With deep sadness, the family of James "Jim" Field Dailey announces his passing due to complications from surgery on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 in Toledo, Ohio. He was 85.
Jim was born on March 24, 1935 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was the youngest of four siblings of attorney Joseph L. Dailey and dancer/choreographer Elizabeth Vogt. The family had moved to their new home in the desert from Indianapolis, Indiana in 1925 to “chase the cure” for Joseph Dailey's tuberculosis.
The family lived in what was then the edge of the city with only the vast mesa for their backyard. His arrival necessitated an addition to the house and during the renovation, a mountain lion entered and prowled through the residence. Fortunately, the wild animal did not discover him as he slept in his crib.
He not only survived the episode with the mountain lion, but miraculously pulled through a near death experience after having his head split open by a rear kick from a pet pony. He and his older brother Joe would frequently sneak into the nearby airplane graveyard at Sandia Army Base to play in the abandoned planes, still loaded with munitions. As Albuquerque began to develop as a city, Jim enjoyed the thrill of walking the roof beams in the new neighborhood construction.
During Jim's early childhood, his mother made a long drive with all her children to Washington, D.C. where they spent several months with Joseph, who was temporarily living there while working in the FDR administration.
Upon his father’s retirement in 1948, the family moved to California, where Jim would later graduate high school at Pasadena Junior College. One of his proudest moments was lettering in seven different sports in one year while attending school there.
His family’s deep Indiana roots led him to Indiana University and he was the fourth generation of Dailey men to pledge Beta Theta Pi fraternity. As he was beginning his ROTC training in Bloomington, he tragically learned that his father, age 59, had died.
Upon graduation with a Bachelor’s Degree in business and officer’s commission, Jim entered the U.S. Army in 1957. He was stationed in West Germany with the 57th Medical Battalion, where he was in command of a hospital train. While serving there, Lieutenant Dailey met a beautiful German woman, Gertrude "Trudy" Pelzner, whom he married in 1958 in Fuerth, Germany.
Jim and Trudy returned to the states in 1959, first settling in Albuquerque with their first-born daughter, Karolyn. Four years later, a second daughter, Constance, was born. In 1965, the Daileys moved to Clearwater, Florida, where Jim secured a job as an officer with First National Bank of Clearwater. His beloved uncle George and wife Irma welcomed the family to the Tampa Bay Area. Jim would later take responsibility and care of his uncle and aunt in their elder years.
Jim served his local community by becoming a founding member of the Clearwater Lions Club in 1968, where he served as president and, along with Trudy, actively participated for many years. He was a 10-gallon blood donor at the area blood bank and would always be available when there was need. Jim was also a lifetime member of the Albuquerque Chapter of Masons.
The Dailey family enjoyed most weekends together boating and fishing. At heart, Jim was a family man. He provided for, cared for, and enjoyed being with his wife and daughters. He patiently attended countless dance recitals, and encouraged participation in various sports. Jim was extremely proud that he provided the means for a college education to both of his daughters. He had a lifelong love of going to flea markets, a passion the entire family shared.
Jim was a passionate golfer. He claimed to have first golfed at the age of five, with his brother Joe, at the University of New Mexico golf course. Later, the two played at the public course next to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. For decades in Florida, he played league golf every Saturday, as a member of the Clearwater Country Club.
When his grandchildren were born, Jim stayed busy building many wooden toys for them at his woodworking bench. He loved being “Poppy” to Erich, Kaleigh and Kirsten. For several years during their early childhood, he owned a “Poppy-mobile” camper, which they all have fond memories of. An early patriarch, he kept in close touch with his extended family, carrying forward the family stories and history.
Jim took an early retirement from banking in 1994. The following year, he lost his Trudy to cancer.
Then he met his new love, Yvonne Rash.
The last 20 years, Jim and Yvonne divided their time between Clearwater and Toledo. They traveled the world together, enjoyed the Kentucky Derby every year, and spent time on Lake Erie in Lakeside, Ohio. They visited family in the Northeast, New Mexico and Missouri, and supported each other in the ups and downs of their respective families. Countless family dinners were spent around tables covered with bountiful food, Yvonne’s delicious pies, birthday gifts, Easter baskets, bubble-blowing, laughter and stories -- solid, special family time.
Through hours of practice during retirement, Jim taught himself to play the piano, though he could not read a note of music; he had a special talent of playing a piece after only hearing the song on the radio. He once surprised everyone at a family gathering in Albuquerque by sitting down to a piano and playing many popular songs from his youth. Until the end of his life, Jim enjoyed practicing and playing daily for Yvonne and himself.
Described as a bit of a character, Jim was a polite man with a fun-loving, mischievous streak. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends but we will have his life stories forever.
Jim leaves daughters, Karolyn (Roger) Barganier, of Saint Petersburg, Florida and Constance (Dr. James Timothy) McKenna, of Norwood, Massachusetts; grandchildren, Erich Barganier, Kaleigh McKenna and Kirsten Barganier; nieces and nephews, Greg Johnson, Bill Johnson, Bert Johnson, Janis Gatschet, Eileen Parker and Cheryl Supple; his loving partner, Yvonne Rash, of Toledo, Ohio; her daughter, Vickie Tucker of Temperance, Michigan; grandchildren, Cory Rash, Kelly (Micah) Starrett, Katelyn (Dan) Murtagh, Kenneth (Chelsea) Rash and Kyle (Nicole) Straube; great-grandchildren, Autumn, Lily, Edison, Audra, Jack, Henry, Nora and Cooper.
Graveside Service and burial will be at Fairview Memorial Cemetery, Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in a plot next to his parents and sisters: Joseph, Elizabeth, Patricia and Pamela.
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