By George Slaughter, News Editor
Dr. Harold Daily, a benefactor of Fort Bend County, died Sept. 13. He was 97.
Daily is the namesake of a forthcoming community center that will sit on a six-acre lot next to the Fort Bend County Pct. 1 Park at 4026 Nails Road in Simonton. Daily in 2016 donated a 68-acre lot of land to the county for use as a nature preserve and community park.
Don McCoy, Fulshear Katy Area Chamber of Commerce president, said Daily offered to donate the six additional acres, and the chamber promised to build a center that where nonprofit groups could meet.
“Often, nonprofits have a hard time finding a place of minimal cost,” McCoy said. “We wanted a place where they could meet at no or minimal cost.”
Playing on the name, McCoy said the center’s motto would be, “A place to learn daily.”
Part of the park includes a baseball field. McCoy said the park hosted a Little League baseball game before Daily died.
Fort Bend County is helping with park maintenance. Pct. 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales got to know Daily only recently but shared fond memories.
“Coming into the new Precinct One area after redistricting and meeting Dr. Daily was one of the highlights of my time here so far,” Morales said. “His passing will be a real loss to our community, yet we are thankful to have the Abe & Lizzie Daily Park to remember him by. I am very thankful for the short, but meaningful time that we were able to get to know each other.”
The community center will be built thanks in part to a $25,000 Helen Walton Grant from the Walmart Foundation to the newly formed Fulshear Katy Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
When the grant was announced in March, McCoy said the center would be a place for community gatherings, chamber activities, and classes.
Employees at Walmart, 26824 FM 1093, put in and tracked volunteer hours as part of a Walmart-chain competition for foundation grant money. The competition included completed paperwork describing how the grant money would be used.
Letisha Smith, Walmart store manager, said she received word of the award last November, just after she began working at the store. She said the store and its associates were committed to continuing the community service activities they had begun.
Smith said store associates selected the charity with which they wanted to work when the grant money arrived. McCoy said local Walmart managers spoke with chamber officials on how they might work together. From there, the idea to develop a community center came about.
The Helen Walton Grant is the largest prize of those given by the foundation. Only one is given out amidst all the grant money. Helen Walton was the wife of Sam Walton, the chain’s founder.
The center will have a small park as part of the lot, which will be named Helen Park in honor of Walton.
McCoy said Daily left a mark.
“Meeting Dr. Daily, you just never forget just the way he would come in and shake your hand,” McCoy said. “I felt I knew him for years the first time I met him. He’s just that kind of guy. It’s just amazing what this man has done with his life. He became a key person of influence not only in the community, but in the world.”
Daily was preceded in death by his brother Abe Jr. and sisters Robbie Daily and Sylvia Phillips. Daily is survived by his wife, Joyce, whom he married in 1955. Also surviving Daily is their daughter, Laura, who is a journalist in Denver, and his sister, Dorothy Bemel.
A graveside service for Daily was held Friday at El Memorial Park in Houston. The family requests memorial donations be made to Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber Foundation, P.O. Box 42, Simonton, TX 77476, in support of the soon-to-be-built Dr. Harold Daily Community Center.
Correction: The print edition of this article incorrectly identified Vincent Morales in the caption and as the source of the photograph. The Times regrets the error.