Cover photo for Daniel "Dan" Surma's Obituary

Daniel "Dan" Surma

January 7, 1955 — March 4, 2020

Daniel "Dan" Surma, 65, of Chicago, Illinois, passed away on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago.

Daniel was born on January 7, 1955 in La Porte, Indiana to Fredrick and Sylvia (Duell) Surma.  He graduated from La Porte High School in 1973 and Moody Bible Institute in 1978.  He received a BA Music from the American Conservatory of Music and a MA Music from De Paul University.

Surviving are siblings, Christina, Cathy (Mike) Mihalenko, Fredrick (Diane) Surma, Carol, Paul, Steven, and David (Maria) Surma; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Dan was a pianist and organist for many years.  He won concerto competitions at the American Conservatory and De Paul University in addition to appearing four times as a soloist with the La Porte Symphony Orchestra in his hometown of La Porte.  He was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for five years and a member of the Classical Symphony for two.  Dan was the organist-choir director at St. James Lutheran Church, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, and Ravenswood United Church of Christ and was a piano teacher at Lathrop Community Music Center. He also freelanced as soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist in Chicago and La Porte. He served as an adjunct faculty member at Moody Bible Institute.  He was an accompanist and adjunct instructor at St. Xavier University in Chicago for many years. Most recently, Dan played with the Lira Ensemble and the Pullman Choir.  He was also an accomplished chef having earned a certificate from Kendall College and he loved to cook.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at St. John's Lutheran Church with Pastor Brauer officiating.  Burial will follow at Patton Cemetery.

A time of visitation will be held from 4 - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center and from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday at the church.

The family encourages his friends to support their local music programs. Other memorial donations may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, March 12, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Celebration of Life Service

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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*Standard text messaging rates apply.

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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