EUREKA – W. Clay McDaniel, 90, of Bloomington, died at 6:10 p.m., Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington surrounded by his daughter, Kimberly McDaniel-Seath, three grandchildren, Katie Schmeltz, Kristina Ferguson and Micah Andrews, and great-granddaughter, Samantha Andrews throughout his last few days and hours.
He was born May 11, 1927, in Palestine, the son of James Calvin and Imogene Conrad McDaniel. He married Peggy Jean Smallwood on June 5, 1948, in Ottawa. She died May 25, 1986.
Survivors include three daughters, Kimberly (Bob) McDaniel-Seath, Bloomington, Kathleen (Jim) LaBarre, Alexandria, Va., and Sharon Anderson, Thermopolis, Wyo.; one son, Stephen McDaniel of the state of New Mexico; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one aunt, Helen Ward, who is 103 years of age and lives in the state of Indiana; one brother-in-law, Eugene (Elizabeth) Smallwood and one sister-in-law, Earlene Theobald.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, two sisters, including one in infancy, and one grandson.
Clay served in the Navy during World War II and was part of construction of the ship he departed on to the Western Pacific as part of the “Magic Carpet” fleet. He was a factory representative and manager for various steel corporations worldwide. Clay was also a master of many trades throughout his life. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Legionnaire, International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers, Iron Ship Builders, Helpers of America, Eureka Masonic Lodge No. 306, where he served as Master, Taylor Lodge of Washington, Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star of Illinois and the Scottish Rite Peoria Consistory. His favorite hobbies were boating, fishing, traveling and watching sports. Clay loved the Chicago Cubs always, especially their World Series win. He never knew a stranger and had an ever present sense of humor which his family loved. Clay was loved dearly by his family, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and his aunt. His favorite saying was "I Love You More."
Services were held Nov. 11 at Argo-Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Eureka. The Rev. Wes Ooms officiated. Visitation was before the service at the funeral home. Burial was in Olio Township Cemetery, Eureka, where military rites were accorded.
Memorials may be made to Shriners Children's Hospital.