John J. McAleese saved Katherine M. Mahlmeister and helped to save Mary Jane Kokal from drowning, Verona, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1957. While wading in a swimming pool, Mary Jane, 16, got into water beyond her depth and, unable to swim, flailed her arms wildly to stay afloat. Mrs. Mahlmeister, 17, entered the pool and swam to her, but, in an ensuing struggle, Mrs. Mahlmeister lost consciousness. McAleese, 47, surgeon, was alerted; after running 350 feet to the scene, he dived into the pool fully clothed and swam to Mrs. Mahlmeister, then in water eight feet deep. He grasped her by the arm and swam to the surface near Mary Jane, who was then about to sink. Without releasing Mrs. Mahlmeister, McAleese supported Mary Jane until another man arrived and aided her from the pool. With effort, McAleesse towed Mrs. Mahlmeister to a corner of the pool, where the other man aided him in removing her from the water. Although fatigued from his efforts, McAleese administered artificial respiration to Mrs. Mahlmeister for nearly 40 minutes, after which she revived; she was then under the care of a physician for four days. Mary Jane suffered temporary nausea, and McAleese also suffered nausea as well as muscular soreness. All recovered.
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John J. McAleese, 62, who retired in 1967 and moved to Hilton Head Island, S.C., after practicing surgery in Pittsburgh for 33 years, died on Dec. 15, 1972, in Savannah, Ga.
McAleese was a Pittsburgh native and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. He was a member of the American College of Surgeons and a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, among other professional memberships.
A World War II veteran, he won the Legion of Merit.
(Edited from an obituary provided by a family member.)