 34 years until his retirement. He then worked as an engineering consultant for Gladwin. Ray was a steelmaking expert, and he traveled for US Steel throughout the United States and other countries, sharing his vast metallurgical expertise, including a six-month special project in Taiwan. He was a member of the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, and a past member of the Oxygen Steelmaking Committee.

Ray was also a world traveler, having visited more than 35 countries during his lifetime.

Laura Hill
1930 – 2017

Laura Jo Hill, the FOUNDER OF INDIANA WILDLIFE ARTISTS passed away at the age of 87 in her home in North Webster, Indiana on May 18, 2017.

Laura was born in Lewes, Delaware to Joseph W. and Anna Laura Frances (Badenhoop) Muessen, married James S. Hill on March 1, 1975, in Severn, Maryland and moved to North Webster in 1975.

Laura was a Professional Artist and an Art teacher. She founded IWA in Northern Indiana in 1982 to promote wildlife and fine art. Thanks to her efforts in the early years to create an organization of dedicated artists with a viable Mission Statement and defined standards for the exhibition of Fine Art and depiction of our native Wildlife, Indiana Wildlife Artists, Inc. is what it is today.

Thank you, Laura. We will remember you.