Robert M. Daly

Robert M. Daly. M.D.

Robert M. Daly, M.D., 76, passed away Oct. 16, 2011, with family and friends by his side, at his Darien, Conn., home.

He was the former commissioner of mental health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and served as the first deputy commissioner of mental health and alcoholism for New York City under Mayors Beame and Lindsay.

In 2000, Dr. Daly was named Physician of the Year for the Millennium by the Greater Bridgeport Medical Society for his contributions to the practice of psychiatry and to the community. He had served as chairman of psychiatry at Park City Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn., from 1981 to 1993 and chairman of psychiatry for Bridgeport Hospital from 1981 through 2001. He helped to establish Bridgeport Hospital’s department of psychiatry and was involved in the creation of the area’s first hospital-based day program for patients with emotional problems. In 2001, he retired from Bridgeport Hospital and took on the role of associate psychiatrist at Silver Hill Hospital. He was also a visiting assistant professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Southold, on the North Fork of Long Island, was where Dr. Daly summered, surrounded by a large extended family. His love of action began here and led to his excelling at sports, including skiing, sailing, tennis and running. On Feb. 13, 1956, Dr. Daly was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, caught in mid-stride at New York’s Madison Square Garden as a lead-off runner representing The College of the Holy Cross in the one-mile relay. He holds the track and field record for the 220-yard low hurdles at Holy Cross and competed regularly in the Millrose Games. His love of sports was without season and he was always accompanied by a cadre of friends. “Dingle” Daly’s love of life was guided by his faith and extended to his joining the choir of St. John’s Parish in Darien.

Bob was predeceased by his wife, Joyce Romano Daly, whom he devotedly supported in sickness and in health; his parents, Thomas F. and Genevieve T. Daly; his brother Donald T. Daly; and his brother-in-law, Dr. Ralph Romano. He is survived by four children: Kristen Daly and her husband, CC Lagator, and daughter, Morrissey Joyce Lagator, of Boulder, Colo.; Kathryn Daly of Santa Monica, Calif.; Robert Jr. and his wife, Sarah, of New York, N.Y.; and Matthew Daly of New York, N.Y. He is also survived by his loving companion, Barbara Griffin; his brother and sister-in-law Thomas F. and Joyce Daly of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; his sister Genevieve D. McGrath of Southold, N.Y.; his brother and sister-in law David M. and Marilyn Daly, also of Southold; his sisters-in-law Carole Maimone of McClean, Va., and Alexandra Nichols of New York, N.Y.; and 39 nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and -nephews.

Originally from Pelham Manor, N.Y., Dr. Daly graduated from The College of the Holy Cross and received his M.D. from Georgetown University. He did postgraduate work at a number of institutions, including Jersey City Medical Center, Seton Hall University, St. Vincent’s Medical Center of New York, the Payne Whitney Clinic of New York-Cornell Hospital and the William Alanson Institute of Psychoanalysis. He was a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, serving both in Korea and at the Fort Ord, U.S. Hospital in California as assistant chief of psychiatry.

After military service, Dr. Daly was in private practice in New York City and was director of hospital services at Soundview Community Mental Health Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has held academic appointments at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Penn State, The Medical College of Pennsylvania, Albert Einstein, Ithaca College, The National University of Seoul (Korea), Cornell University Medical School, Hahnemann Medical College and the department of psychiatry at Yale Medical School.

Dr. Daly’s research projects included work on magnesium levels in schizophrenia, iron metabolism and free amino acids in the brain. He was an associate editor of The Journal for Bronx State Hospital, has authored many papers and studies dealing with various aspects of clinical psychiatry and has lectured extensively.

He was president of the Fairfield/Litchfield Chapter of Connecticut Psychiatric Society (1985) and has been a member of that professional organization as well as the Connecticut Psychiatric Society, American Medical Society, Connecticut Medical Association, Fairfield Medical Association, Bridgeport Medical Association, American Association of General Hospital Psychiatrics, American Psychiatry Association, Pennsylvania Psychiatry Society, American Association of Psychiatric Administrators and a Founding Fellow of the American College of Mental Health Administrators. He was appointed to many roles, some of which were to the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board, chairman of Region I Directors of Psychiatry, and was a consultant to The Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Dr. Daly’s wisdom and the joy in his laughter will continue to impact his patients, colleagues, professional and personal communities, and his unwavering dedication to his children, family and friends, which had no end, will continue to strengthen and support them.

A wake will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 20, at Edward Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien, Conn. A funeral Mass will be held Friday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m. at St. John Catholic Church in Darien.

Memorial donations may be sent to The Connecticut Hospice, 100 DoubleBeach Road, Branford, CT 06405 or Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, 239 Fingerboard Road, Staten Island, NY 10305.

This is a paid notice.

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