John L. Daly III

Jan 04, 2021
John Daly III

Belfast — John L. Daly III, 68, passed away peacefully at home Dec. 28, 2020, after a determined and inspiring fight with pancreatic cancer.

The son of John L. Daly Jr. and Anne (Mickler) Daly, John was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in Washington Heights long before Lin-Manuel Miranda made the Heights famous. John and his friends played ball in the streets and had many adventures, such as walking over the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey and back when they were about 10 years old. John and his sisters loved spending rainy Saturdays at the New York City movie theaters. Not one for commitment and confinement, John disliked kindergarten, and one day he left school and walked home, crossing Broadway at a light with other pedestrians.

Later the family moved to Mahopac, N.Y., where John and his friends enjoyed the freedom of riding bicycles all over town. After high school, John first enrolled at Manhattan College. Wanting to explore another area, he spent his sophomore year at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. John graduated from Manhattan College with a bachelor's degree in English.

After college, John managed a condominium in Florida, worked on tugboats in Boston — even helping to dock the QE2 — and sailed on an oil tanker. Next he embarked on a 20-year career with IBM in Fishkill, N.Y., Irving, Texas, Sterling Forest, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt. In 1999, John moved to Maine to work in the IT department at MBNA in Belfast and Camden, where he met his wife, Gretchen. John worked in IT at Verso Paper in Bucksport, before retiring in June 2011. He enjoyed the good friends he made in the IT department, as well as watching the paper-making process.

While John enjoyed downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking and kayaking, his passion and raison d’etre was cycling. During the past 45 years, John logged thousands of miles on his bicycles, including cycling along the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Worms, Germany, in 1979, and cycling trips to France and Italy with friends. He rode up several of the iconic Tour de France climbs, including Alpe D’Huez and Col de Galibier in the Alps, and Mt. Ventoux in Provence. John made many trips to Ireland to cycle, sightsee, and visit relatives.

John also enjoyed century (100-mile) rides. In Texas, he rode the Hotter Than Hell Hundred out of Wichita Falls; the ROSREV from Dallas to Tyler; and the Grand Prairie to Grandbury century ride. In Vermont, he rode in the Mad River Century several times. John also enjoyed the Five Borough Ride in New York City. He did the Trek Across Maine with an MBNA IT department team and participated in the Rizzo Ride in New Hampshire with his nephew, Peter Delano.

With his love of adventure, John visited 14 countries, nine of them with Gretchen. Their last trip was a riverboat trip up the Rhine River, just before John’s cancer diagnosis in 2018.

John was a beloved husband, son, brother, uncle, stepfather, step-grandfather and friend, who was cared-for and supported during his illness by his loving wife and best friend, Gretchen.

Predeceased by his parents, he is survived by his wife, Gretchen; his sisters, Barbara Carroll and her husband, Wayne, of Marlboro, N.Y., and Margaret Delano and her husband, John, of Rockport; his sister-in-law, Jennifer Asher, and her husband, James, of Glenwood, Md.; 11 nieces and nephews and their spouses/significant others and children; three stepsons and their wives and children; and four longtime friends who faithfully stayed in frequent contact and supported John during his illness, Tom Bakken of La Grangeville, N.Y.; Paul Tibbetts of Palm Coast, Fla.; Al Demarco of Marlboro, N.Y.; and Robert Gurtner of Rockville Center, N.Y.  John appreciated support from cousins and many other good friends as well.

The family would like to thank the doctors and staffs at Waldo County General Hospital, Pen Bay Medical Center, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, especially Dr. Elizabeth Connelly, for their compassionate care of John.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 81 Court St., Belfast, Thursday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance is limited to 50 people. The funeral Mass will be livestreamed on Facebook at facebook.com/stbrendanparishmaine (or possibly at YouTube, youtube.com/c/stbrendanthenavigatorparishofmaine, which will be noted on the Facebook page).  Interment will be in Grove Cemetery, Belfast, in the spring.

The family suggests gifts in John’s memory be made to The Maine Cancer Foundation at http://mainecancer.org, or the Good Shepherd Food Bank at gsfb.org.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at longfuneralhomecamden.com. Arrangements are with Long Funeral Home, Camden.

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