George Daly personified the term “gentleman.” At 96 years of age, his heart tuckered out, but he remained gracious and witty up to the end. During a brief stay in Providence hospital he charmed the love out of every nurse he came in contact with. As a telling example of his sense of humor, the 73-year-old in the bed next to George’s had to walk by the end of George’s bed to get to the bathroom and when he did so holding the back of his hospital gown closed, George, barely awake, said, “You don’t have to take the bus home, do you?”
George was born in Leavenworth, Wash. to Sam Daly and Mabel Hinman Daly at a time when the streets were unpaved, the town was full of railroad tracks, and there were no sign of lederhosen. His family was in the business of building lumber mills and they moved around a lot. His child-at-play memories centered around Leavenworth, Omak and Goldendale. (For George’s own story of early life and logging in the Okanogan country visit http://placeandmemory.org/index.php?title=Disautel,_Wa).
As a small boy, in a field up the Chumstick Creek, he saw the first plane to land in the Leavenworth area. Maybe it was a rough landing because George didn’t have much interest in flying in his later years. He did have a lifelong love of fly fishing and caught his share of trout in at least 47 rivers of the Western U.S. Once, he even caught a very surprised Mallard duck in his back cast. He let that one go. His favorite job was planting trout for the Washington Fish and Game Department back in the 1930s. It is possible the descendents of his plantings still inhabit most of the lakes in the state. He was on Lake Washington for the first experimental drop of fish from the air. They came down in five gallon cans and mostly survived.
George had many occupations. At the ripe old age of 14 he got a job monitoring river flow gauges and was given a car for the purpose, much to the envy of his friends and classmates. At his retirement, he had been a ship inspector for many years, but in between, he had also been employed as a fish biologist, surveyor, game warden, milkman, chef, graphic artist, logger, truck driver, oil delivery man, parking garage attendant, illustrator, traveling salesman, poultry farmer, baker, builder, airplane technician, draftsman and interior decorator.
George graduated from Seattle’s Lincoln High in 1933. George lived in many cities in Washington (Seattle, Silverdale, Monroe, Kirkland, Spokane, Bothel, Edmonds, Ballard, and Green Lake) and California (Alturas, Mill Valley, San Francisco, Oakland, Orinda,
Berkley, Concord, Walnut Creek, Sonoma, Vineberg, Napa, San Helena, San Diego, and Corte Madera). He also lived in Portland and Baker in Oregon and Pascagoola and Moss Point in Mississippi-as well as, Washington, D.C. and Point Pleasant, W.V. Besides fly fishing, he enjoyed painting with watercolors, reading mystery novels and long road trips by car.
He was married three times, but had no children. His wife of 25 years, Mada Hamar Daly, passed on in 2007 at age 101. He is survived by countless friends and family, including his sister Marjorie of Silverdale and his brother Dick, of Fossil, Oregon. George called them both on the phone every day. He was an uncommon man who’s favorite expression was “Next is different.”