Jerry Wayne McDaniel

Funeral services for Jerry Wayne McDaniel, 78, of Thorndale, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, at the Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home in Rockdale. Burial will follow at the St. John Lutheran Cemetery in the Detmold community near Thorndale.

Mr. McDaniel died Friday evening, Feb. 8, 2019, at a Temple Hospital.

The Rev. Larry E. Caldwell Sr. of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Thorndale, and the Rev. James D. Brymer of Conoley Community Church will officiate the service. The family is especially grateful to both officiating ministers, along with the Rev. Mel Swoyer and wife Gaile, retired former pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Thorndale, for their outstanding spiritual care.

Public visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home in Rockdale. Casket will be permanently closed at the beginning of the service.

Mr. McDaniel, a resident of the Thorndale area for most of his life, was born July 1, 1940, in Wedemeyer Hospital in Taylor, to Pat and Ellnora (Fuessel) McDaniel. At the time of his death, Mr. McDaniel was a retired project manager last employed at Advanced Lab Concepts. Prior to that, he had spent most of his career with American Desk in Taylor and was Manager in the Estimation Department.

He was a 1959 graduate of Thorndale High School and served three years on active duty (1960-1963) with the U.S. Army. After completion of basic and AIT training with the 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood, Texas; he completed Airborne Basic and earned his parachutist wings; he was assigned to the 618th Engineering Co., LE Airborne as part of the 3rd Army command. This experimental company size airborne combat engineer unit was later incorporated into the 82nd Airborne Division, both headquartered at Fort Bragg, NC. He attained the rank of Specialist 5th Class and proudly served as a squad leader during his last year of active duty.

Mr. McDaniel married Mary Jane Leschber on July 10, 1962, at St. John Lutheran Church in Detmold. He was baptized at First Baptist Church in San Gabriel. Several years after his marriage he became a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Thorndale. He served that congregation four terms as a member of the church council, including one term as chairman of the congregation. Jerry also served as a Sunday School teacher for more than 25 years. He was a proud father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

Mr. McDaniel was preceded in death by his mother in October 1995; his father in October 2006; his brothers, Glenn McDaniel in August 1997 and Ervin Ray McDaniel in September 2015; and baby sister Joanne McDaniel in November 1954.

Surviving are his wife of 56 years, Mary Jane McDaniel of Thorndale; two sons, Michael Wayne McDaniel and wife JoLynne of Early, and Donald McDaniel and wife Vickie of Thorndale; two daughters, Angela Jane Upshaw of Katy, and Ramona Griffith and husband Larry of Cedarburg, Wis.; three sisters, Patricia Wiseman of San Gabriel, Karene Willis of League City, and Jeanine Kelm and husband Ronnie of Thorndale; one brother, Keith McDaniel and wife Lou of Bryan; sister-in-law, Carol McDaniel of Rockdale; one half-brother, Joe McDaniel and wife Charlene of Centreville, Miss.; eight grandchildren, Hannah McDaniel, John Wayne McDaniel, Colby Hilton and wife Toni, Reagan Upshaw and fiance’ Carolyn Sullivan, Matthew Upshaw, Dallas Griffith, Daniel Griffith, and Anissa Joy Griffith; one great-grandchild, Brooks Hilton; many friends and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Michael Wayne McDaniel, Donald McDaniel, Colby Hilton, John Wayne McDaniel, Reagan Upshaw, and Matthew Upshaw. Honorary Pallbearers will be Hannah McDaniel, Dallas Griffith, Daniel Griffith, and Anissa Joy Griffith.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John Lutheran Church, PO Box 21, Thorndale, Texas 76577; or to the charity of your choice.