Douglas Calvin Dacy (1927-2022)

Douglas Calvin Dacy passed away on Sunday, January 23, 2022, three weeks shy of his 95th birthday. He was born in Austin, Texas, on February 15, 1927. He attended Baker Elementary School and graduated from Austin High School in 1944.  He was an Eagle Scout and enjoyed playing in Hemphill Park near his family’s home.

At age seventeen, Douglas joined the United States Marine Corps and served on active duty from 1944 to 1946. He reached the rank of Second Lieutenant and served his country in the Korean War. He was a company commander in the 13th Special Infantry Company USMCR in Austin, Texas. He retired from inactive reserve service in 1967.

Douglas fully embodied the nickname given to him by his mother, “The Head,” having spent a majority of his life in academia. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics at the University of Texas and then attained his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Douglas went on to work for the Institute of Defense Analyses (IDA) in Washington, DC, starting as a defense analyst and working his way up to Director of the Program Analysis Division. A gifted economist, Douglas split his time between the IDA and the University of Texas Economics Department from 1967 to 1981. In 1981, he began his tenured career as a full-time professor at UT, where he authored and published numerous textbooks, articles, and reports. Douglas and Howard Kunreuther co-authored the textbook The Economics of Natural Disasters, which won the Elizur Wright Award in 1971 for publication adjudged to make “the most significant contribution to the literature of insurance.”

Despite his reputation at UT of being tight-fisted with A’s and B’s, Douglas made a tremendous impact on countless students and colleagues over his 50 years as an economics professor. To Douglas, educating the next generation of economists was so much more than his “job.” Demanding and rigorous, Douglas instilled in his students that success is measured by effort instead of title. He led by example, arriving early, well-prepared, and impeccably dressed in a suit and tie until his retirement at age 87.

Douglas had an infectious smile and a heart of gold. He was a true gentleman and exceedingly intelligent. He was brutally honest yet kind-hearted, charitable yet humble. Douglas was determined, steadfast, and ambitious. He never took “no” for an answer and strived for perfection in every endeavor. He was a devoted and selfless son and brother, spending early adulthood caring for his mother with Parkinson’s Disease and later for his brother at their home of 67 years, known by the family as “The Farm.”

Douglas left a beautiful mark on this world. We will forever miss him and remember him but rejoice in knowing he’s reunited with his twin brother and Mama in the arms of Jesus.

Douglas is preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Margaret Dacy, his older brother George Dacy, sister Ruth Prestwood, and twin brother and best friend, Donald Dacy. Left to love and remember Douglas are nephew Joe Dacy II and his wife Jennifer of Waxahachie, nephew Robert Louis Dacy and his wife Grace of Bastrop, nephew David Wayne Dacy of Austin, nephew Clyde Prestwood, Jr. of Austin and niece Kathleen Wilson of Austin. Douglas is also survived by great-nephews George Dacy, Robert Dacy, Jr., Christopher Dacy, Dylan Dacy, Colin Dacy, Lee Prestwood, and Brian Prestwood and great-nieces Kelly Dacy Wolfe, Catherine Dacy Howry, Alexis Dacy, and Megan Dacy Vaughan. Also surviving Douglas are many great-great-nephews and nieces and Louis cousins.

The family would like to thank Valerie Segura, Freddy Villanueva, and numerous others who provided at-home assistance for Douglas and his twin brother over the past four years. We will be eternally grateful.

Visitation will be from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 3, 2022, at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home (new location), 5416 Parkcrest Drive, Austin, TX 78731. A service celebrating Douglas’s wonderful life will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, February 4, 2022, at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th St., with interment following at Oakwood Annex Cemetery at 1601 Navasota. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. David’s Episcopal Church or a charity of your choice.

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