Michael (Mike) Francis Daly, 65, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., passed away Feb. 14, 2022.
Michael was a loving husband, father, and son who lived life at full throttle. His passion for flying, sports, politics, business, and the outdoors led to six decades of exploits that took him across the country and the globe. He teetered back and forth on opposite ends of life’s extremes. His arrogance matched his big heart. His hard work matched his hard play. He always enjoyed a straight shot, whether it was with a golf club, a rifle, or a glass. His adventures created stories that will be told for years to come.
Michael graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim, Calif., in 1975. He was a star baseball player and football player. He played baseball at the University of Portland on a full-ride scholarship, and later played football at Cerritos College. He eventually received a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Cal State Fullerton. Michael commissioned in the United States Marine Corps and became a naval aviator, receiving his wings in 1983. He flew CH-46 helicopters and rose to the rank of captain. He deployed to Southeast Asia, conducting training operations in such countries as the Philippines and Australia. He was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and later became a flight instructor in Pensacola, Fla. Michael separated from the Marine Corps in the mid-90s. During his time in the Marines, he received a master’s degree in business administration.
In his 40s, he attended and graduated from the California Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s of science degree in Marine engineering. In 2003, the Military Sealift Command activated his ship, SS Cape Isabel, to deliver military supplies to Kuwait in support of the Iraq War. He sailed for nearly 20 years and rose to the rank of second assistant engineer. He was well respected by his peers in the industry.
He started his own business in real estate, becoming a landlord and property manager.
Michael is preceded in death by his mother, Narda. He is survived by his father, Frank Daly; his wife, Dr. Susan Laing (Captain USN Retired); his sons, Shane and Kyle Daly, and their mother, Elisa Dilabio; his brothers: John Daly, Robert Daly, Kevin Daly, and David Daly; his sisters: Linda Daly, Carol Spelman, Karen Sewell, Marianne Marks, and Lora Daly; and by his brothers and sisters in law. Michael is also survived by many nephews and nieces who cherished his greetings of “Meow”, loved listening to his many tales about the Marine Corps, Merchant Marine and his many life adventures. They all benefitted from his support and mentoring.
Michael enjoyed hiking, running, rowing, golfing and shooting guns. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell tall tales, many of which were true. Mostly he loved being outrageous and provocative. Whether you were a friend, family member, classmate, teammate, brother in arms, shipmate or a random homeless person on the street, Michael left an indelible impression on everyone he met. He will be greatly missed.
Memories of Michael will be shared at an open gathering at the Yorba Linda Community Center, 4501 Casa Loma Ave, Yorba Linda, on March 9 at 7 p.m. Services will be held on March 10 at 10 a.m. at Saint Martin De Porres Church in Yorba Linda. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting friends donate to Servite Baseball Fund a Friar @ https://www.servitehs.org/giving/baseballfaf