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James "Jim" Dailey '68 November 26, 2018 10:07 AM updated: November 26, 2018 10:09 AM

Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 26, 2018

James Dailey(1938 - 2018)
James Andrew Dailey
James Andrew Dailey, 80, died in a Beaumont hospice after a battle with an autoimmune disease and then bladder cancer. He was born in Houston on May 17, 1938, the first of five children to Dr. James Emerson Dailey and Catherine Igoe Dailey. He enjoyed an idyllic childhood on Reba Drive where lifelong friendships were formed.
Jim graduated from St. Thomas High School, and from Texas A&M University eleven years later. In between he had many adventures, including studies at Notre Dame, surveying in Alaska, service in the United States Navy Pacific Fleet, and a life-changing blind date in Galveston, TX in 1966. An A&M classmate, Maggie Bains, introduced Jim to his future wife, Melanie Coburn.
In 1968 Jim began work in Palacios, TX for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department as a marine biologist. Joyous to rise each morning, he continued for 29 years, helping to monitor Matagorda Bay's ecosystem. Jim remained in Palacios where together with his wife, Melanie, they raised their children, regularly attended St. Anthony's Catholic Church, supported community and school activities, and enjoyed lifelong friendships.
Later in his career, Jim helped pioneer saltwater fly fishing on the middle Texas coast, often speaking on his passion around the state. His joy and enthusiasm attracted many others to the sport, and to revere all forms of wildlife around Texas.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers-in-law Sam Thomson, Paul Stallings and Neil Coburn.
He leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Melanie Coburn Dailey of Palacios. He is also survived by his children and their spouses; James Kevin and Angela L. Dailey of Spring, TX, and Drs. Karen Bains Dailey and Jorge A. Hernandez of Beaumont, TX.
Jim's four sisters all survive him; Margaret Dailey Stallings of Houston, Sandra Dailey Thomson of Eagle Lake, TX, and Catherine Ann Dailey and Caroline Dailey Hunt, both of Willis, TX.
Other-in-laws surviving Jim include Steve Parker Coburn and wife Victoria B. Coburn of Dallas, and Dr. Keith A. Coburn and wife Victoria B. Fayle of Baytown, TX. Nine nieces and nephews also survive their favorite Uncle Jimmy.
Jim leaves behind five cherished grandchildren, all of whom he introduced to their Grumpy's favorite outdoor activities: Lauren Elizabeth Dailey, Brooke Larkin Dailey, Alexis Emerson Dailey, Beatrice Sofia Hernandez-Dailey and Ruben James Hernandez-Dailey.
James Andrew Dailey was a joyous, kind, and funny man. Generous to the end of his life, he donated his remains to the Texas A&M College of Medicine Willed Body Program.
Jim will be memorialized on December 1st, 2018 at a funeral mass at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, located at 1004 Magnusson Avenue in Palacios, TX. Instead of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jim's memory to the Matagorda Bay Foundation, 15918 CR 946, Brazoria, TX 77422, (361) 781-2171,
Funeral Home
Taylor Bros Funeral Home
2313 Ave I Bay City, TX 77414
(979) 245-4613

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