Dr. James M. Daley, 70, of Olathe, KS, passed away on Saturday, September 2, 2017.
James was born on November 25, 1946, in St. Johnsbury, VT to Robert M. and Colombe (Bessette) Daley. His youth was full of love and laughter (and some mischief) as he grew up surrounded by aunts and uncles and cousins. His love of books and reading, a lifelong passion, manifested in his early years. When he ran out of things to read at the small-town library, he read the entire encyclopedia from A-Z.
In his teens, James moved to Jackson, AL, attended Jackson High School and discovered his love of knowledge and his calling to be an educator. He loved attending his 50th high school reunion.
On his first day as a freshman at the University of Alabama he met the love of his life, Marsha Kilgore. He joined Army ROTC and upon graduation was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Transportation Corp. During the Vietnam Era he served 5 years on active duty with assignments in Germany and Korea (thus began a love of travel) and afterwards, 15 years in the Army Reserves. He greatly enjoyed his assignment to the Pentagon two weeks each summer.
Starting his graduate degree while stationed in Germany, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, studying under the professor who had initiated his love of Transportation and Logistics while at Alabama. His teaching career spanned over 40 years and included time at Arkansas, Auburn, Wichita State and John Carroll, and culminated with a Deanship at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. He found his home in Jesuit education. Many of his students referred to him as "Dr. D" and his dedication to their growth of knowledge and as human beings was unending.
James' devotion to his family was foremost in his life. His 48-year marriage to Marsha was overflowing with joy and adventure. As an only child, he embraced his welcome into Marsha's family of four sisters and parents. He loved their daughter, Tracey, with all his heart. The additions of a son-in-law, Tim, and granddaughters, Willow and Zoe, multiplied his joy. The words his family heard every day were, "I love you" and "I'm proud of you."
His love of travel with Marsha never ended, with visits to over 50 countries. He was an active member of Rotary 13 of KC and, upon retirement, James was fulfilled by volunteering with many non-profit organizations including Catholic Charities, Kingswood, Native Sons and Daughters of KC, HEDC, ArtsTech and Salvation Army. He especially loved his time teaching at Fu Jen University, in Taiwan, and serving on the Board of Philpott in Cleveland, OH.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Colombe. He is survived by and will be greatly missed by his wife, Marsha; their daughter, Tracey; son-in-law, Tim; granddaughters, Willow and Zoe; sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 a.m. with visitation from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Church of the Ascension, Overland Park, KS. Interment will take place at a future date in Vermont.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to your favorite University or the charity of your choice.
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