August 1, 1923 – October 17, 2020
Daniel Dominick Chabris, 97, of Madison, CT, passed away on October 17, 2020, at home. He was born on August 1, 1923, in New York City to Esterina and Luigi Caciagli, who had immigrated from Italy before World War I. Daniel is predeceased by his wife Lois Fitzgerald Chabris, his parents, and his brother Peter Chabris. He is survived by his son Christopher Chabris, his daughter-in-law Michelle Meyer, and his grandson Caleb Meyer-Chabris, all of Lewisburg, PA; and his brother Anthony Caciagli and Anthony's wife Lillian, who live in Costa Mesa, CA.
Daniel graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1941 and attended Queens College for two years before being drafted into the U.S Army in 1943. He served for three years, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and becoming an instructor at West Point. Upon his discharge in 1946, he transferred to Harvard University, where his tuition was paid under the provisions of the G.I. Bill. He graduated with an A.B. degree in Government in 1948 and returned to New York.
Dan's career in business featured stints working for W.R. Grace, IBM, and Colt Industries, where he served as Assistant Treasurer and was involved for 20 years in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and pension fund management. After retiring from Colt in the late 1980s, he became an independent director for the Invesco family of mutual funds, where he served until mandatory retirement at age 75.
Outside of work, Daniel was often an active member of his Catholic parishes, frequently serving as a lector or a eucharistic minister and always singing enthusiastically.
Dan's principal pastime was rare book collecting. He created one of the largest private collections of the work of Sinclair Lewis, and also collected Washington Irving, Louis Bromfield, and Dante Alighieri. Inspired by his travels to Colorado for Invesco, he assembled a unique collection of works related to Wyoming and the American West. He was involved in founding the Washington Irving Society, was a lifetime member of the Dante Society, and the Bibliographic Society of America, and was an Honorary Member of the Grolier Club, for which he chaired the Admissions Committee and led several important projects. He was also a supporter of libraries, donating funds, books, and his own time to the public libraries in his hometowns of North Castle, NY, and Madison, CT. He donated collections to the Harvard University libraries and established the Chabris Book Fund to support acquisitions at Harvard's Houghton Library.
Dan was amazed by his own longevity. During World War II he did not think he would reach age 30. As a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, at age 81 he was shocked to see them finally win the 2004 World Series, but he was even more surprised to live for 16 more years (and three more Red Sox championships). Daniel Chabris was a great man who will be missed by all who knew him well.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM at St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church, 24 Academy Street, Madison, CT.
Mass of Christian Burial
Thursday, October 22, 2020
October 21, 2020
Dan was a wonderful Scranton Library Friend. For many years he and his friend Allan Tibbitts served as the most popular cashiers at our Book Sales, producing lots of smiles and goodwill.
We will always treasure memories of his enthusiasm and support of the Friends and the Scranton Library.
Sandy Long, Secretary, Scranton Library Friends
October 20, 2020
Kathy and I met Dan in 2014 shortly after we made an offer on the house we later purchased in Madison. We went to see the river from the Gazebo,where Dan loved to sit and converse with his neighbors. Dan asked “what business do you have here?”, and he quickly smiled when he heard of our interest in the neighborhood.
We got to know him thru numerous gatherings at the Gazebo ,in his sunroom and on his back deck. When we asked Dan about almost anything,he regaled us with incredible detail and a twinkle in his eye. He loved life,reading,and the Red Sox. And depending on his company at the time,would tell fascinating stories about the past, and his thoughts on current issues and the future. With me, the Red Sox were the most frequent topic,going back to their trade for Jimmie Foxx in 1936 . Dan was also curious about what was going on in our lives,often following up on our most recent conversations about our plans or families. He was thrilled to hear that my son once lived less than a mile from where Dan grew up in Queensboro .
Dan will always be at the top of the list of the friendliest and most interesting people I have ever met
He was a treasure to so many of his neighbors
We miss you Dan