I was recently informed by FMM Mike Day that his brother FMM Dan Day passed away yesterday after suffering a severe stroke a few months ago. He fought a tough road to recovery but his body just could not survive the battle.
Dan is the reason why I am a Cavalier. He and I were neighborhood buddy’s and went to grade and high school together in the late 60’s and 70’s. We together joined the school band in 6th grade. One day during rehearsal he turned to me and said “hey, you’re getting pretty good. Ever heard of the Cavaliers?” I said no and we kind of moved on. A few months later my family and I were down in Springfield IL for the State Fair. As we walked by the horse race track we heard “bands” playing in the stadium. We also noticed them pulling kids out on stretchers in full uniform due to heat stroke. It was very hot and we were looking for shade so we went in to check it out and cool off. Turned out this was the VFW State competition.
As we were eating and watching, we saw both Joe (Pete) Boyle (a neighborhood guy we knew and long time Cavalier promoter) and Dan walking up the stairs together. Joe was a former Chi-Angel from our ‘hood, Old Town in Chicago. I saw Dan tell Joe something and point to me. Joe said hi to me and he went straight to my parents. After about a 15 minute discussion Joe and Dan left. About a month later I was practicing with the Cavalier Cadets somewhere in Park Ridge… or the Notre Dame High School parking lot not sure. The rest, as they say, is history.
Everyone says that one decision in your life can change it forever. I can tell you that that brief conversation between my parents, Joe and Dan in Springfield changed it forever. Without that, I would not be a Cavalier. I wouldn’t have met Kyra, FMM Suncoast Sound and my wife of 15 years before she passed away and I wouldn’t be living where I live today with our beautiful daughter, Samantha.
Dan marched in the Cavalier Cadets from 72-75, Cavaliers from 76-78…. I think, maybe 79… although we lost track of each other through the years as our lives moved on from our childhood, we reconnected while marching in The Alumni Corps. After 30 years, we were again playing trumpets side by side and sharing stories of our youth. I will now cherish that time together even more.
I will miss him dearly……
– Mitch Skowronski
Service information is below:
Wake from 3:00PM – 8:00PM on Friday July 2nd, 2021.
Smith Corcoran Funeral Home
1104 Waukegan RD
Glenview, IL 60025
Church Service will be on Saturday morning.

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