James Thomas Dailey, Jr. Esq., age 93, of Kingwood, passed away peacefully at Preston Memorial Hospital on May 27, 2018.
Jim was born on February 19, 1925, in Kingwood, a son of the late James T. Dailey, Sr. Esq. and Nancy Catherine Pugh Dailey.
Jim was a Presbyterian by faith. He graduated from Kingwood High School in 1942 and then attended Potomac State College. Wanting to defend our country in WWII he enlisted in the Marine Corp in 1943 and trained extensively for the invasion of Japan but of course was never deployed. He then attended Rochester University and Case Western Reserve University. He graduated from WVU School of Law in January of 1949. He was a knight of Kappa Alpha Order at WVU.
Jim practiced defense law with his father in Kingwood until becoming Preston County Prosecuting Attorney in 1953 and held that office until 1964. Practicing defense law with the firms Dailey, Halbritter & Smith and Dailey & Miller. He then spent eight years as assistant prosecutor, specializing in juvenile abuse and neglect under Virginia Hopkins and Randy Goodrich. He returned to public defense with Dailey & Bolyard until his last merger with McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner, to bring a wider diversity of law services to Preston County.
He was a member of the Preston County Bar Association (Past President), West Virginia State Bar (Former member of Board of Governors), American Bar Association, West Virginia Prosecuting Attorney’s Association (Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998), West Virginia Bar Association, and Association of Trial Lawyers. In 1996 he was appointed a delegate to the National Symposium on Juvenile Justice.
Jim was a humble gentleman but he mentored many a young lawyer and is held in high esteem by most for his wealth of information, love of teaching and belief in abiding by the rules of ethics. As a young attorney he was privileged to have two of his cases featured in True Detective magazine, helped to found the West Virginia Prosecutors Attorney’s Association and helped to draft the first Pattern Jury instructions for West Virginia Judges.
Apart from work and family time, he was crucial in bringing about innovative change to Preston County. He partnered and brought the first radio station, WFSP, to Preston County just as his father had brought the first theatre. He worked hard to bring about the building of Preston Memorial Hospital, Kingwood Community Building and downsizing the Preston County Commission to name a few.
Early on his hobbies included, golf and bird hunting but his true passion was fly-fishing, which he continued sparingly into his 80’s. He was the Secretary-Treasurer of Muddy Creek Recreational Club for 64 years and believed in the ecological maintenance of fresh water streams for native trout and other fish. He was also a past president of the Preston County Club, a lifetime member of Trout Unlimited and the Ruffed Grouse Society among many others. He enjoyed attending WVU Mountaineer football games with his family and watching sports.
Jim is survived by his loving family including daughters, Kyle Dailey O’Hara, of Napa, Calif., Catherine M. Dailey, of Boulder, Colo., and Lisa Dailey-Reckart, of Kingwood; grandsons, James Patterson, of Eureka, Calif. and Thomas Dailey Reckart, of Valley Point; granddaughters, Caitlin Bennink, of Chula Vista, Calif. and Kyleen Dailey Reckart, of Kingwood; great-grandchildren, (twins) Ronan Dailey and Penelope June Bennink, of Chula Vista; sons-in-law, Michael Mays, of Crab Orchard, and Greg Reckart, of Kingwood; grand son-in-law, Dr. Justin Bennink, of Chula Vista; special friend Susan M. Sisler, of Cranesville, and nephews, David, Daniel, Christopher, Patrick and Michael Noel and families, as well as Gregory Britton, of Morgantown, and Franklin E. Wolfe, Jr. of Pleasantdale.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his wife, JoAnne Britton Dailey, of Kingwood; his oldest daughter, Kimberly K. Dailey Mays, of Crab Orchard and sister Nancy Patricia Noel, of Oxford, N.C.
Jim’s wishes were to be cremated and then interned at Maplewood Cemetery in Kingwood. Visitation will held at the Browning Funeral Home from 2-7 p.m., on June 29. A memorial service will be at the Kingwood Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m., on June 30 with Minister James Riggs officiating.
Memorial donations on his behalf can be made to the Thomas Wendell Perrill Scholarship Fund c/o Clear Mountain Bank, 330 East Main St., Kingwood, WV 26537 and the P Pendleton Kennedy Chapter of Trout Unlimited, c/o William Pennington, 260 Eastland Ave., Morgantown, WV 26505
Browning Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the Dailey family.