Philip "Phil" Manford Daily, age 95, of Brighton, Colorado, passed on February 22, 2021.
Phil was born in Akron, Colorado on September 20, 1925 to Harold and Bertha Daily. He was the youngest son of seven children. Phil grew up in Brush, Colorado during the Great Depression. Upon graduating from High School in 1943, Phil started college in Greeley, Colorado. He enlisted into the service on September 17, 1943.
Phil entered the United States Army Air Corps on December 27, 1943. His desire was pilot or navigator bombardier training. Depth perception issues prevented pilot training so Phil was trained as a tail gunner of a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. As a Staff Sargent, Phil served with the 463rd Bomb Group, 772nd Bomb Squadron of the 15th Air Force. On October, 12, 1944, while on his 25th and final mission, Phil and his flight crew were shot down over Bologna Italy. Phil was captured by German soldiers. SSGT Daily was listed as missing in action. He was marched from Bologna, Italy to Gross Tychow, Poland to a prison camp. He stayed in the camp for over 4 months. In February, 1945, the Russian Offensive threatened to advance on Germany. Phil and other prisoners were ordered to leave the camp on foot. The march of these prisoners was called 'The Winter March'. While many prisoners of war did not survive the march, Phil was one of the lucky ones. The march spanned 86 days and an estimated 600 miles. Phil was released from captivity May 1945.
Phil received an honorary discharge from the United State Army on December 26, 1945. Seventy two years after being released from the Army, Phil received the Prisoner of War Medal. On February 5, 2019, five Colorado World War II veterans were awarded the Legion d'Honneur (Legion of Honor) Medal from the French government. Phil was one of the five veterans award the medal.
After being released from the Army, Phil traveled Europe and the United States. Phil then returned to Colorado and enrolled in college. He graduated from the University of Colorado – Denver with a degree in Business. Phil met his wife Jeanette Covello while working as a door-to-door salesman.
Phil and Jeanette married in Denver on January 14, 1951. They moved to Brighton, Colorado in 1955. With help from a dear friend Herman Ginther, Phil started his own business, Daily's Appliance store. He owned and managed his business for 48 years.
During those years, Phil and Jeanette raised three daughters, Nancy Daily McLean, Janet Daily Adams and Phyllis Daily Rutherford.
Phil and wife Jeanette shared a value of participating in the community. Phil served on the Brighton Fire Department first as a volunteer fireman for 20 years, then on the Brighton District Board of Retired Fireman for 8 years. He was a member of the Brighton Jaycees, Elks, Appliance Dealers Association and Optimist Club. He became President of the Optimist Club and held the position for over 20 years.
One big Optimist community event was the annual fishing derby. With fishing being a childhood and adult love, the ability to offer this day to families and children of the community was a personal delight and joy for him. Any child who enjoyed fishing around Brighton likely benefited from the work Phil and the Optimist club offered to the community.
On July 28, 2012, Phil received the 'Community Service Recognition' in appreciation for outstanding and dedicated volunteer service. Phil was a friend to many in the community. He also serviced many with his caring volunteer services. Phil was also an active member of the Zion Lutheran Church where he served as an usher for many years.
Upon retirement, Phil stayed involved with the family business. He spent time with his family at their Big Elk cabin fishing and enjoying the Big Elk community and events. The rest of the year, Phil enjoyed fishing in Mexico and Alaska, and hunting with friends and family. Phil and his wife Jeanette loved to dance and were always out dancing on Saturday night's or in the living room dancing to Lawrence Welk. Phil enjoyed traveling with his family. Many good trips and adventures will always be remembered by all. Phil also loved to play cards. He would play with anyone anywhere. The last few years you found Phil hosting poker games once a month at his home.
Phil now reunites with his beautiful wife, Jeanette and grandson, Spencer Potter. Left to remember the wonderful memories of their parents are: Daughters - Nancy (Dick) McLean of Brighton, Janet (Chris) Adams of Golden, Phyllis (Dane) Rutherford of Parker; Grandchildren – Gavin McLean, Jereme (Stacy) Koehler, Richele (Darren Gaschler) Koehler, Rob Adams, Janelle Groce, Jena (Don) Schmidt, Sean (Lori) McLean, Michele (Scotty) Perkin; Great grandchildren – Grayson and Aiden Gaschler, Kaden and Kamden Groce, Ella and Carly Schmidt.
Funeral Services honoring Phil will be on Friday, March 5, 2021, beginning at 11:00 a.m., at Zion Lutheran Church, 1400 Skeel Street, in Brighton, CO.
Tabor Funeral Home, Brighton, CO handled arrangements. Share memories and condolences at TaborFuneralHome.com