Cover photo for Ruth Kay (Zonyk)  Garbacik's Obituary
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Ruth Kay (Zonyk) Garbacik

July 4, 1944 — April 3, 2023

Ruth "Kay" Garbacik, 78, of Michigan City, IN passed away unexpectedly in her home on April 3, 2023.

Kay was born in Huntington, IN on July 4, 1944, to Michael and Ruth (Smith) Zonyk and she proved to be quite the ‘firecracker’ from that day on! She was big sister to Jay and Jan Zonyk, both of whom preceded her in death.

She graduated from Saint Mary’s High School in 1962 and attended Ball State University for two years before returning home to the love of her life and legendary crooner, Daniel “Danny” Garbacik. They married on August 6, 1966, in Michigan City, IN. Together, they built a beautiful life and raised three children, Darrell (Laura) Garbacik of Culver, IN, Darla (William) Schultz of LaPorte, IN and Darcy (David) Nespo of LaPorte, IN. As Kay did, without pre-authorization from the family, Danny also unexpectedly passed away in March of 2012. In addition, she was preceded in death by her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Leon and Jessie Garbacik.

Kay’s love for her family extended to her nine dearly adored grandchildren, who brought her immense happiness, Drake and Dayne Garbacik, Kristen Reed, Jenna Austin, Braylyn and Brock Schultz, and Drayson, Justyn and Alicia Nespo; and her four adorable great-grandchildren, Scarlett and Vinny Reed and Graham and Jack Austin.

She also greatly loved her adopted family, including her special Nieman Family; best friend/partner in crime, Corrine Orzech; special sister-in-law, Jeane Church; and always devoted cousin, Faith Weaver.

Kay marked the lives of those close to her through her unwavering love and faithfulness to her family and friends. She enjoyed spending time with them and creating cherished memories that will be held dear by all of them. Kay’s love for her family was evident in every aspect of her life and her kind spirit comforted all who were fortunate enough to know her.

She grew up with a passion for service and entertainment as her parents owned the Polka Dot Tavern in Michigan City, for many years. Kay and Danny went on to co-own Harmony Bar from 1981 to 1986, where she always worked tirelessly to keep all their patrons happy!

Her legacy of love, devotion, and extraordinary grand mothering brilliance will continue to inspire and guide her family as they navigate life without her physical presence.

Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2023, at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Pastor Ryan Shockey officiating.

A time of visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Friday at the funeral home.  Inurnment will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be directed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital-Memorials Processing, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38106-9959 in honor of Ruth, who supported St. Jude's mission.

Condolences may be shared with the family online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Kay (Zonyk) Garbacik, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 7, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Add to Calendar

Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center

2900 Monroe Street
La Porte, IN 46350

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life Memorial Service

Friday, April 7, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Add to Calendar

Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center

2900 Monroe Street
La Porte, IN 46350

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

*Standard text messaging rates apply.


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