W. Clay McDaniel, 90, of Bloomington, passed away 6:10 p.m. Monday (Nov. 6, 2017) at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington. He was surrounded by his loving daughter, Kimberly; his precious granddaughters, Katie Schmeltz and Kristina Ferguson; and his precious grandson, Kevin Backus; grandson, Micah Andrews; and great-granddaughter, Samantha Andrews, throughout his last few days/hours.
He was born May 11, 1927, in Palestine, a son of James Calvin and Imogene Conrad McDaniel. He married his beloved Peggy Jean Smallwood on June 5, 1948, in Ottawa. She passed away on May 25, 1986.
Survivors include three daughters, Kimberly (Bob) McDaniel-Seath, Bloomington; Kathleen (Jim) LaBarre, Alexandria, Va.; Sharon Anderson, Thermopolis, Wyo.; one son, Stephen McDaniel, New Mexico; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; aunt, Helen Ward, 103, of Indiana; a brother-in-law, Eugene (Elizabeth) Smallwood; and a sister-in-law, Earlene Theobald.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Carroll and Don; a sister, Lillierose; an infant sister, Kathleen; and one grandson, Joseph Patrick LaBarre.
Clay was a Navy veteran, proudly serving his country during World War II. He was also a member of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders and Helpers of America, building the ship on which he departed to the Western Pacific as part of the Navy's "Magic Carpet" fleet. Clay was a lifetime member of the VFW and the American Legion.
He was a factory representative and manager for various steel corporations worldwide. He was also a master of many trades throughout his life.
Clay was a past master of Masonic Lodge 306 in Eureka. He was a member of Taylor Lodge in Washington, Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star of Illinois and Scottish Rite Peoria Consistory.
Clay never knew a stranger and had an ever-present sense of humor which his family loved.
His favorite hobbies were boating, fishing, traveling and watching sports. He loved the Chicago Cubs always, especially their World Series win.
His funeral will be noon Saturday at Argo-Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home, Eureka. The Rev. Wes Ooms will officiate. Visitation will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Olio Township Cemetery, Eureka, where military rites will be accorded at the grave.
He was loved dearly by his family: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and his aunt. His favorite saying was "I love you more."
The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Jack Spaniol and Dr. Ji Li for their very special care of him.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children.
Condolences and tributes may be sent to the family at www.argoruestmanharris.com.