Frederick Vernon McDaniel

January 29, 1929February 5, 2019

Frederick Vernon McDaniel (Fred), ninety years old of Huntsville, Alabama passed away February 5th, 2019.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, February 10th, at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church with Dr. David Freeman officiating. Visitation will be from 3 pm to 4 pm with a Memorial Service to follow at 4 pm.

Fred was born in Jewell, Kansas on January 29, 1929. He attended Wichita High School until enlisting in the United States Army at the age of seventeen. Soon after enlisting, he was deployed to Japan in 1946. Fred also served during the Korean War in 1950. Upon his return, he continued his education at Wichita University where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

After graduating, Fred worked in flight testing for Boeing in Wichita, Kansas where he was a test engineer on the B-52 aircraft. In 1962, he was transferred to Huntsville, Alabama. He continued to work for Boeing until 1963 when he was hired by NASA. He retired from NASA in November of 1989.

Fred met his bride-to-be, Helen, in 1948 in Wichita, Kansas. Fred and Helen were married on September 3rd, 1949. They were married for sixty-nine wonderful years. Fred and Helen enjoyed square dancing, bowling, playing bridge and traveling on cruises with their friends and family.

Fred had a significant influence on many young men’s upbringings. He was an active little league coach of football, baseball and basketball in southeast Huntsville. He played an instrumental role in the development of Fern Bell Park. Fred was a member of the Free Mason’s Society as well as a member of the Optimist Club. He enjoyed golfing with friends and flying his single engine plane. Fred never met a stranger and always had a funny story to tell.

Survivors include his wife, Helen Sawtelle McDaniel; his three children, Karen Wierenga (Tom), Gary McDaniel (Alice), and Ken McDaniel (Regina); six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law; one niece and nephew.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, one brother and his granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Weatherly Heights Baptist Church.


  • Visitation Sunday, February 10, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Service Sunday, February 10, 2019

Frederick Vernon McDaniel

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