Humanitarian John Daly of Melbourne Village is Renaissance Volunteer, Assists Brevard in Several Ways
By Space Coast Daily // October 26, 2020
Space Coast Daily Honors Selfless Volunteerism
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – You could say John Daly is a Renaissance volunteer, for the multi-talented resident of Melbourne Village helps the community in very different ways.
First, let’s take a look at his background. With degrees in math and law, Daly was a practicing attorney…and a software engineer.
But, wait, there’s more! Because graduate degrees in math and law were not enough, John went for a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
“I guess I never figured what I really wanted to do,” joked Daly.
The combination of experience prepared Daly not just for bifurcating career paths but also proved fortuitous for his volunteer endeavors since Daly has given considerable time to helping the clients of Brevard County Legal Aid, as well as fighting to save the historic gem of a house known as Green Gables.
Even after taking an engineering job in 1982 at Harris Corporation, Daly maintained his law credentials so he could help the low-income clients of Legal Aid to resolve issues impacting them.
He has given so much of his time and expertise to the nonprofit that, in 2019, he was named Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for the Space Coast.
John’s appreciation for historic structures grew from the antebellum houses he fondly remembers from his childhood in Central Virginia.
In 2007, he joined the group of volunteers dedicated to saving Green Gables, home to the Wells family, who helped shape early Melbourne with significant gifts of money and land for buildings such as the auditorium, library and hospital.
As president emeritus and member of the advisory board, John has been influential in keeping the house from being razed to make way for development and to reshape the property into an educational facility for future generations.
Now semi-retired, Daly is a Florida-certified family mediator, helping families to settle differences without having to go through the emotionally wrenching and expensive divorce court.
Add piano restoration to his list of achievements, too. He is currently restoring a reed organ for Lawndale, a historic home in Cocoa. For his efforts, Lawndale will trade a period-appropriate player piano to be used at Green Gables.
According to John, whatever your passion, there is always a chance to give of yourself.
“I want to encourage more people to volunteer,” he said.