Columbia, SC…. Daniel Thomas “Dan” Stacey died peacefully at home in Columbia, South Carolina, on May 10, 2019 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was born November 16, 1949 in Washington, D.C. to the late Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Stacey and Helen Carr Stacey. The family moved to Germany in 1950, to Milwaukee in 1953, and then to Columbia in 1957. Dan’s father died shortly after the family moved to Columbia, and Dan was raised by his mother and his maternal grandmother, “Maca” who lived with them.
Taking a paternal role in his life was his uncle, Fr. Aidan Carr, O.F.M. (later O.C.S.O.), who mentored him. It was a great blessing for Dan when Fr. Aidan entered Mepkin Abbey because he was closer, and Dan and his mother could spend more time with him.
Dan attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School, then Cardinal Newman High School, graduating from the latter in 1967. Dan went to Yale University, graduating in 1971, then Washington and Lee University School of Law, from which he graduated in 1975. He served, and was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard.
After several years in private law practice, Dan joined the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense in 1983. This state agency represents impoverished persons on appeal of serious crimes, and in his work, Dan made a significant contribution to the establishment and maintenance of justice for the people of South Carolina. He was Chief Attorney in the Office from 1991 until he retired in 2004. After retirement Dan returned to Appellate Defense from 2008 - 2015 to serve as mentor to a new generation of appellate defenders sharing his boundless knowledge of criminal law and procedure. Dan was known and admired throughout the legal community for his intellect, wit, phenomenal memory and heart.
Dan did not just remember people, he remembered details about them. He cared about their lives. The beatitude is “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted;” Dan was one of the comforters; he was always attending funerals. A friend who attended St. Joseph’s with Dan from the third grade says that Dan was always the same. Even as a child he was caring, smart, gentle, and good natured.
One of Dan’s greatest passions was crossword puzzles. He usually worked multiple crossword puzzles every day, including the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, which he solved in ink each day. His wife, Eve, timed him, and he usually completed the Times puzzle in fewer than 15 minutes. For many years, Dan competed in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, organized by New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz. Dan consistently ranked high in his age and/or regional categories, once achieving the recognized accomplishment of completing all puzzles in the competition with no mistakes.
Yet another of Dan’s diverse passions was officiating football (refereeing). He started officiating SC High School football games in 1981 and retired in 2008 ultimately rising to be the top rated official for most of those years. During that time he refereed the prestigious North-South All Star Game, the Shrine Bowl Game, and 20 SC State Championship games (including the top Division 1 AAAA/AAAAA numerous times). He was inducted into the South Carolina Football Officials’ Hall of Fame in 2001. His College officiating career was equally illustrious working in the South Atlantic Conference from 1995 until 2010. During that time, he worked several conference championships, an opening round national playoff and a national semifinal game. Following his “on the field” retirement he continued as a gameday officials’ supervisor/observer until 2017. In much the same manner as the rest of his passions he became an acknowledged officiating rules expert in high school and college. His greatest joy came from the friendships he developed with 100’s of other officiating brothers in many States.
Dan had a beautiful and eclectic mind, but was never self -important or arrogant. As one of his friends observed, Dan was the only know- it- all he knew who was never a smart ass. He loved studying history, football rules, languages, maps, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and much more. He had an incredible memory; this showed up in many ways. One of his fun memory tricks was when he would tell you what you and he ate at a particular restaurant on a particular occasion many years earlier. Many an enjoyable evening was spent in Dan’s den with varying groups of friends playing Jeopardy on Team Stacey, with the goal of collectively answering all questions correctly.
Dan was truly a person about whom it can honestly be said: to know Dan was to love him. He was generous beyond description. He had an incredible sense of humor, and loved nothing better than a good pun – unless it was a silly 4th grader’s joke. He will be sorely missed.
In addition to his many friends, Dan is survived by his adoring wife of 35 years, Eve Moredock Stacey and his beloved parrot, Diega. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Will Moredock (Maryam Naderi) of Charleston, his brother-in-law Rupert “Doc” (Kim) Moredock of Lancaster, his niece Katherine Moredock Hayden (John) of Cope and his nephew Few Moredock of Charleston, and his and Eve’s special family friend, Josie Ryan of Greenwood.
A memorial service will be held at Mepkin Abbey, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road, Moncks Corner, SC, 29461. The service will be at 3pm on Sunday, May 19, 2019. A Celebration of Dan’s life will be held at Rockaway Athletic Club, 2719 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29205 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, from 4:30 - 7:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, persons are asked to contribute to The Daniel T. Stacey 1975L Law Scholarship Fund, Washington and Lee University School of Law, 204 W. Washington St, Lexington, VA 24450 (http://www.law.wlu.edu/give), to Mepkin Abbey, or to an organization or cause of their own choice.
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The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.
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