CANTON -- Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Robert “Bud” Daley, US Air Force Retired, a longtime resident of Waddington, passed quietly away among family on December 6, at Partridge Knoll in Canton at the age of 96.
He is survived by five sons, Michael and wife Emme of Mt. Gretna, PA, Robert and wife Christina of Spring Mills, PA, Patrick and wife Carol of Raleigh, NC, Thomas of Denver, CO, and Matthew and wife Beth of Waddington; one daughter, Jane Steiner of Atlanta GA; and twenty grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
His wife of 68 years, Mary “Bev” Daley, died in 2011.
Born in Kingston Ontario, he was raised in and around Cape Vincent, where he excelled as a student athlete in basketball and was his high school league’s champion tennis player.
Although he received a college basketball scholarship, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the outbreak of World War II. He initially served as an instructor pilot, eventually becoming a fighter pilot, flying the nation’s most modern aircraft, including the P-51 Mustang and the P-40 Warhawk. After the war, he was assigned to the Army’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) serving as a special agent in occupied Austria. Upon return to the United States, he transferred to the US Air Force, where he alternatively served as a KC-97 tanker pilot and Air Force OSI investigator. As a KC-97 pilot, he and his crew won the inaugural National Navigation and Refueling Championship in 1958 as part of the Strategic Air Command Bombing Competition.
Upon retirement from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel, he served as the Assistant to the St. Lawrence County District Attorney until full retirement in 1982. He lived in Waddington for 48 years before moving to Canton in 2014.
He was an avid golfer and former club champion at Twin Brooks Club in Waddington. He was also a member of the American Legion for 73 years.
A celebration of his life will be announced at a future date. Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home, Waddington.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.PhillipsMemorial.com