- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2005

Joan M. Daly, 89, retired teacher

Joan Masterson Daly, a retired schoolteacher, died Jan. 15 at her home in Alexandria after a long illness. She was 89.

Born in Brockton, Mass., she attended Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass., and as a young woman enjoyed considerable success as an actress and monologist. In the midst of the Depression, she earned $100 per performance. She decided to switch from acting to teaching when her father died, and she had to support both herself and her mother.

She worked her way through Radcliffe College, graduating in 1937, with a major in French literature.

She began her career teaching Shakespeare to a class of reform-school boys who had already vanquished three other, more experienced teachers.

After several years of teaching English to non-felonious high school students in Brockton and earning a master’s degree in English literature at Harvard University, she was recruited to teach in Great Neck, N.Y.

In 1949, she married J. Harvey Daly, then an executive in charge of personnel for Giant Food in the District, who later went into business as an arbitrator of labor disputes.

For several years, Mrs. Daly worked as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, preparing the China section of the President’s Daily Briefing.

In the 1960s, Mrs. Daly became a home teacher, working for Prince George’s County schools teaching junior high and high school students who were too sick or too injured to go to school.

Mrs. Daly spoke five languages — English, French, Italian, German, and Swedish.

In addition to teaching some of these languages, she also taught several subjects including history, biology, chemistry, calculus and civics. Eventually, she became the head administrator of the county’s home-education program — a position that she held until she retired in 1980.

After retirement, she and her husband traveled widely.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Daly was active in service to her community, teaching Sunday school and working actively to help the poor, as she cared for her husband, who was afflicted with vascular dementia. For 20 years, she was a daily communicant at Sacred Heart Church in Bowie. Later, she was a member of Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria, where she moved in 2000 to live with her twin daughters.

She is survived by her daughters, Anne Carson Daly and Maura Aiken Daly, both of Alexandria. Her husband of more than 50 years died in 1999.

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