K. Daniel Haley, 83 of Waddington died Feb. 8 at the Highland Nursing Home, Massena, where he had been a patient since August 2007.
Mr. Haley was the assemblyman for St. Lawrence County from 1970 to 1976 and the first Democrat elected to the New York State Assembly from northern New York.
Haley was born May 25, 1929 in Ogdensburg to Reverend Leon and Mrs. Virginia Haley of Bucks Bridge. Reverend Haley, a native of Bucks Bridge, was an Episcopal missionary in Montana in the early 1900s and minister of St. Phillips in Norwood from 1931 to 1945.
Haley’s mother was a Fulbright Scholar and long-time professor of English in Japan who published many books used to teach English to Japanese speakers.
He is survived by his daughter Isabel Filiz and his son-in-law Ferde Filiz plus two grandsons, Adam and Luka, all of Saratoga, California. Dan’s marriage to Maureen Marigliano DeMonte ended in divorce in 1967.
His parents, his only brother Frank, his ex-wife and his cousin Ruth Haley of Potsdam predeceased him.
After graduating as valedictorian from Madrid High School in 1945, Dan went to Harvard University, graduating in 1949. From 1951 to 1954 he was a member of the US Foreign Service holding the post of Vice Consul in Saigon, Vietnam. He attended U.S. Air Force Officers Candidate School in 1955 and served in intelligence in Korea, the Philippines and Japan until 1957. He was with U.S. AID as deputy training officer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil until 1960. He continued to work in Brazil as a businessman and real estate developer until 1968.
When Dan returned to the North Country in 1968, he was asked to run for Congress, a campaign that did not succeed, but in 1970 he was successful in running for the New York State Assembly.
Dan was a visionary in the energy field and was among the few in public office to recognize early that a sustainable supply and use of indigenous energy sources would be keys to a thriving economy in New York and especially in northern New York. In 1973 he was appointed Chairman of the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy by the New York Assembly and the Senate where he oversaw a staff to look at technology and other means of creating, conserving and efficiently using energy. He subsequently sponsored several energy bills. In 1975 he sponsored and worked to pass the bill that created the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Dan had a grand vision for NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority in terms of developing projects for wind, wood and solar energy that would directly benefit the residents of New York.
He believed strongly that foreign development of our natural resources was not in New York’s best interest and pressed to have a state authority develop these resources. He also wrote legislation to create a “circuit breaker bill” to assure that people of limited income would not lose their homes due to high real estate taxes. That idea eventually became the STAR program. In the early 70’s Mr. Haley worked with Senator Hubert Humphrey to promote employees being able to purchase stocks and to have a voice in the companies in which they worked.
From 1977-78 Dan endeavored under Governor Mario Cuomo to create employee stock ownership options for workers in New York.
After his time in Albany, he bought and operated tertiary oil wells, and developed real estate projects in Oklahoma and Texas. He maintained his residence at Waddington although he spent winters in Daingerfield, Texas until 2007.
Dan was deeply interested alternative medicine. In 2000 to 2007 he worked full time on alternative medicine and often spoke on the radio, television and at dozens of conferences throughout the country.
Calling hours are Wednesday afternoon from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at the Phillips Memorial Home, Madrid.
Funeral services will be Thursday, Feb. 14, 11:00 am at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with Deacon Arthur Garno officiating.
Interment will be held in the spring in Madrid Cemetery, Madrid.
At the family’s request memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley.