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Obituary: John W. Daly

Dedicated Firefighter

John W. Daly, 82, of Levittown, a 49-year member of the Wantagh Fire Department died May 4, 2011 after a long illness.

“Captain Jack,” as he was affectionately known, started his career with the Wantagh Fire Department on March 26, 1962 and was assigned to Engine Company 4 in the north zone. He served with Engine 4 for 26 years and later transferred to Fire Police in 1988 until his death.

In 1968 he attained the rank of lieutenant and held that position for two years to become captain in 1970. He served until 1973.

In 1974 Captain Jack was elected as Company 2 president and served in that capacity until 1975. On May 1, 1982 he was elected to serve as Company 2 treasurer and held that position for some 10 years. He resigned that position on April 30, 1992 only to be appointed as department treasurer on May 1, 1992. He served in that capacity until April 2006, some 14 years.

He was a member of the Volunteer and Exempts Firemen’s Association of Wantagh and also served as its treasurer from 1999 to 2011. Jack was a delegate to the South Shore Fireman’s Association;, the Nassau County Fireman’s Association, the Southern New York Fireman’s Association and served on many committees within the Wantagh Fire Department. For many years was a fixture on the Fund Drive Committee as well as the Installation Committee.

During his tenure with the Wantagh Fire Department he received three awards, all “Unit Citations,” the propane gas truck incident on Route 135, the Avianca airplane disaster and for the Suffolk County brush fires.

Jack was born in Brooklyn and raised in Garden City where he attended local schools. He graduated from Chaminade High School and entered Saint Francis College in Brooklyn where he attained his BBA.

In 1950, during the Korean War, Jack was drafted into the United States Army and assigned to the 322nd Signal Battalion, 5th Corp. Fortunately he never went to Korea but was stationed with the “Army of Occupied Germany.”

It was in Germany where he met his wife Irma Schafer. They returned together to the States and in August 1954 they married, settled in Levittown and raised two boys, John and Frank. After some 55 years of marriage Irma passed in 2009 leaving a hole in Jack’s heart. He loved her dearly.

Due to his military experience and training Jack took a job with New York Telephone Company and worked for them for 34 years, even during the various takeovers of that company. In 1959 he returned to college attending Hofstra University under the GI Bill and attained his MBA.

Captain Jack was waked at O’Shea’s Funeral Home in Levittown on May 10 and again on May 11. A Firematic service was held on Wednesday evening with full fire department honors.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at Saint Bernard’s RC Church in Levittown on Thursday morning followed by internment at Calverton National Cemetery.

Captain Jack is survived by his two sons, John and his wife Nancy of Levittown and Frank and his wife Maureen, along with four grandchildren, Christopher, Lindsay Anne, Stephen and Brian of Sound Beach, NY; a brother, William, and his wife, Elizabeth of Hauppauge; and a goddaughter Kerry Beth of California.

On a personal note; in the 40 years that I have known Jack I have never seen him say a bad or cross word about anyone. He was a true gentleman, conscientious, quiet, private man. He never burdened anyone with his problems and all who knew him, loved him. He gave freely of his time to the Wantagh Fire Department, will be missed and never forgotten. He surely didn’t deserve the suffering of this past year as cancer wracked his body. May he rest in peace and God Bless you “Captain Jack.”