Donald Ray McDaniel of Golden died March 2, 2019.
He was born Dec. 9, 1930, in Chickasha, Okla. His family relocated to Napa-Sonoma, Calif., when he was 9 years old. He learned to fly Cessna airplanes while he was in high school.
He received a draft letter from the Navy, but a paperwork mix up occurred and they couldn’t find his information. He said he didn’t want to be in the Navy anyway, so he quickly went to the Marine Corps Recruitment Depot and enlisted. He was chosen for Raiders, which was akin to the latter day Navy Seals. After a couple of the soldiers died during training, the team was disbanded by Washington. He was then deployed to Korea, where he earned the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and multiple other commendations. He was a platoon sergeant, and after being hit by mortar fire and nearly losing his life, he was sent stateside.
He worked at North Island Naval Air Station as an aircraft electrician for a few years.
He spent seven years as a deputy with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. He relocated his family in 1970 to Irving, Texas, to own and operate four gas stations with his brother-in-law, Joe F. Janes. He later started selling real estate for Ebby Halliday Realty. While maintaining his real estate license, he began selling insurance for Farmers Insurance Group. After several years of selling insurance, he was hired as one of the 12 field investigators for the Texas Real Estate Commission.
The family attended Calvary Temple church in Irving for the years they were in Irving, and Donald eventually became a church elder there as well as a Sunday school teacher. He also spent time as a counselor for the 700 Club.
In 1980, he purchased acreage in Golden. Being a carpenter and a journeyman electrician, he built and wired his two-story home, and the family has lived there to this day.
He was involved in many social activities over the years, including the Veterans Association and The Order of the Purple Heart. Over the last 39 years in East Texas, he stayed active in church and formed many long lasting relationships.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Joyce; son, Donald Mark; daughters, Christine Heermans and Vicky Shepherd; sister, Joie Janes; an aunt; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.