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Obituaries > USALIS, DANIEL J.

Daniel Joseph Usalis [November 15, 2012], age 90, beloved husband of the late Mary Jane, nee Schmidt, for 60 years. Loving father of Diana (Michael) Myers, Daniel P. (Carol), Thomas (Patricia), Mary Pat (Robert) Rath and Timothy (Karen). Cherished grandfather of James (Elisa) Myers, William Myers, Daniel (Stephanie) Usalis, Michael (Autumn) Usalis, Ryan (Laurel) Usalis, Katherine Usalis, Thomas Usalis, Melinda Usalis, James Usalis, Robert Rath Jr., Alison (Richard) Rath Loomis, Christopher Usalis and Nicholas Usalis. Proud great-grandfather of Emily, Daniel Jr., Matthew, Aspen and Skyler. Born in Chicago on March 20, 1922, to the late Adela and the late Peter Usalis, Dan attended St. Mel’s High School where he was a three sport athlete. He later attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport, lowa on a football scholarship after being named a Chicago All-City tackle while playing football for St. Mel’s. Dan left St. Ambrose when the United States entered WWII and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After a rigorous selection and training process, Dan was assigned to the elite 4th Raider Battalion, one of the first special forces groups in the military and forerunner of the USMC Force Recon units and Navy SEAL teams. The Raiders were responsible for the first battle victories in ground operations in the Pacific early in the war. After campaigns of intense fighting on Guadalcanal and Guam, Dan was assigned to the 6th Marine Division and participated in the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific war, the battle of Okinawa, where his unit received the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism. He was awarded the Purple Heart three times. Discharged from the Marines in 1946, Dan returned to Chicago. He married the love of his life, Mary Jane Schmidt in 1947. While raising their 5 children, Dan embarked on a 28-year career with the Chicago Police Department, working in many of the troubled areas of the city. He was a first responder to the Our Lady of the Angels school fire in 1958 and worked on police tactical teams during the 1968 Democratic Convention. He spent many years working from the Gale Street District and completed his career assigned to the O’Hare Airport police detachment during a period of rapid airport growth. Dan loved God, his family and his country. He lived a selfless life of service to all three and will be remembered with much love, respect and warmth. The loss is immeasurable. Visitation Wednesday November 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM at The M.J. Suerth Funeral Home, 6754 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago, until time of prayers 9:30 am to Saint Juliana Church. Mass 10 am. Interment Private at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Wounded Warrior Project, 230 W. Monroe Street, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60606, appreciated.