Dave Siatta considers himself very blessed to grow up in Chicago during the mid to late 1950’s in a strong traditional neighborhood. Just across the street lived a family relative, Bill “Moose” Skowron, who played for the world famous New York Yankees. This was the era of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and many other Baseball Greats wearing the pinstripes. Naturally Dave set his sights and dreams on being a big league baseball player.
That was until the 12th of February in 1961, when David’s Uncle Chester took him down to The Chicago Stadium to see his first hockey game between the Blackhawks and The Montreal Canadiens.
Passed down to Dave were the stories, traditions and history of “The Flying Frenchmen”. Out on the old Stadium ice that day were hockey immortals, Jean Beliveau, Jacques Plante, Henri Richard, Bernie Gefferion, Doug Harvey, Dickie Moore, Pierre Pilote, Stan Mikita, Al Arbour, Moose Vasko, Robert Marvin Hull and Glen Hall. From that one day with a loving Uncle, a burning passion and dedication to Our Game began that continues to this very day.
Dave began to play Our Game in the places that teach all the important lessons, in the alleys with kids of all ages. From there to the frozen ponds and parks of the Chicago Park District with little or no equipment and rules passed down by what is known as “The Old Code”. That “Old Code” taught the lessons of discipline, playing with pain, and learning it did not matter “Who was Right”, but it always mattered “What is Right”!
As a member of the Gordon Tech High School Hockey Team in 1969, Dave played his first game on “artificial ice” at Rainbo Arena, on Clark Street near Lawrence. While working and taking classes for college, Dave volunteered as the Assistant Coach for Steinmetz High School. Both Gordon Tech and Steinmetz were original members of the Chicago Metropolitan High School Hockey League and soon Dave was a Team Representative and volunteer for many committees for the League.
Watching the officials during games and tournaments, Dave thought he could help out by learning the rules and duties of officiating. In 1973, he registered and passed the test to become an approved official for The Amateur Hockey Association of the United States. For the next 41 seasons Dave laced up his boots and pulled on the sweater to officiate games of all levels.
Dave officiated many years in the International Hockey League and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. He was selected for multiple State, Regional and National Tournaments. All of this while continuing to skate here at home with all games from Mites to Juniors. Dave would go anywhere at any time to officiate so the kids could play their games.
While working on his career, raising his children with Marcelle, officiating all levels of Our Game, Dave volunteered to instruct for Coaching and Officiating Clinics and Seminars. Dave became a Certified Instructor and never missed a Seminar Season for over 30 years. On top of that schedule, Dave was elected to many terms as a Director for the Officiating associations here in Illinois.
Currently, Dave owns his own business, Advanced Fitness and Mobility Systems USA. He is humbly proud of the accomplishments and success of his daughter, Nicole and son, Mark, and still in love with his wife of 38 years, Marcelle.
Dave Siatta, truly described as a Real Hockey Person in Heart and Soul and one of the Honoured Members Inducted into The Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Categories: Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame