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Billy Ray McDaniel was born to Eddie Lee McDaniel and Odessa Woodbury McDaniel in Okolona, Arkansas on July 18, 1952, by midwife, Mrs. Hattie Jones. Billy was raised by his loving grandparents Willie Lee and Geneva McDaniel who loved him as their son. He accepted Christ and united with Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at an early age. Billy Ray was a 1970 graduate of Simmons High School.
Being raised by hard-working grandparents, he started working at the ag of 12. He was taught as a kid the value and the benefit of hard work. He possessed a strong work ethic and retired from Hines Trucking after 35 years of service. After retirement he continued to work and purchased his log truck and operated as McDaniel Trucking; he worked for Leeper logging and later Johnny Ledbetter.
By all accounts he was a “jack of all trades”, but his passion was auto mechanics which was a natural gift. He used his skilled hands to repair, fix and replace parts on anything. He was the “go-to” man for affordable repairs. His reputation for proficient and timely work was widely known throughout Okolona and the surrounding area.
He was a true outdoorsman and enjoyed getting with the fellas’ to hunt and fish. He was a member of the Meeks Settlement Hunting Club. He could be found any day spending countless hours riding his four-wheeler. He was a person who didn’t mind helping anybody. He enjoyed listening to blues, watching westerns, and his favorite show “Gun Smoke”. One of his greatest joys was spending memorable moments with relatives and friends, both young and old. He will live on in the hearts of his loved ones and friends. He possessed a friendly spirit and never met a stranger. He meant what he said, and said what he meant. His natural wit and humor could never be duplicated.
He was a strong supporter of his children; granddaughters, and his favorite great-grandson and he made many sacrifices to ensure that they had everything they wanted and needed. When asked what he wanted for Father’s Day and Christmas he would simply say, “his children and a bucket of KFC”.
Family, as well as friends, will miss his strength, smile, and love, but will never forget his spirit and compassion. He passed into the Lord’s embrace Tuesday, June 17, 2021, at Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eddie Lee McDaniel and Odessa Woodbury; his grandparents, Willie Lee and Geneva McDaniel and a sister, Annie J. Leeper.
Billy Ray leaves his children, Yiiko McDaniel of North Little Rock, AR and Jason McDaniel of Okolona, AR; his cherished granddaughters, Asha Manning of Sherwood, AR and Olivia McDaniel of Delight, AR; one great-grandson, Landon Abernathy of Sherwood, AR; two sisters, Brenda (Clarence) Marshall of St. Lake City, UT and Wilhelmina McDaniel of Los Angeles, CA; three brothers, Kenneth (Brenda) McDaniel of Delight, AR, Willie James McDaniel of Okolona, AR and Henry Lee McDaniel of Okolona, AR. He also leaves an uncle, Johnny Ray (Shirley) McDaniel of Okolona, AR, and an aunt, Barbara Ann Steward of CA; his extended family, Gloria Alexander, Vera Alexander, Sylvester Alexander Vivian Alexander and Roy Alexander; his good friends, Charles Wingfield, Frederick “Double D” Henry, Tony Pipkins and Rev. John Fort, nieces, nephews, cousins, and numerous friends.
Public visitation will be held on Friday, June 25, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home, 1626 Logan Street. A celebration of his life will be shared at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at Delight High School Gym with Rev. Rufus Hatley, officiating. Interment will be at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Desmond Dixon, Brian Hunter, Corey Hunter, Brandon Hunter, Adrian Meeks and Derrick Beard. Honorable to mention are Carl Morgan, Jr., Derrick Dixon, Kendall McDaniel, Channing McDaniel, Chris Rourke, Keith Leeper, Kevin Leeper, Corey Hunter and Brandon Hunter.
Friday, June 25, 2021
2:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Williams Funeral Home - At the Manse
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Starts at 10:00am (Central time)
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