The procession route for Army Staff Sergeant David Nowaczyk cut through Munster, Dyer and Schererville. The 32-year-old 1997 graduate of Lake Central High School was killed April 15 while serving his third tour in Afghanistan. His vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.
"He's a young man, and he's a good father. And they ought to be very proud of him, the parents and everyone," said David Shavey, relative.
Mourners passed Nowaczyk's casket Tuesday draped in an American flag. His funeral Mass started at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas More Church in Munster. After the funeral, the motorcade will reach Dyer at about 11:30 a.m. It will then continue to Memory Lane Memorial Park and Funeral Chapel in Schererville.
Nowaczyk is survived by his wife Rachel, stepson and 1-year-old daughter Kiley. He was a highly decorated soldier.
"It's just a big blow to our family. We're a tight-knit family, and he'll be greatly missed. There's just no words," said Josh Weddington, cousin. "He's been an amazing father. I mean, Kiley was his pride and joy. Just seeing them together, Kiley was just crazy about him. She even had an Army rag doll with his face on top."
Nowaczyk's family says he was a mason, a shriner and a big fan of Chicago sports.