William Dawson McDaniel Jr., (Bill), 62, of Punta Gorda, passed away Monday, Oct. 15, at his home. Born June 26, 1950, in Phenix City, Ala., McDaniel grew up in Bonifay, and graduated from Holmes County High School in 1968. After graduating, he moved with his family to Lake Placid and worked with Consolidated Tomoka Land Company until 1970, when he joined the U.S. Navy
Mobile Construction Battalion (Seabees). During active duty service to his country, McDaniel was deployed to South Vietnam and Puerto Rico. He then served in the Reserves until his discharge in 1976. His career in law enforcement began in 1972. First, he spent five years with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office and then eight years with the Collier County Sheriff's Office, where he was awarded a Medal of Honor for Bravery and inducted into the Policeman's Hall of Fame in North Port, in 1984. The following year he accepted a position in the Fort Myers Field Office of the Division of State Fire Marshal - Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations. He worked there until his retirement as a Senior Fire Investigator in 2002.
McDaniel was preceded in death by his father, William D. McDaniel Sr. of Lake Placid.
He is survived by his mother, Edna Tant McDaniel of Lake Placid; his brother, Bobby E. McDaniel (Anita) of Venus; two sisters, Judy M. Steverson (Paul) of Tallahassee, and Patricia A. Elkins (Earl) of Lilburn, Ga.; two nephews, Jonathan P. Steverson (Bevin) of Tallahassee and Christopher W. Elkins of Lilburn, Ga.; two nieces, Susan S. Hawkins (Nathanael) of Panama City, and Valerie E. Elkins of Lilburn, Ga., and two great-nephews, Dawson L. and Holton R. Steverson of Tallahassee.
A memorial service was scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at First Assembly of God in Lake Placid. Private graveside services will be held later. The family requests that anyone who wishes to make a memorial contribution consider donating to the Wounded Warrior Project or the