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Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

3969 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA

OBITUARY

John Cecil Daniels

August 12, 1930June 17, 2019

John Cecil Daniels gained his heavenly reward June 17, 2019, at age 88, after battling cancer and kidney disease. He was husband of Elsie Todd Daniels and son of Henry Earl and Sallie Jordan Daniels. He was a great Daddy with a gentle sense of humor to Cecilia, Louise, Earl, Beth and Todd and wonderful Grandpa to 26 grandchildren and a still-growing number of great-grandchildren. His heritage extends to dozens of nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was born August 12, 1930 in Hahira, GA, where he grew up helping with the family farm, growing tobacco, livestock, watermelon and other truck crops and working in the family auto garage. He was a Boy Scout. At age 15, he made his profession of faith and joined Hahira Methodist Church.

Cecil attended Middle Georgia College, then ABAC in Tifton. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture in 1952 from University of Georgia, where he was a brother in Alpha Gamma Rho professional agricultural fraternity. He served two years in the US Army as a Food Inspector during the Korean War. He returned to UGA for a Master’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture.

Cecil worked several years with Elsie’s parents, Alvin and Zura Todd, with specialized farming of dahlias and mail order business, along with growing breeders’ corn and other specialized crops. Cecil’s primary life’s career was with the Georgia Extension Service. He worked ten years in Bibb County and eleven years in Monroe County, and retired as County Extension Director in 1988.

Cecil was “The Flower Man” and one glance at his well-manicured yard explains that nickname. He grew hundreds of dahlias yearly, and bouquets of his beautiful blooms graced dozens of doctor’s offices as well as homes of friends and family. Cecil and Elsie took the challenge of getting Georgia’s state flower, Cherokee Rose, planted in every county. They propagated hundreds of cuttings of this thorny bush for this effort. He grew and donated hundreds of forsythia bushes for the annual Forsythia Festival in Forsyth, GA. He also helped young people to blossom through work with 4-H and the youth of Lions Club.

Cecil was an active leader with Lions Club, American Association of University Women, Friendship Force and Martha Bowman Methodist Church. He served in nearly every capacity in his local Lions Club, plus committee chairs on district and state levels, and was District Vice Governor and District Governor in 1993-1995. His special Lions Club project was coordinating the Peace Poster contest, which challenges young people to create an artistic presentation to promote worldwide peace. Several of the young artists sponsored by Cecil won state and national recognition. He and Elsie traveled with and hosted travelers from all over the world through Friendship Force.

Cecil traveled to six continents (all except Africa) and all fifty US states. He conquered the most remote continent, Antarctica, in 2015, at age 84. After a lifetime of studying and growing plants, he was fascinated with a continent where almost nothing grows, but thrilled to walk with penguins and explore remote areas with a scientific expedition.

Cecil was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Earl and Sallie Daniels, stepfather James Howell, brothers E.H. Daniels and T.J. Daniels and sister Maggie Sue Kiereck. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elsie, one sister, Rosalyn Sumner (Robert), his five children, Cecilia Odum (Riley), Louise DeLaurier (Greg), Earl Daniels (Nyambura Kihato), Beth Woods (John), and Todd Daniels (Donna). He was cared for in his latter years by faithful helpers Shirley Howard, Roosevelt Colvard and Teresa West.

A memorial service to celebrate Cecil’s life and the many ways he impacted the world will be held at Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home, 3969 Mercer University Drive on Saturday, June 22 at 11 am. Visitation will be held one hour prior, at 10 am. Cecil grew and loved flowers his whole life, but he doesn’t need them now. He would prefer you donate your time or other resources to the charity of your choice. Some of his favorites were Lions Club and Martha Bowman Methodist Church. Lions Club members who attend the funeral are invited to wear their Lions vest.

  • FAMILY

  • Cecil was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Earl and Sallie Daniels, stepfather James Howell, brothers E.H. Daniels and T.J. Daniels and sister Maggie Sue Kiereck. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elsie, one sister, Rosalyn Sumner (Robert), his five children, Cecilia Odum (Riley), Louise DeLaurier (Greg), Earl Daniels (Nyambura Kihato), Beth Woods (John), and Todd Daniels (Donna). He was cared for in his latter years by faithful helpers Shirley Howard, Roosevelt Colvard and Teresa West.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, June 22, 2019
  • A Celebration of Life Saturday, June 22, 2019

Memories

John Cecil Daniels

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Beverly A. Roberts, PD

June 24, 2019

Please accept my deepest sympathy to Elsie, the children and the rest of the family on the passing of Lion Cecil Daniels. He was a wonderful person, a gentleman, a friend to so many people, and a dedicated Lion. He will be missed by so many whose lives he has touched. Mine is one of them. I still have the bookmark with the pressed pansies that you gave me so many years ago.

