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GERMAIN J. "JIM" MAURAIS

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Germain J. (frenchy) "Jim" Maurais Germain J. (frenchy) "Jim" Maurais, a disabled World War II Navy veteran, died on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at Church Creek Assisted Living in Arlington Heights. He was born Aug. 1, 1921, in Acton Vale, Quebec, Canada. Visitation will be held Sunday, April 29, from noon until the time of the Masonic Services at 4 p.m. at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 201 N. Northwest Highway, Palatine, IL 60067. The funeral service will immediately follow the Masonic Services with full military honors. Jim's family migrated to this country in 1935. Speaking in broken English, he was nicknamed frenchy and was fondly so called throughout his Naval service. He enlisted in the Navy in September 1939, as an apprentice seaman and was discharged a chief petty officer in March 1946, as a naturalized U.S. citizen. He saw active duty sailing in destroyers in the North Atlantic escorting convoys to England. Transferring to the Amphibious Forces, South Pacific he saw combat duty as a coxswain of Higgins landing craft boats in the invasions of Guadalcanal and other British Solomon Islands. He survived the sinking of three ships and was hospitalized in Noumea, New Caledonia, San Francisco and the San Diego Naval Hospitals for three months suffering from burns, shrapnel wounds, malaria, PTSD and Survivor Guilt Syndromes. It was there he met his future wife, Maggie, on a blind date on April Fool's Day, 1944 and married four months later for a blessed union that lasted 62 years until his beloved Maggie died of Alzheimer's March 29, 2006. He was declared fit for sea duty and transferred to the Naval Mine Forces of the Pacific. He was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. For his World War II service, he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, Navy Commendation Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation and two Good Conduct medals. He was awarded medals from the governments of Great Britain, the Republic of China, the Philippines and the British Solomon Islands, as well as campaign medals for having served in all three theaters of operations in World War II. He was a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, U.S. Naval Institute, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He received a B.A. degree from San Diego University and an M.A. degree from the University of Southern California. He is survived by his beloved surrogate daughter, Gina Dawson; as well as many nieces and nephews from his family, and his deceased Miss Maggie's family. He was a life member of many Masonic bodies, including a 32nd degree Mason, the Scottish and York Rite bodies, Medinah Shrine, the Military Order of Sojourners, a member of Palatine Lodge #314 A.F. & A.M., and the famed orders of The Yellow Dog and the Sword of Bunker Hill. Since 1985, he was a devoted and faithful friend of Bill W. As a decorated veteran of World War II, he will be buried in the Arlington National Cemetery and there he will rejoin his beloved Maggie for all time. In lieu of flowers, memorials will be appreciated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607. For information, call the funeral home at 847-358-7411 or visit www.ahlgrimffs.com.

Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald from Apr. 27 to Apr. 29, 2012
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