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Raffaele Suriano - Class Of 1939

Col. Raffaele Suriano, beloved husband of Victoria, nee Skinner, and proud and devoted father to Patricia Gronkiewicz, Peggy Trossen and Mary Moore; and six grandchildren and many loving friends and spaniels, passed away suddenly on October 7, 2009.

Colonel Suriano was born in Kenosha, WI, to Joseph and Catherine Suriano and was the youngest of nine children.  He received his undergraduate (1941) and Doctor of Dental Surgery (1944) Degrees from Loyola University of Chicago.

Colonel Suriano served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps from 1943 to 1973.  Tours of duty included:  Korea, Fort Ord (Monterey, CA), Japan, Fort Sheridan (IL) The Command and General Staff College (Fort Leavenworth, KA), Office of The Surgeon General (Washington, DC), 5th Army Headquarters (Chicago), Fort Sam Houston  (San Antonio, TX), Fort Devens (Boston, MA) and Munich, Germany.

His teaching career included positions at the U.S. Medical Services School at Brooke Medical Center in Texas and at the U.S. Institute of Dental Research at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC.  Dr. Suriano received the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal and the U.S. Army Commendation Medal.

After an outstanding military career, Colonel Suriano came to Chicago to become the Dean of Loyola University Chicago School of Dentistry, his Alma Mater, which he led until May 1984.   At Loyola, Dr. Suriano expanded the dental programs and improved its instruction.  He formed the General Practice Residency Program, established a Hospital Dental Program, created a hospital dental clinic, computerized the dental clinics, recruited more women students and faculty, increased the faculty size with full-time and part-time positions, founded a faculty research fund, actively recruited foreign dentists for continuing education in the United States, extended the Loyola name in adding students from states with no dental school, and upgrading many teaching positions to better prepare the Loyola graduates for modern dental practice.

In 2008, the University Of Illinois School Of Dentistry established the Raffaele Suriano Distinguished Alumni Award.  Dr. Suriano was the first recipient of the award, which was named in his honor, and is given annually at the alumni dinner.

The Arcolian Dental Arts also established the Raffaele Suriano annual scholarship in his honor.  This scholarship is given annually to a dental student of Italian American heritage.

Dr. Suriano enjoyed an array of activities and membership in several organizations.

He traveled extensively throughout Europe, and Asia (Japan and China). He sought assignments throughout our nation so that his family would be able to experience and appreciate the diversity that is the USA. He was an avid reader, card player, amateur singer, loved all the family dogs through the years, and was happiest when spending time with family and friends.

He lent his talents and time to several organizations: The American Dental Society, The Chicago Dental Society, The Arcolian Organization, The Rotary and Lions Clubs of Darien, The Calabrese in America Organization, The Old Neighborhood Italian American Club and The Columbian Club of Chicago.

He enjoyed participating in athletics (originally went to the University of Wisconsin on a boxing scholarship), Track and Field, and was an accomplished golfer.  Also, he enjoyed "predicting" the outcomes of athletic events; most often he was correct!

Memorial services were held October 17, 2009 at Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel at Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL.