Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Edna Wells McDaniel, 93, of Steele passed away Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, at her home. She was born July 19, 1924, in East Prairie, Mo., to Eula Swafford Wells and James Wells. She attended elementary and junior high schools in Ancel, Chaffee, Midway and Micola, where she excelled in track and choir. In 1943 (the war years), she graduated from Steele High School. During World War II, she was employed by The Steele Enterprise where her primary responsibility was to compile and report on the men who were serving in the military during those years.

After a courtship of almost two months, Ms. Wells was united in marriage to Willie D. McDaniel on Feb. 22, 1946. Good friends Lahoma Campbell and Harry Burton Jr., made it a double wedding. The ceremony was performed by Pastor Ellis at the First Baptist Church Parsonage. They were married for 63 years at the time of Willie D.’s death on April 11, 2009. They were parents to one son, Randy.

In 1951, Mrs. McDaniel began work as a teller at the Bank of Steele and advanced to the position of vice president by the mid-’60s. During that time period, she, Willie D. and other community minded adults were instrumental in establishing the Steele Youth Center. Later in the ‘60s, she helped establish Steele Video Cable and worked in the local television business until the ‘90s. For several years, she hosted a daily live afternoon music program, where she played 45RPM records and interviewed local high school students, teachers and citizens.

Mrs. McDaniel was a member of the First Baptist Church in Steele, where she taught an elementary Sunday School Class and later in life enjoyed being a member of the Silver Circle Sunday School Class. She was a democrat and a strong supporter of equal rights, especially when those rights applied to women. She was ahead of her time. She was proud to be a member of the Greatest Generation.

During their retirement, the McDaniels were active in community affairs. She was especially proud to belong to the “Red Hats”, Canasta and Bridge groups.

Mrs. McDaniel was preceded in death by her parents, Eula Swafford Wells and James Wells; husband, Willie D. McDaniel, and one brother, James Wells Jr.

Survivors of Mrs. McDaniel include one son, Randy and his wife, Jeanie; one grandson, Nogi and his wife, Lauren; two great-grandsons, Payton and William; one brother, A.C. Wells; one sister, Juda Martin, and many, many friends and relatives.

Funeral services for Mrs. McDaniel were held Saturday, Jan. 6 at First Baptist Church in Steele with Mr. Aaron Burton officiating. Pallbearers were Tim Dodd, Richard Kaiser, Dr. Isaac McKay III, Winston Trail, Brian Weber and Larry Wells. Honorary pallbearers were David Burton, Victor Burton, Robert Culler, David Greene, Wendell Hoskins Sr., and Randy Wingfield.

John W. German Funeral Home of Steele was in charge of arrangements.