DEBORAH SUNBECK

June 22, 2019

To his NY northern nieces and nephews "Uncle Cecil" was larger than life, a man of God who loved people, family, community, and nature. He amazed us with his knowledge of nature, as he would teach us something about some plant all while taking us in through his twinkling eyes that spoke volumes about his love of children and how much he respected our growing minds and enjoyed our very existence. Experiencing Uncle Cecil during one of our vacations "down south" was always special. He had a way of being special just by being himself and making you feel spacial all at the same time. We lost our own dad very young, but if we had been living near Uncle Cecil I have no doubt that he would have welcomed stepping in as an amazing surrogate dad to all of us, adding to his already large family and community outreach to other youth. The world needs more Uncle Cecils. From Deborah Sunbeck, Rochester NY. Maggie Sue's daughter/Niece to Uncle Cecil and Aunt Elsie.

Alice Stagg

June 19, 2019

I joined Lions in 1992 and was so impressed when I met Lion Cecil at a district meeting. He was a dedicated Lion and with Elsie, his partner-in-service, they were mainstays in our district and within their own club activities. I respected him very much and always enjoyed seeing both of them at our Lions gatherings. My deepest condolences to Elsie and the family on their loss.

James Glenn

June 18, 2019

We knew Cecil only a short while and was very impressed with his wonderful outlook on life and enthusiasm for nature. My husband and I were invited to Elsie and Cecil's home and felt so welcome and enjoyed their company so much. We especially enjoyed seeing the flowers and all the birds that came to their porch to feed. We worked with Cecil and Elsie at Hephzibah Children's home and knowing them both was a real blessing.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

John Cecil Daniels gained his heavenly reward June 17, 2019, at age 88, after battling cancer and kidney disease. He was husband of Elsie Todd Daniels and son of Henry Earl and Sallie Jordan Daniels. He was a great Daddy with a gentle sense of humor to Cecilia, Louise, Earl, Beth and Todd and wonderful Grandpa to 26 grandchildren and a still-growing number of great-grandchildren. His heritage extends to dozens of nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was born August 12, 1930 in Hahira, GA, where he grew up helping with the family farm, growing tobacco, livestock, watermelon and other truck crops and working in the family auto garage. He was a Boy Scout. At age 15, he made his profession of faith and joined Hahira Methodist Church.

Cecil attended Middle Georgia College, then ABAC in Tifton. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture in 1952 from University of Georgia, where he was a brother in Alpha Gamma Rho professional agricultural fraternity. He served two years in the US Army as a Food Inspector during the Korean War. He returned to UGA for a Master’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture.

Cecil worked several years with Elsie’s parents, Alvin and Zura Todd, with specialized farming of dahlias and mail order business, along with growing breeders’ corn and other specialized crops. Cecil’s primary life’s career was with the Georgia Extension Service. He worked ten years in Bibb County and eleven years in Monroe County, and retired as County Extension Director in 1988.

Cecil was “The Flower Man” and one glance at his well-manicured yard explains that nickname. He grew hundreds of dahlias yearly, and bouquets of his beautiful blooms graced dozens of doctor’s offices as well as homes of friends and family. Cecil and Elsie took the challenge of getting Georgia’s state flower, Cherokee Rose, planted in every county. They propagated hundreds of cuttings of this thorny bush for this effort. He grew and donated hundreds of forsythia bushes for the annual Forsythia Festival in Forsyth, GA. He also helped young people to blossom through work with 4-H and the youth of Lions Club.

Cecil was an active leader with Lions Club, American Association of University Women, Friendship Force and Martha Bowman Methodist Church. He served in nearly every capacity in his local Lions Club, plus committee chairs on district and state levels, and was District Vice Governor and District Governor in 1993-1995. His special Lions Club project was coordinating the Peace Poster contest, which challenges young people to create an artistic presentation to promote worldwide peace. Several of the young artists sponsored by Cecil won state and national recognition. He and Elsie traveled with and hosted travelers from all over the world through Friendship Force.

Cecil traveled to six continents (all except Africa) and all fifty US states. He conquered the most remote continent, Antarctica, in 2015, at age 84. After a lifetime of studying and growing plants, he was fascinated with a continent where almost nothing grows, but thrilled to walk with penguins and explore remote areas with a scientific expedition.

Cecil was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Earl and Sallie Daniels, stepfather James Howell, brothers E.H. Daniels and T.J. Daniels and sister Maggie Sue Kiereck. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elsie, one sister, Rosalyn Sumner (Robert), his five children, Cecilia Odum (Riley), Louise DeLaurier (Greg), Earl Daniels (Nyambura Kihato), Beth Woods (John), and Todd Daniels (Donna). He was cared for in his latter years by faithful helpers Shirley Howard, Roosevelt Colvard and Teresa West.

A memorial service to celebrate Cecil’s life and the many ways he impacted the world will be held at Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home, 3969 Mercer University Drive on Saturday, June 22 at 11 am. Visitation will be held one hour prior, at 10 am. Cecil grew and loved flowers his whole life, but he doesn’t need them now. He would prefer you donate your time or other resources to the charity of your choice. Some of his favorites were Lions Club and Martha Bowman Methodist Church. Lions Club members who attend the funeral are invited to wear their Lions vest.