William C. McDaniel, 86, long-time resident of Brush, Colorado, passed away September 11, 2013, after a short illness.|
Mr. McDaniel was born August 8, 1927, in Phenix City, Alabama, to Edna Mae Bowen and Eddie Roy Carroll (both deceased). Raised on a cotton farm in Alabama, he joined the Army/Air Force in 1945, where he trained to be a tail gunner. He was awarded the Word War II Victory medal before being honorably discharged in 1948. While stationed at Lowry Air Force base, he met the one-and-only love of his life, Helen Louise Johnson, of Starkville, Colorado. On the day they were married, June 6, 1948, he promised her he would always pull her wagon. He has faithfully done so.
Mr. McDaniel worked in the coal mines of southern Colorado for 7 years before moving his family to Brush, Colorado, in 1960. He built or remodeled every home he moved his family to, including a 3 bedroom ranch that started out as a one room adobe shack. He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Brush, Colorado, and of the Elk's Lodge in Fort Morgan, CO. He was a carpenter at heart and after 29 years as a Port-of-Entry officer, he retired in 1989 to devote his life to his hobby of designing and making hand crafted wooden toys.
He started out making wooden doll cradles, cars and trucks for his grandchildren. Over the years, he has made thousands of wooden toys and donated them to charities at Christmas time in his earnest desire that no child wake up on Christmas morning without a toy. He spent the last 30 years of his life in selfless service to his community: making toys, building homes, and helping any one in need of his carpentry skills. He was witty, kind, and the most generous of souls.
Mr. McDaniel is survived by his wife of 65 years, Helen Louise McDaniel; daughter, Linda Louise Heasler; sons, William Allan (Cheryl) McDaniel, Melvin Ray (Betty) McDaniel, and Robin Lee (Ruby) McDaniel. Also surviving are his sisters, Bebe McDaniel, Louise (Jim) Traylor (sister, Barbara Reader is deceased); 15 grandchildren, Ronna (Larry) Thomas, Michael Blake, Shanti-Anna (Ray) Smallwood, Julia (Felipe) Heasler, Christine Massie, Paul (Quailynn) McDaniel, Larry McDaniel, Shantel Garcia, Monica McDaniel, Misty (Josh) Wren, Alisha (John) Davies, Leota (Steve) Buckman, Samantha (Louis) Godinez, and two infants in Heaven, Robert and Joseph McDaniel.
He is also survived by 23 great-grandchildren, Dmitri Blake, Emily Thomas, Jack Thomas, Brianna Massie, Craig Massie, Scout McDaniel, Madison McDaniel, Gabriella McDaniel, Tiger Lily McDaniel, Blakely McDaniel, Athena McDaniel, Jasmine (Jeremy) Smallwood, Kaylynn Smallwood, Zoe Lopez, Xavier Lopez, John Garcia, Diedre Garcia, Michayla Cross, Machenzy Cross, Dezaraye Cross, AvaLee Davies, Weston Buckman, and Marare Godinez; great-great-grandchild, Isabella Wright. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews.
The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, that donations be sent to the Arapahoe County Santa Claus Shop.
Service will be held on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at the Heer Mortuary Chapel in Brush. The service will conclude at the mortuary.
Published in The Fort Morgan Times on Sept. 12, 2013