John G. Spatuzza was born on August 15, 1925 in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Attorney George J. Spatuzza and Mildred Barone Spatuzza. John attended Guardian Angel School and St. Philip’s High School where he graduated with honors in 1942 at age 16. Too young for military service, he enrolled at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. In 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army, assigned to the 381st Infantry Regiment of the 96th Infantry Division. On October 20, 1944 his division made the initial invasion of the Philippine Islands of Leyte. He was awarded two battle stars, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman Badge. After discharge, John attended DePaul University and Northwestern University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor Degree in February of 1951. John entered into private practice with his father, George J. Spatuzza, in the Law Firm of Spatuzza, Yedor and Buckley. The firm name was changed to Spatuzza & Spatuzza in 1960 and he continued as a sole practitioner from 1976 until his death. John served as Corporate Counsel and as Secretary and Director of Safeway Insurance Company, as General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Republic Bank of Chicago, and as a member of the Board of Directors of United Automobile Insurance Group. He was active in Republican politics, serving as President of the Illinois State Republican Nationalities Council and as Chairman of the Italian-American Republican Committee. John gave over 60 years of dedicated service to the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA). He was elected as Grand Venerable in 1963 and 1965, as National President in Chicago in 1975 and in 2014, he was named National President Emeritus. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sons of Italy Charitable Foundation and as a member of the Commission for Social Justice. His other civic and professional activities included; Member and later Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of the March of Dimes. President of the Illinois Athletic Club of Chicago, founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Italian-American Foundation in Washington, D.C. and member of the lay Advisory Board of Villa Scalabrini. He was a member of the Illinois Bar Association, American Bar Association and as a past President of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. John received numerous awards including: Knight of Merit and the Cavaliere Ufficiale, Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy. In 1976, Gerald Ford appointed John to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. where he served from 1976 to 1986, and remained as a Trustee Emeritus. John was predeceased by his beloved sister, Mrs. Jean Reed of Valparaiso, IN. Chapel Service on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at Salerno’s Galewood Chapels, 1857 N. Harlem Ave., Chicago. Interment will be private. Visitation Friday from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. For info (773) 889-1700 – See more at:

Posted in: Chicago Tribune

Posted on: 2016-02-23

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