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Rosemary C. Gaughan Daly, 96

Daly Rosemary web

Date of Birth: 05/14/1918

Date of Death: 01/08/2015

Services: Private family services have been held. 

Visitation: There will be no public visitation. 

Rosemary Gaughan Daly, distinguished society hostess, board member, volunteer, wife and mother has passed away after a long illness at the age of 96. Among the many honors she received for her years of service to educational and charitable endeavors were: Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the College of St. Mary; Honorary Member of Alpha Sigma Nu, Creighton University; and Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Married to architect Leo A. Daly Jr., President of LEO A DALY, the renowned Omaha-based international architecture and engineering firm, which was started by his father in 1915, Mrs. Daly traveled the world with her husband until his death in 1981. A board member of the firm, she was actively engaged in its international business activities;  however, she remained devoted to the city of Omaha and returned frequently to volunteer in the city’s major hospitals and to participate in its civic and cultural life. Paying tribute to Mrs. Daly’s accomplishments in 1974 when she was honored by Alpha Sigma Nu, Professor William Heaston of Creighton University, her alma mater, stated that: “She has been notable in the role of student, of mother, of wife and in everything she has put her hand to …… she has been able to shift unobtrusively from the glamorous, colorful social engagements to the long, faithful service of the sick, the lonely, the poor and the unwanted.” The daughter of the Late Mr. and Mrs. Michael Gaughan, and sister of Las Vegas property and hotel legend, the late John “Jackie” Gaughan, Mrs. Daly was born in Omaha on May 14, 1918. She attended St. Mary’s High School and received a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Creighton University in 1939.  She married Leo A. Daly, Jr. in 1941. Mr. and Mrs. Leo A. Daly Jr. traveled frequently throughout Asia and the Middle East. They were joined by their sons Leo and Jack for extended annual visits to France where the family had business interests.

According to Leo A. Daly III, “My mother was an educated, generous, modern woman who was in many ways ahead of her time. Our life with her was an exciting adventure.  She was early patron of the couture house of Yves St. Laurent, and so she took my brother and me to fashion shows in Paris when we were teenagers. Her love of design and fashion influenced us as much as our father’s passion for architecture. Volunteering for causes that were important to her, and her devotion to the Roman Catholic Church, also had a profound effect on us.” Mrs. Daly’s skill as a society hostess and the family’s political connections led to frequent invitations to the White House during the terms of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford and Carter.  When in Omaha Mrs. Daly devoted much of her time to serving as a board member and volunteer. She was board member of over 40 educational institutions and charities. In 1979 she was elected to the board of Omaha Regional Healthcare Corp. after being a Red Cross volunteer at St. Joseph Hospital for 36 years. In 1982 she was elected to the Board of Directors of Creighton University where she continued the tradition of service to the university started by her late husband. She remained a board member of LEO A DALY, which under the leadership of her son Leo A. Daly III, FAIA has grown to become one of the top 25 global architecture and engineering firms. In recent years Mrs. Daly retired from public life due to failing health.

Mrs. Daly was preceded in death by her husband, Leo A. Daly Jr., and their son, John (Jack) Gaughan Daly. She is survived by her eldest son, Leo A. Daly III and his wife Grega Gustafson Daly; her grandchildren, Katherine Gaughan Daly Resor, Alexandra Elise Daly Cott, Caroline Daly Barosso, John Gaughan Daly, Jr.; and her great grandchildren.