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IU School of Medicine-Northwest mourns the loss of staff member Toni Ary-Lord

Lord had worked for the past 20 years as the Purchasing Coordinator for the medical school

Lord had worked for the past 20 years as the Purchasing Coordinator for the medical school.

IU Northwest File Photo
Lord had worked for the past 20 years as the Purchasing Coordinator for the medical school.

Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest (IUSM-NW) regretfully announced Wednesday the passing of Purchasing Coordinator Toni Ary-Lord, age 63, of Portage. Lord passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010.

Lord had been employed with the IUSM-NW for the past twenty years, where her daily responsibilities included processing all requisitions for both faculty and staff, tracking received packages, and keeping account of invoicing.

Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., assistant dean and director of IUSM-NW and dean of IU Northwest College of Health and Human Services, expressed the university’s condolences on Lord’s passing.

"Toni was a valued staff member who contributed, in so many significant ways, to the IU School of Medicine – Northwest,” Bankston said. “We are deeply saddened by her passing, and, on behalf of the entire School, we extend sincerest sympathy to Toni’s family and friends, and to her many colleagues who respected her as not only a professional, but as a friend.”

Dawn Ilgenfritz, Operations Officer at the IUSM-NW, looked back on the years in which she and Lord worked together at the School, and commented on her sincere personality and dedication to her job.

“She was wonderful,” Ilgenfritz said. “She was always willing to step up and do whatever needed to be done. She was one of the first to say, ‘If you need help, let me know.’

“Toni basically went over and above what she really needed to do,” she continued. “I used to get on her by saying, ‘You have these faculty spoiled; you need to stop!’”

While Ilgenfritz acknowledged that the news was very difficult for her, she takes comfort in the many pleasant memories the two shared while serving as colleagues and friends for two decades within the medical school.

“On Tuesday I was speaking with her while she was in the hospital and she kept asking me about work,” Ilgenfritz commented. “I kept telling her to not worry about it and that we’d take care of it. But, that’s just the kind of person she was and the dedication she had for the School. She was very conscientious of her job.”

This sincere dedication to her job, and her colleagues, is one of the best examples of Lord’s personality, Ilgenfritz noted.

“She had a fantastic outlook on life, and no matter how bad things got, she could always find a silver lining (in the situation).”

Lord leaves behind a husband, Dave, two sons, and a grandson, who all reside in Northwest Indiana. She also had two other sons who precede her in death.

Ilgenfritz commented that Lord was extremely close to Thomas, her three-year old grandson, and mentioned that the two spent many evenings and afternoons together.

“Now that her grandson is three, her favorite thing to do with him was bake cookies,” Ilgenfritz said. “They had a standing date every Tuesday night at his house, and on Saturdays he would go over to ‘GaGa’s house’ (Thomas’s nickname for Lord). Her world was her family.”

While her family and her role at IUSM-NW were very important to her, so was her interest in completing her degree.  Despite taking her 10 years, Lord’s persistence paid off when she graduated from IU Northwest. She proudly received an associate’s degree in sociology in 1999 and a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2001.

Friends may visit with the family at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point, on Friday, Dec. 17 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 18 at 11:00 a.m. at Burns Funeral Home, Crown Point, where Emerson H. Tiller will officiate. Interment will be at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville.

IUSM-NW extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Toni Ary-Lord.


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing & Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing & Communications

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IU School of Medicine - Northwest