KEEVIL DALY Has passed peacefully, at the age of 87, at the Veterans Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, after a strenuous battle with myelofibrosis and leukemia. Keevil Daly was born in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) on December 21, 1923. His parents were Birch and Sarah Daly. He was the first black graduate of Ryerson Polytechnical when it opened its doors in 1948 as a Royal Canadian Air Force serviceman. He was married June 25, 1955 to Vivian Thomas McGuire in Toronto, Ontario. Keevil was a well-known and respected weightlifting and bodybuilding champion of British Guiana and Canada in the 1940's and 1950's, during a time of deep seated racism. He won Canada's first gold medal at the Empire (now Commonwealth) Games in Vancouver, BC in 1954. He was Mr. New York State and Mr. Metropolitan New York simultaneously in 1947. As a merchant marine, he survived being torpedoed during WWII on the Canadian ship SS Lady Nelson. While stationed in Europe with the Royal Canadian Air Force, Keevil Daly won weightlifting championships in Germany, Canada, Denmark, and Sweden. Keevil played jazz piano, was a fan of Oscar Peterson's music and enjoyed cabinet making. He is survived by his three loving daughters Janis, Dawn and Danielle Daly; two sweet granddaughters Sheerah and Sarah, love of his life Vivian, and adopted 'son' Deryk Maxwell. He outlived three younger siblings; brother Desmond, sisters Evelyn and Betty and is survived by two brothers Leland and Selwyn. Other Daly family members are in Canada, the United States, Brazil, England, Germany and Guyana. A memorial celebration of Keevil Daly's life will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 11 a.m. at the Simple Alternative Funeral Centre, 275 Lesmill Road, Toronto (east off Leslie St., south of Hwy. 401, 416-441-1580). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made, in memory of Keevil Daly, to the Salvation Army and the Veterans Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital. Thank you to the entire medical and service staff at the Veterans Centre at Sunnybrook for providing a second home to Keevil during his long illness. Your loving care was deeply appreciated. Dad, we will miss and love you forever.
Published in Toronto Star on Jul. 9, 2011.