Tracey Elizabeth Thanos, 55, devoted mother, sister, daughter, and friend, died on Thursday, December 12, 2019 in Broward County, Florida, as the result of injuries she sustained in a tragic pedestrian accident. She leaves behind her three daughters, Macy, Maris, and Madden, her daughters’ father, Erich Muellner, her sister, Cleo Thanos, her father, Nicholas Thanos, and countless others who loved her and will miss her deeply. She is preceded in death by her mother, Kathy Brownell.
Tracey was born in San Antonio, Texas on Lackland Air Force Base and eventually rose to the position of Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (SSA OIG). Tracey grew up in South Bend, Indiana and lived in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1986.
She began her career in government service in the United States Secret Service (USSS) with the Forensic Services Division and eventually moved on to the Domestic and Foreign Intelligence Branches. In 1996 Tracey was recruited by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (SSA OIG), where she excelled as a special agent in the Washington Field Division. In 2000, Tracey was selected as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the SSA OIG Chicago Field Division, and in 2015, she was appointed as the Special Agent in Charge, one of the few women in federal law enforcement to occupy such a senior post. Tracey was known through the OIG for her strength and steely determination, and as the agent who knocked out her opponent when boxing at the training center!
Tracey's professional life as a law enforcement official exemplified her devotion to the cause of justice and her warrior spirit. Her family and friends recognized her fierce loyalty to them as well. Tracey will be remembered as someone who lifted up those around her with unwavering support and love. Her emotional steadiness helped those around her navigate the world. Tracey was kind and dependable--someone who would show up to support you at 2 a.m., no questions asked.
Tracey’s three daughters brought her the deepest joy; loving them was the central focus of her life. There was nothing that made Tracey more proud than watching her girls grow, explore and succeed. She talked about her children constantly, with admiration, respect, and awe. She was their fierce protector, relentless supporter, and patient and loving comforter. Tracey was brave, confident, intelligent, and highly accomplished. But of all her many accomplishments, Tracey found her deepest purpose in mothering Macy, Maris and Madden. It was the role that defined her.
Tracey died a hero. In keeping with her wishes and the generous spirit with which she lived her life, Tracey’s organs and tissues will benefit as many as 250 people. In her final hour, she saved lives. Blessed are the people who carry Tracey inside, for like her friends and family, they now possess a strength that cannot be measured.
Tracey Elizabeth Thanos was a beautiful, strong woman who lived an extraordinarily meaningful life. But if the measure of a life is how many people remember you with love, Tracey will live far beyond her years. For her family and friends, it has been a privilege to have called Tracey ours, if only for this brief time, and we will remember and think of her every day of our lives.
Two memorial services will be held in Tracey’s honor:
1) Friday, December 20 from 4-8pm
7751 West Irving Park
2) Monday, December 23 from 11-1pm
1pm Memorial Service
Kaniewski Funeral Home
3545 North Bendix Drive
South Bend, IN 46628
Meal and memory sharing to follow at St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church Hall
52455 N Ironwood Rd
South Bend, IN 46635
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Transplant Foundation. Please share your memories of Tracey at https://www.kaniewski.com/notices/Tracey-Thanos.
(Copy and Paste this for Link) Even Superheroes Need Help Sometimes - American Transplant Foundation
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