Richard M. Segrave-Daly Sr., 75, a government administrator who spent most of his career assisting small businesses, died of complications from emphysema May 17 at Brightview Senior Living in East Norriton.

Mr. Segrave-Daly, who lived in West Chester and on the Main Line before moving to Brightview 14 months ago, grew up in Ardmore. He graduated from St. Joseph's Preparatory School and earned a bachelor's degree from Villanova University. He served in the Navy aboard the cargo ship Interceptor in the Atlantic.

After his discharge, he earned a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University. He remained in Washington to work for the Army and the Air Force, and later worked for the Office of Management and Budget, the Postal Service, and the Interior Department before joining the Small Business Administration.

In 1977 he transferred to the Small Business Administration office in Philadelphia. As a procurement specialist, Mr. Segrave-Daly helped local small businesses earn government contracts, including defense work.

In 1993, he was appointed to the new position of small business ombudsman for the Department of Commerce to help businesses and manufacturers conform to the Federal Clean Air Act. He also acted as a liaison to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. According to a 1994 Inquirer article, Mr. Segrave-Daly initiated a program to advise small businesses without their having to worry that the Department of Environmental Protection would "get wind of their problems and show up with enforcement orders in hand."

His work as an ombudsman led to a position with the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of his career. He was with the agency when he retired several years ago, his son Richard Jr. said.

Mr. Segrave-Daly received many commendations from the government and was awarded a yearlong fellowship with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

He was a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America and with ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth. For 30 years, he taught religious education classes at Catholic churches in the Pennsylvania suburbs.

He loved travel, excelled at being silly with children, and enjoyed a siesta, preferably with a faithful dog, his son Chris said.

In addition to his sons, Mr. Segrave-Daly is survived by a daughter, Sheila Rizzo; a brother; a sister; and his former wife, Barbara Armenti.

A Memorial Mass will be said at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, 31 Pennswood Rd., Bryn Mawr. Friends may call at 9 a.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Montgomery County SPCA, 19 E. Ridge Pike, Box 222, Conshohocken, Pa. 19428.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.