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Village of Bannockburn

William Marshall Gatti, M.D. (July 18, 1933-January 8, 2022)


William M. Gatti, M.D. passed away peacefully in the early morning of January 8th. He was 83. His final hours were spent surrounded by his loving wife of 57 years, Florence Long Gatti, M.D., and his four surviving children: John, Bill, Joanne, and Lauren. He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in 2010 and spent the last 12 years tirelessly researching and pursuing ways to slow its advance. His courage and tenacity in the face of this disease were clear to anyone who knew him. He understood that every day was a gift and he lived accordingly. Keeping tabs on his grandchildren Olivia (24), Elena (23), Lorenzo (18), Tony (17), and Lucas and Lina (both 15) and reveling in their academic, athletic, and artistic endeavors was one of his favorite things to do. 

His family and friends were the center of his life. He loved the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and birthdays (especially his own) because they were great reasons to have a cake and balloons. He loved the Jersey Shore, a summer destination for his family starting after World War II. In high school, he was a lifeguard with his brother Joe, after advancing from being “Button Boys”, and when he moved to the Chicago area he continued to make annual summer trips with his children – and then with his grandchildren. His favorite time of day at the beach was the late afternoon, when he soaked up the afternoon sun in the quiet. This reenergized him for dinners of Dede meatballs, nightly dessert trips to the ice cream parlor and excursions to the Heights where he would treat the kids to rides, cotton candy, lemon ice, and massive slices of pizza pie from Maruca’s. He told wonderful stories around the dinner table and encouraged everyone around the table to participate. He was an extraordinarily generous and gracious host. His ability to tell a story was exceeded only by his ability to listen to others.

Listening fueled his vocation as an ear, nose and throat surgeon, a career he dedicated his life to for 43 years. After first fulfilling his two-year military obligation at Great Lakes Naval Hospital, he spent 17 years at Loyola University Medical Center and then 26 years in private practice in Libertyville. He loved teaching at Loyola, where he served as acting Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology and was a Clinical Professor. In private practice, he became nationally known for his work with implantable hearing devices to address conductive hearing loss and for laser surgery to address snoring. He was locally known for his warmth, compassion, expertise and utter devotion to his patients. His office had profuse sunlight, the music was oriented toward musicals and show tunes and his ties were colorful and mostly designed by children. When the phone rang at 2 a.m., he wasted no time getting to his patient’s side.

Dr. Gatti was born in Teaneck, New Jersey on July 18, 1938 and is survived by his brothers, Joe and Rev. Dan Gatti, S.J., and his sister Maria. He attended Xavier HS in New York City (’56) with his brothers, graduated from Notre Dame University in ’60 and Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in ’64, where he met his loving wife, Florence.

To say he was a Notre Dame fan doesn’t quite capture it, as everyone who knows him knows very well. The university, gathering with friends and family for games and offering each coach since Ara Parseghian some free, friendly advice were life-long passions. The sign on the ancient oak in his driveway reads “Rockne Drive” and the blue and gold Notre Dame flag on his flag pole today flies at half-mast.

Devoted husband, loving father, joyous grandfather, loyal friend, empathetic doctor, and dedicated Catholic – our hearts are so heavy. We miss him deeply.   

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 9:00-10:15 am at Kelley & Spalding Funeral Home, 1787 Deerfield Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 11:00 am at St. Patrick Church (the OLD Church), 991 Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045 . Inurnment will be held Wednesday, January 19, 2022 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lake Forest, IL.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Greatest Needs of the Department of Otolaryngology at Loyola University Medical Center via this link: Please make sure to use the drop down menu on this page and select “Greatest Needs of the Department of Otolaryngology.” You can also make checks out to Loyola University Medical Center. Please note “Greatest Needs of the Department of Otolaryngology” on the memo line of your check and mail to: Loyola Medicine Office of Philanthropy, Bldg. 115, Rm. 353, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, IL 60153. 

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, Kelley & Spalding Funeral Home is dedicated to follow the guidelines from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) to prevent the unintentional spread of germs. We are asking that you extend your sympathies to the family and not remain in the building, allowing others who will be waiting to also pay their respects.

We ask guests attending the visitation to
-Practice social distancing
-Face mask required
-Requiring anyone exhibiting symptoms of illness to stay at home
-Food and refreshments are not allowed in the building
-Limiting physical contact such as hugging, shaking hands, kissing on cheeks etc.

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