Former model Grace Daly of Locust Valley dies at 94

Former 1930s high-fashion model Grace Elizabeth Guinee Daly

Former 1930s high-fashion model Grace Elizabeth Guinee Daly of Locust Valley is pictured. (Credit: Daly Family Photos Handout)

In the 1930s, Grace Elizabeth Guinee Daly graced the magazine pages of Life, Look and Ladies' Home Journal, her family said.

She shot fashion reels for Movietone News and was a runner-up in the Miss New York beauty pageant.

"Bette" loved glamour, hats and the feeling of walking the streets of Manhattan in high-heeled shoes, they recalled.

This mother of six and the guiding force of the family died of natural causes Saturday at Glen Cove Hospital at age 94.

"She was pretty up until her very last breath," said Erin Daly, one of 16 grandchildren.

Growing up in the Daly family was not average. The children were shuttled around from shoot to shoot, sometimes showing up in ads, other times watching from nearby as their mother worked the camera.

"We were always being hustled off to photo shoots," said eldest son Jeremiah Daly, 75, of Hampton Bays. "I guess we enjoyed it. It was kind of interesting."

Born in Long Branch, N.J., then-Grace Guinee grew up in the Bronx. At 13, the family moved to Jackson Heights.

At 17, she met Jeremiah Daly. It was 1935, and the two eloped that year in Armonk.

Kids came soon after, and in the 1950s, the family moved first to Douglaston and then to Locust Valley, where Grace Daly lived until her death. Her husband died in 2004.

Her family said she was known for her sewing skills -- making bridesmaids' dresses for family weddings, creating her own dresses from the fabric of her brother's discarded suits and stitching together clothes for the kids.

Most of the time, the children wore shorts because their trousers too often came home with holes in the knees. "She made us all shorts -- ended that problem," Jeremiah Daly said.

Smart, dedicated and motivated, she did the books and payroll for one son's restaurant business and advised grandchildren to get good jobs with pensions and retirement offerings.

"My grandmother was very strong," said Erin Daly, 49 of Lindenhurst. "She was very kind. She was very smart, well-dressed, classy. She was always very distinguished, but loved her Budweiser."

In addition to Jeremiah and Erin Daly, she is survived by sons John Daly of Hampton Bays, and Brian Daly of Hancock; three daughters, Joan Herschlein of Bayville, Bette Daly of Locust Valley and Kathleen Daly of Bethpage; 15 other grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at McLaughlin Kramer Miegel Funeral Home, 220 Glen St. in Glen Cove.

Mass will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, 235 Glen St. in Glen Cove.

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