Eugene Dacey Sr., a business owner with deep Staten Island roots and a man who is remembered for his work ethic, his creativity, and his “old-school” commitment to right and wrong, has died at 86.
Eugene and his brothers all went into the auto body business—Alfonse at OK Auto Body on Barker Street in West Brighton, NY, James (Dukie) with Mackauer Body Shop on Broad Street in Stapleton, NY, and Eugene opened Dacey Auto Body on Baltic Street, also Stapleton, which he operated until retiring in 1979. Born in Bristol, CT, he was two years old when he moved with his parents to West Brighton, NY, where his grandparents had long settled. He also lived in Dongan Hills and Willowbrook and Toms River, NJ, for a time. He later returned to the Island, moving to Mariners Harbor, NY. Eugene was affectionately known as “Big D,” a nickname that accurately reflected his dynamic personality and his determination, said his son, Eugene Jr, who added that his father’s creativity ranged wide, from the many drawings he made to the violin he painstakingly crafted, and he loved music and enjoyed singing.