Obituary of Daniel Gary McAuliffe
Daniel G. McAuliffe passed away on December 25th,2023. He was born on February 11, 1933, in Lawrence, Massachusetts to John McAuliffe and Margaret (Mullen) McAuliffe. He was predeceased by his siblings, John, Claire, and Marlen. He met and married his high school sweetheart Wynne Harkins, and they were married for forty years until her passing in 1994. Dan was also predeceased by his second wife Jane Zaccaro.
Dan had a very full life filled with family, friends, and a career that he loved. He was always interested in entertainment, and he graduated from Boston University with a degree in television in 1954. He was in the inaugural class receiving a degree in television at that time. He went into the Army directly from college and was in the Army Signal Corps providing media information to the troops. He and Wynne moved to Farmington Connecticut where he went to work for the new Channel 3 WTIC television station. Dan was a television director and producer at WTIC for 16 years directing local programming from children’s shows to news programming. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1972 and began working in a new position for the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Community Colleges as the Director of Instructional Television and Distance Learning. He loved being on the cutting edge of technology and media and he saw the great possibilities of how media could be used in education. One of the projects he was most proud of was being instrumental in forging a relationship with public television and broadcasting UCONN Women’s Basketball on TV. In the early days before SNY, The UCONN women were televised on Channel 24, Public TV and he saw the possibilities of how broadcasting their games would change their future.
Dan was an avid Red Sox fan, Patriot fan, and most especially UCONN Basketball fan. He could be found wearing logo clothing for his teams pretty much all the time. He enjoyed going up to Fenway Park and was still attending games well into his eighties. Dan divided his time between his homes in Venice, Florida and Farmington Connecticut.
Dan leaves behind his three children; Sheilah (James) McConnell of West Simsbury, CT, Kym Gill (Gerry Witkoski) of North Port, Florida, and Daniel Scott McAuliffe of North Port, Florida. He also leaves his legacy to his beloved grandchildren: Tonya Zownir of Bristol CT., Keith McConnell of Simsbury CT., Victoria (Tori) Gill of Collinsville CT, Christine Cesaro of Avon CT, and Geoffrey (Jake) Gill of Bristol CT. He was a great grandfather to Makenzie, Dylan, Cameron, Caroline, Hudson, Reid, and Milo. Dan was the patriarch of a large extended family that he kept in touch with. He took great pride in keeping up with the lives of his cherished nieces and nephews. He was “Uncle Dan” to Debbie Thom, Dana Thom, Mike McAuliffe, Chris McAuliffe, Lisa Morrow, Mark Morrow, and Victoria (Vicky) Morrow.
Dan loved people and always had a positive outlook on life. He could find the good in everything. He had endless energy and in his later years, it took all three of his adult children as well as other family members to keep up with him and keep him out of trouble. He had a great sense of humor and was a great storyteller about his life whether it was about summers at the beach with his family and cousins, his days in the Army, or all the fun he had with our family. He was always present in our lives and our biggest cheerleader.
Services for Dan will be private. The family will host a celebration of his life this summer in Connecticut. If you wish to donate in his memory, you may do so by logging on or sending to The Unionville Museum Legacy Fund 15 School Street, Unionville, CT. 06085 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tennessee 3815.