Zenon Lukosius, a World War II veteran, became known for being one of six surviving members of the U.S. Navy crew that captured the German submarine U-505 in 1944.
The Museum of Science and Industry has hosted a re-enactment of that event since it opened an exhibit of the submarine in 1954.
Jamie Phillipi, head of external affairs at the museum, said nearly 24 million visitors have come from around the world to view the popular exhibit.
Lukosius, a Silver Star recipient, took an avid interest in the exhibit and often could be seen talking with museum visitors about his role in the submarine capture.
"I think he was proud of that," Phillipi said.
Diane Siadek said her father grew up in a very close family on Chicago's far south side, with two brothers and one sister.
While a motor-machinist mate aboard the U.S.S. Pillsbury, he was part of a team that captured the enemy submarine. He saved the U-505 from sinking by rushing into the sinking submarine and closing a valve to stop more water from rushing in.
As a result of the capture, the Navy gained valuable knowledge and was able to crack some of the German codes.
Following his service to his country, he worked in construction for 37 years, and his work took him as far across the globe as Saudi Arabia . He also worked in the United States on projects including McCormick Place in Chicago.
During his senior years, Lukosius enjoyed volunteering for Thornton Township's senior luncheon program and also found pleasure talking to children in District 150 about the U-505 capture.
Lukosius kept in shape by walking four miles three days a week and walking to go shopping.
David R. Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry lauded Lukosius' heroic efforts and his involvement with the historical exhibit.
"Zenon will be forever missed but never gone from this museum. His story and his spirit have captured this exhibit, and will live on for generations to come. He is and will always be a hero to each and every one of us."