Oct. 21 memorial mass for George Daco, 53: Jaycee, Knight, builder and friendLong-time New Yorker George B. Daco passed away on September 30 at Westlake Medical Center in San Pedro, Laguna due to multiple organ failure. He was surrounded by his family.
George had been in declining health over the past few years. During his last six months in New York, he had been shuttling between various hospitals and rehab centers in Manhattan and Queens.
In July 2014, George was at his home when he fell in his room and was unconscious for nearly two days. Penn Baluyut, a Jaycee and a member of the Knights of Rizal, found him and brought to the hospital. He then rallied friends to come together to provide George with spiritual, moral, financial and emotional support by taking turns to be with him during his medical confinement for four weeks.
By early August 2014, doctors at Long Island Jewish Hospital finally declared that George’s medical condition was terminal and that he would have a limited life span. He was transferred to the Franklin Rehabilitation Center in Flushing, Queens. It was during this time that close friends reached out to his siblings in the Philippines to come to New York to bring George home to spend his remaining days with them after being away for so many years. It was also this time that friends realized that George would not ever be back to his home in Queens.
George was born on Dec 11, 1961 to parents Benjamin and Nora Daco. He went to San Sebastian College for his secondary education and then finished his Architecture degree from the National University. George worked for a few years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before moving New York in 1986. He settled in Hollis, Queens, his home for the past 28 years.
George had built and renovated many homes throughout the Tri-state, and trained many immigrant workers, many of whom have started their own construction trades. He co-founded the Society of Philippine Architects and Interior Designers (SPAID), which established professional networking for FilAms involved in the design and construction industry.
It was at this time that George became involved in many community organizations including the JCI Philippine-New York and the Knights of Rizal New York Chapter where he was Chapter Commander from 2001 to 2003, and was a member since 1997. He was also an active volunteer in the annual Philippine Independence Day Celebration.
George is survived by his five siblings: Dr. Albert Daco (married to Dr. Ellen Daco), Carol Daco-Sy, Cecille Daco-Albuero (married to Abet Albuero), Pastor Franklin Daco, and Melchor Daco.
He was formerly married to Cristeta Apelo-Daco, and they have an adopted daughter Shane, who has her own children. All of them are based in the Philippines.
For over 22 years, he would also consider the families of his close friends Antero Martinez and Jocelyn Bernal-Ochoa – the Martinez Clan and the Dela Rosa Clan, to be his extended family here in New York. In turn, each family considered him to be a son, a sibling and an uncle.
George spent the last six years in the company of his longtime companion, Adoracion Aclao, and her family, including her sister Minda Baez and two children in Brooklyn. They became George’s constant caregivers during the past few years.
In celebration of his life, the Friends of George, the JCI Philippine-New York Jaycees Senate, and the Knights of Rizal have organized a memorial mass on Tuesday, October 21 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Our Lady of Peace Church at 237 E 62nd Street between Second and Third avenues. The officiating priest is Monsignor Oscar Aquino. The public is invited.