Robert Ward Daly, M.D., of DeWitt, died on Sunday, July 4, 2022, at the age of 89. Bob was born in Watertown, New York, on October 1, 1932, to Robert J. and Margaret Ward Daly. In Watertown he met Elizabeth Mary McCarthy and they were married in 1958. Their marriage lasted 52 years until her death in 2011. They were wonderful parents to their five children. After Liz’s death, Bob took up poetry and published many poems about his grief. Through the writing and sharing of his inspired, concise poems, Bob found a worthy outlet for his loss and reflections on life, while bringing joy and comfort to others.
Writing and scholarship were central to Bob’s life. He was a 1950 graduate of Watertown High School, attended St. Lawrence University under an accelerated pre-med program and received his BS from St. Lawrence and medical degree from the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse in 1957. Anyone who knew him heard endless stories of his internship at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Bronx, NY, in 1958, where he was on the front lines of the influenza pandemic.
Bob finished his residency in psychiatry at Syracuse in 1961 and joined the Strategic Air Command as a captain at Barksdale Air force base in Shreveport, Louisiana. He rejoined the SUNY Upstate Department of Psychiatry in 1964 and served as a Professor of Psychiatry and Bioethics and Humanities, and as a clinical psychiatrist, for forty years. He remained an emeritus professor and honorary member of the staff of University Hospital until his death. Bob was the first chair of the University Hospital Ethics Committee and of its Ethics Consultation Service. In 1978, he co-founded the Consortium for the Cultural Foundations of Medicine - now called the Consortium for Culture and Medicine. He was a founder of the Institute for Ethics in Health Care, a community-based organization he led from 1995-2004. From 1999- 2012, he served as an examiner for doctoral dissertations in philosophy and social sciences at Syracuse University. Bob was a visiting scholar in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (King's College) and a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lectured in Europe, China, and throughout the United States. Bob received many academic awards and published widely in the fields of medical ethics, the nature of madness, and psychiatry.
Bob was a communicant of Holy Cross Church for nearly sixty years. He was a standout tennis, hockey, and baseball player in his youth and continued to coach and defeat younger opponents in those sports into his 70s. He enjoyed family gatherings, fishing, boating, and nature at his beloved camp on the St. Lawrence River. Like his father, he loved to putter around his camp property performing overly-meticulous and ineffective chores. Although devoted to “the North Country” of his birth, he also enjoyed travels in Ireland, England, China and Northern Europe.
The family wanted to give him a Viking funeral in his cherished Lyman wooden boat, but Bob honored the rule of law and custom, so he will have a Catholic funeral and be buried next to his beloved Elizabeth in Holy Cross cemetery. Bob is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Kendra and Peter Winkelstein of Buffalo and Lauren and Stephen Wallace of Syracuse; his sons and daughters-in-law, Robert and Qiangwei Daly of Ellicott City, MD, John Daly and Mary Mab FitzGerald of Rochester, and Erik and Kathleen Daly of Manlius; and his grandchildren, Devlin (Maya), Camden (Christina Lee), Nathan (Lindsey Jacks) and Susan Winkelstein, Rachel Wallace Morse (Scott), Erik and Hannah Wallace, Isaac, Matteo and Claire Daly, Carolyn and Robert Daly, and Ryan, Benjamin and Tavish (Elizabeth) Daly. He also was blessed to know six great-grandchildren: Corin and Liam Winkelstein, Leo and Robin Morse, Lucas Winkelstein, and Emma Winkelstein. He is also survived by his dear brother, John Lawrence Daly of Baldwinsville, NY, and his sister-in-law, Rita Pellizzari Daly. Their children Rebecca Daly Martin (Patrick) and Bartholomew gave Bob loving care in his later years. Bob has innumerable friends and cherished Daly and McCarthy cousins, nieces, and nephews who mourn him as well. His energy, warmth, and wisdom will be missed by all that knew him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 9, 2022, at Holy Cross Church, 4112 East Genesee Street, DeWitt, with burial to follow at St. Mary's Cemetery. Calling hours are Friday, July 8, 2022, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 East Genesee St., Syracuse, NY. Bob, like his wife Elizabeth before him, has asked that in his memory family and friends support and participate in the work of peace and justice in their homes, communities, country and world. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Thousand Islands Land Trust (tilandtrust.org) in Bob’s name.