American Veteran 04
Official Obituary of

John James Daley

August 23, 1929 ~ March 6, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

John Daley Obituary

John James Daley, 94, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2024.

Born to “Gorgeous” George and Agnes (Boyce) Daley of Brookline, John arrived along with the Great Depression, which imprinted the rest of his life. Predeceased by cherished sibling, Mary Agnes and best-dog-ever, Duke, John enjoyed a freedom unknown to modern children. He roamed Brookline’s streets and woods by day, and raced home when the streetlights beckoned.

On the eve of his 18th birthday, John encountered young beauty, Ellen Spieler, at St. Mary of the Mount’s carnival. Ellen declined his request for 18 birthday kisses, but John’s charm, good looks, and persistence eventually carried the day. They married in September of 1952 and went on to raise four high-spirited daughters.

As a newlywed and young father, John served in the US Army after World War II and set his agile brain to a statistical analysis of hospital efficiency in Landstuhl, Germany. When he returned to Pittsburgh, the GI Bill, supplemented with hard labor in the steel mills, enabled him to attend the University of Pittsburgh, gateway to a successful 30+ year career with Westinghouse. Early in his career, Westinghouse plucked John to manage Human Resources at Jackass Flats Nuclear Test Site in Las Vegas, Nevada. He relocated his young family to work, traipse about the desert, and calculate blackjack and crap table odds. After returning to Pittsburgh in 1966, John rose through the ranks of HR at Westinghouse.

John retired early enough to enjoy the world with Ellen by his side. They were fierce supporters of the Mt. Lebanon High School football and basketball teams. In rare spare time (between John’s hobbies of treadmill and weight training, collecting and dismantling Corvairs, maintaining his Mt. Lebanon house—including regular forays onto the roof), they visited far flung daughters in New Mexico, Arizona, Erie, and Virginia. They traveled and encountered lions in the wild in South Africa, thrilled to bagpipe players in Scotland, wandered the sidewalks of Barcelona and Paris, and kissed the Blarney stone in Ireland.

John and Ellen thrived most in their role as grandparents of seven. They attended sporting events, musical gigs, and their granddaughter’s New York City Ballet performances. John’s considerable wit, creativity, eccentricity (and tendency to instigate wily card games) earned him their well-deserved adulation.

After Ellen passed in 2014, John rallied for his final decade of life. In 2018, he moved into Friendship Village Independent Living and was proud to maintain that independent status until the very end.

John is survived by four daughters: Kathleen White, Eileen Arthurs (Richard), Janice Daley (Peter Dubois), and Jennifer Smallshaw (Gary); seven remarkable grandchildren: Sean White (Laura), Faye Arthurs (Ryder Washburn), Samuel Arthurs (Likolani), Ian Arthurs (Aimee), Taylor Smallshaw, Michael Smallshaw, and Rowan Dubois; and seven stellar great-grandchildren: Leila, Anna, Rhett, Brooks, Bronson, Rafe, and Kaipo.

John’s curiosity, quirky sense of humor, love of music, and penchant for fun are among his rich legacy. In lieu of flowers—which he regarded as transient investments— please support the American Diabetes Association and/or the caring angels at Gentiva Hospice. Rest in peace, John Daley. You have made your mark in this world, and we are grateful and better for it.

Family and friends will be received at Frank F. DeBor Funeral Home, 1065 Brookline Blvd., 412-561-0380, on Monday only, 2-4 p.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, at 11:30 a.m., in the Church of the Resurrection (St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish).  Private burial will be in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John James Daley, please visit our floral store.

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March 11, 2024

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Frank F. DeBor Funeral Home
1065 Brookline Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

Mass of Christian Burial
March 12, 2024

11:30 AM
Resurrection Church/St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish
1100 Creedmoor Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15226


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