The parish at 9837 S. Throop St. in Washington Heights announced his death on its Facebook page Monday evening. Mallette was pastor of the parish from 1977 until his retirement in 2009.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Rev. Daniel Mallette. Funeral arrangements are pending. We will post them as soon as they become available," the Facebook post read.
Mallette, a former boxer, made fighting for inclusion a priority throughout his ministry. He marched with King and befriended those who moved into the racially changing neighborhood surrounding his parish, according to a Sun-Times report.
In 2011, he was dragged out of bed and beaten in a robbery at the parish rectory. A former altar server and his half-brother demanded money from Mallette and reportedly asked the priest to pray for them during the attack.
After the beating, Mallette fought to stay at the parish. He even waged a bit of feud with both his successor and Archdiocese of Chicago officials who lobbied to put him into a retirement home for both his own safety and to allow the new pastor to establish himself.
Today a great man transitioned from his worldly form and is now w/our heavenly Father.God Bless and Rest in eternal Paradise, Fr. Mallette pic.twitter.com/QO0FpudGHp— Patricia Smith (@pattys66) March 27, 2017
In a 2009 interview with Catholic New World, Mallette said he always wanted to be a Catholic priest and that his biggest hero was the Rev. Martin Farrell, who was "the first guy who said, 'Let’s let black kids in our schools and have people from the South take instructions to become Catholic.'”
"From grammar school on, I got a sense from my folks how screwed up the world was on racial injustice and hatred," Mallette said.