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Wyman O’Dell “River Rat” McDaniel, USAFJuly 28, 1932 – November 02, 2014
Wyman O’Dell McDaniel BISHOPVILLE- Wyman O’Dell McDaniel, 82, passed away on Sunday, November 2, 2014, following a brief illness. Born in Leo, SC. on July 28, 1932, he was the son of the late Wendell O. McDaniel and the late Elizabeth Huggins McDaniel.
He grew up on a tobacco farm in the Prospect community. As a very young boy, he loved fishing and duck hunting on Lynches River, earning him the nickname “River Rat”. He continued to be an avid hunter and fisherman throughout his entire life.
Following graduation from Lake City High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict, became a helicopter mechanic, and continued to love helicopters. During his assignment at Lackland AFB in Texas, he raced motorcycles in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma to supplement the family’s income. Later, he became a staunch NASCAR fan and followed his favorite drivers, “Fireball” Roberts, David Pearson, and Bill Elliott throughout the southeastern circuit.
He was married to the late Dottie Matthews of Lake City and moved to Bishopville in 1960 where he farmed in both Lee and Sumter counties, raising cotton and other field crops as well as cattle and hogs. For 20 years, he especially enjoyed a partnership with his son. During their farming career, they earned numerous yield awards for peanuts and corn, and Wyman served on the State Peanut Board during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Wyman was very community-oriented and served as secretary for the Lion’s Club during the 1960’s. He and Dottie were huge Clemson fans and strong supporters of IPTAY as well as Clemson Extension farm services. Together, they helped promote horse shows and other programs for Farm Bureau. He and Dottie were also loyal supporters of the Shriners’ Children’s Hospital and always visited the hospital prior to the Shrine Bowl games. He took pride and joy raising his fox and deer dogs to run in Championship Trial Events in the Southeast. As an avid hunter and fisherman, he founded Dixie Boys Dove Club and was also a longtime member of the Sportsman Hunting Club at Dabbs Crossroads, participating until his death, and was also an active member of Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Bishopville.
He is survived by a son, Rodney O’Dell McDaniel of Dalzell; a daughter, Deborah McDaniel Ferguson (Philip) of Sumter; a sister, Marcelene Heitkemper (Louie) of Tell City, IN.; a brother, Don Raemon McDaniel (Fena) of Bishopville; three grandchildren, Tara Justice McDaniel, Kyle Matthew McDaniel, and Amber Brittney Ferguson; a number of nieces and nephews; and a long-time cherished friend, caregiver, and fishing partner, Annie Dell Greene of Pleasant Grove. In addition to his parents and beloved wife of 41 years, he was preceded in death by a sister, Shirley McDaniel Kolb.
Funeral services will be held at 11 A.M. Thursday at Bethlehem United Methodist Church with the Rev. Larry Watson officiating. Burial will be in the Bethlehem United Methodist Church cemetery. Pallbearers will be Frank McCauley, Bubba Hickmon, Jerry Adams, Jack Blythe, Marion Scott, and Dr. Jerry Bush. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Joe Fanning Fellowship Sunday School Class, Tuesday Night Supper Club (Up the Road), Sportsman Hunting Club, Gene Davis, Al Holland, Archie Chandler, Nick West, John Henry Muldrow, and Jerry Capell.
The family will receive friends from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. Wednesday at Hancock-Elmore-Hill Funeral Home and other times at the home, 205 Pinchum Sly Road. Memorials may be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital, 950 W. Faris Rd., Greenville, SC. 29605. www.shrinershospitalforchildren.org Hancock-Elmore-Hill Funeral Home of Bishopville is in charge of the arrangements.