In Memory of Donald Daly

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Sadly, Don Daly passed away on October 19, 2022, after living 100 years of life to its fullest. He will be remembered as a beloved husband to Madeleine (nee Thrasher) for 79 years, a devoted father to Eric, Dennis and Maureen, a kind and loving Grandfather to Heather, Colleen, Sheelagh, Shanna, Kira, Nola, Jacqueline and Jonathan, Great-Grandfather to Elise, Philp, Nathalie, Finley and Maeve, as well as caring older brother to Helen.

Born August 23, 1922 in Edmonton, Alberta, Don was the second of five children born to William and Ellen (nee Anderson). Jack was the eldest, followed by Don, Iris, Bill and Helen. He was predeceased by Jack, Iris and Bill. His father had been born in Ireland and Don was proud of his Irish roots and researched the genealogy of the Daly family tree.

Although Don started public school in Calgary, the family moved to Regina when he was in Grade 2 and the balance of his public school and high school were completed in Regina. While studying at Regina College, Don met his love, Madeleine. They were engaged when he moved to Kingston where he completed his B.A. and B.Com. at Queen’s University in 1943, at the age of 20. Upon graduation, Don joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve from May 1943 to September 1945. He served in action on convoy duty on the Canadian east coast, and was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant. Don spoke to many audiences about his naval experiences and participated in the Memory Project in schools. In September 1943, while on leave, he went to Regina and married Madeleine on September 18. After the war, he completed his Masters at Queen’s and then in 1953 graduated with a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, the top economics department in the U.S. at that time. 

Don spent 22 years in Ottawa with the Canadian federal government’s the Economics Branch, Department of Trade and Commerce, the Royal Commission on Money and Banking and with the Economic Council of Canada. In 1969 he moved the family to Toronto and joined the Business School at York University and taught there until retirement. He was active in research, with a focus on studies on Japan. While with the Graduate Business School at York University Don made nine trips to Japan totaling about nine months of time. 

Throughout his life, Don was a regular church attendee actively involved in churches and the community. This included the Emmanuel United Church in Ottawa, Forest Grove United Church in North York, and Holy Trinity Church in Thornhill. He would assume leadership roles, including treasurer, steward, long-range planning committees and Bible study groups. Don and Madeleine were faithful in church attendance and support.

Don has always been an avid camper and fisherman. He loved his time at the trailer in Haliburton and at the Franklin Fishing Club in Mount Albert where he was on the Board of Directors for seven years as treasurer, and acted as Chairman for one year. He loves to travel and in addition to Japan, he and Madeleine travelled to all 52 States and European countries, Australia and New Zealand. Their children and grandchild have inherited their love of travel and adventure. There are many who have stories of Don’s love of fishing, the outdoors, gardening, cooking and his devotion to family. Over the years there were many family celebrations – milestone birthdays, anniversaries and family weddings – Don was happiest when surrounded by his family and friends. He was a loyal and true friend to many. His quiet manner, sense of humour, his constant smile, his generosity and love will be missed by all those who knew him.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Don’s legacy ~ his long and incredible life ~ will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Church, 140 Brooke St, Thornhill, L4J 1Y9. Light refreshments to follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in memory of Dr. Donald Daly, be made to charities that Don generously and passionately supported, such as: Holy Trinity Church; Queen’s University; and York University.

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