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Date of Passing: May 16, 2019

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After a short illness, Jim passed away in the morning hours on May 16, 2019, at the age of 92.
He had a truly remarkable life of community involvement and service that spanned over 65 years. As a young man, he was an avid runner and set many provincial records at a time when runners competed on cinder tracks. He continued his love of sport all his life by coaching at various times with track clubs, at the University of Manitoba and much later, in his 80’s, with a local high school long after he had retired. He always talked about how much he enjoyed coaching the many kids he met there.
Jim was instrumental in bringing the 1967 Pan Am Games to Winnipeg and became the Games’ Executive Director. Because of his mantra - total community involvement - it was a highly successful Games. After that he worked at the University of Manitoba in the Phys. Ed. department as a coach and lecturer. Later, Jim founded the University of Manitoba Department of Private Giving, which successfully raised money for University of Manitoba, for their many capital projects. In Jim’s honour, in 2015 the University renamed the indoor Athletics Facility the James Daly Fieldhouse. Over his entire career and well into retirement, Jim took on many volunteer jobs and enjoyed many accomplishments, including the Manitoba Marathon, the Canoe-athon, and working on the Indigenous Games and with United Way.

Jim sat on the board of the British Commonwealth Games for many years and served as the Chef De Mission for two games. He was also an avid tennis player and served on the board of Tennis Canada for eight years. Dubbed “Mr. Track and Field,” Jim received many awards over his lifetime, but he was always a modest man. He was inducted into the Order of Manitoba in 2000, and made an Officer in the Order of Canada in 2001; he was also inducted into both the Manitoba and Olympic Hall of Fame.

Jim leaves his wife of 65 years, Barbara, and their four children: Tim, daughter-in-law Berrin (Fisekci) and their two sons, Kyle and Sean; daughter Robin Flynn, son-in-law Brian, and their two children, David (and his wife Sarah Klassen) and Jessica; son Jeff, daughter-in-law Calla (Wilson) and their two sons, Chris and Tom; and his son Brian. He also leaves his great-granddaughter Hailey Flynn.

Jim was fortunate in that he found his passion and was able to pursue it all his life, supported constantly by his wife Barbara. He loved sports for the healthy habits they nourished in people. While he coached track and field at the Olympic level, he was happiest when someone achieved a personal best. Later in life, Jim and Barb bought a cabin at Victoria Beach and spent winters in Arizona.

Jim was well known for decades in the Winnipeg sports scene and had many friends of all ages.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be announced at a later time.

If so desired, donations can be made at the University of Manitoba, where Jim had set up a scholarship fund under his name for aspiring track and field athletes.

Not only did he give to the community, he also gave a lot to his family. We will miss him and will be forever grateful for all he did.

Bardal Funeral Home

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 23, 2019

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • I first met Jim Daly at the Provincial High School Track & Field Championships when I was just starting out as an athlete. He convinced me to come run for the U of M and coached me for a few years. I always remember when I first got there, Coach McCubbins and the team would run to Labarriere Park, work out, and run home. I couldn't run that far, so Coach Daly would give me a ride, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go. As I developed in the sport, he always encouraged me. As I left the sport as an athlete, he recruited me again to coach at Fort Richmond. And as I moved into sport administration, he was always sharing with me new ideas to get more Manitobans involved. A great leader in Athletics, a great person. He will be missed. - Posted by: Rob Guy (Coach / Supporter) on: May 29, 2019

  • Jim came into my life in 1954 when he was recruiting runners to train for track and field at Kelvin High School. He and Malcolm Murray were active track coaches at Sargent Park and played a big role in encouraging and developing the careers of many athletes at that time. He gave freely of his time and expertise to inspire young people in Manitoba and North Western Ontario. Not only was he a coach but he helped many athletes to further their education by helping to secure Track scholarships in the U.S. He and Barb were a wonderful team as they befriended many athletes and always made us feel welcome in their home. He will be missed and I offer my sincerest condolences to Barb and family. Mert Smith and Mary Champion - Posted by: Mert Smith nee Hardy (Track and Field - 1954- 1957 Sargent Park) on: May 29, 2019

  • Jim Daly was a coach, mentor, teacher, and friend who was instrumental in making a difference in the life of many, including mine. He was a pioneer and an innovator in the development of track and field in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and beyond. He will be remembered for his passion for athletics and for a legacy of sport facilities which are still enjoyed today, and for his belief in all athletes, from novice to elite. My sincere condolences to Barbara and their children and grandchildren. Jim will be missed but long remembered by countless youth to whom he generously gave his time and attention. Thanks to the Daly family for sharing such an outstanding man with so many. - Posted by: David Fitzpatrick (Student athlete, friend) on: May 27, 2019

  • Our city and track community have lost a great man. Jim Daly has touched so many individual's lives through his willingness to help our community as a coach, volunteer, and administrator. He has made Winnipeg a better place. When I attended the Faculty of Physical Education at the U of M, I was a member of the university track team from 1968-72, I was fortunate to have Mr. Daly as my coach, He also helped me find summer employment at the U of M while I was a student. I will always be thankful for this help. It was always a pleasure to meet him over the years whether it was at a track meet or in the community. My sincerest condolences to his family. - Posted by: Linda Puttaert (U of M track athlete 1968-72, U of M Phys Ed grad, High school track coach) on: May 26, 2019

  • Jim Daly or the “Silver Fox” as we passionately called him on the track team circa 1980 was a wonderful and caring person who truly believed in his athletes. I probably would not have gone to university if not for a brief chat with Jim at our Manitoba high school track and field championships about joining the university team in the fall. He was always available to his athletes no matter how busy he was raising funds for the university and I remember walking into the U of M Administration Building where his office was located. Jim would simply tell his administrative assistant to hold his calls for the next 30 minutes because one of his athletes was there to see him. I also remember his positivity when we performed below our level at a track meet. He would step us aside and let us know how proud he was of us, the things we did well, and the things we needed to work on at practice the following week. I have seen Jim over the years and he will never be forgotten. My condolences go out to the family because Jim truly touched our lives and will never be forgotten. - Posted by: Victor Moge (U of M Track Team circa 1980) on: May 24, 2019

  • As a summer university student I worked at the Pan-American Games Office. Jim Daly was the amazing Director. Throughout my business career he offered thoughtful advice when needed, and he loved to keep me up to date with what his children were doing. The many awards and accolades that came to Jim over the years were never a surprise to me . A wonderful friend and mentor. Rest peacefully . - Posted by: Mary Trueman (Friend) on: May 23, 2019

  • Anne and I offer our condolences. Jim and I have talked at length about the Pan-Am games and sports in general and the positive effect sports has on youth. He truly made his mark. - Posted by: Syd and Anne Cohan ( Vasa Lund neighbours) on: May 23, 2019

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