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Saturday, August 26, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Central time)
Melvin Lee Daniel, age 78, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, August 23, 2023. He was born to Quentin E. Daniel and Ina Mae Waite Daniel in Pearcy, Arkansas on April 12, 1945.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers, Quentin Daniel, Jr. and James Daniel, and infant son Kyle Patrick Daniel.
Melvin is survived by his wife of 55 years, Judy Lawler Daniel and two children, Christopher Lee Daniel (Jadie) of Cabot, Arkansas, and Melissa Anthony (Andy) of Hot Springs, Arkansas; three grandchildren, Austin Lee Daniel of Donaldson, Arkansas, Morgan Gibson (Nick) of Longview, Texas, and Holden Slaton of Cabot, Arkansas; one great grandchild, Kenley Palmer Daniel and her mother, Kandace Palmer White of Hot Springs, Arkansas; five sisters, Danita Bever of St. Clair, Missouri, Joyce Knighten (Jerry) of Pearcy, Arkansas, Esther Pittman (Ras) of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Mary (Larry) Barrentine of Malvern, Arkansas, Martha (Bob) Parker of Benton, Arkansas; and numerous nieces and nephews along with their children.
Melvin was a member of Center Fork Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as usher.
After graduating from Bismarck High school in 1963, Melvin attended Oklahoma State University, where he obtained a degree in Agriculture Education. He later received his Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. His career began in
Glenwood Schools, where he taught Agriculture for two years prior to his 33 year tenure as the agriculture instructor at Lake Hamilton High School.
Melvin used his knowledge of agriculture and his love for children to encourage and support student participation in the many opportunities available through the FFA organization. The FFA Motto: “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living
to Serve” were not words merely spoken by Mr. Daniel and members of the FFA over the years, but he lived those words and taught his students to do the same. He dedicated long hours, weekends, and summers towards teaching kids responsibility through competitions throughout the tri-state area and beyond. He led many teams to state and national levels, competing in a variety of areas such as agriculture mechanics and livestock judging. He also helped produce the school’s first FFA State Officer and its first American Degree Recipient.
After retiring from Lake Hamilton Schools, he went on to teach at Foreman Schools for another year and a half before going to work for the Garland County Extension Service for six years, where he served as director of the Master Gardeners Association.
Melvin’s love of agriculture kept him involved throughout the county, as he was a member of the Garland County Cattlemen's Association, Garland County Farmers Association, Soil Conservation District (where he served as Secretary), Garland County
Fair Board, AVATA (where he served as President), Agriculture Teachers 20 Year Club (where he served as President), and served as the FFA Alumni President and as the Arkansas FFA Officer Advisor. He also had a strong passion for raising Black Angus/Limousin Cattle, and spent a large amount of his time building up a quality herd, which brought him great joy.
As a result of Melvin’s lifelong commitment to agriculture, he was awarded the Honorary Chapter FFA Degree, Honorary State FFA Degree, and even the highest honor a non-FFA member can receive: The Honorary American FFA Degree, which was presented to him at the National FFA Convention. He was also named a County Agent of the Year and was recently inducted into the Legendary Owl Hall of Fame, which honors those who strongly and positively impact the future of Agriculture in Arkansas. Most recently, the resolution was presented and passed by the LH school board to name the future school farm, The Melvin Daniel Lake Hamilton FFA Farm in his honor.
Melvin Daniel will forever be remembered as a wonderful husband and father, as well as a teacher, mentor, role model, inspiration, encourager, trusted advisor and father figure to an uncountable number of students and colleagues.
A celebration of his life will be held on August 26, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at the Wolf Arena on the Lake Hamilton School Campus. Visitation and food with the family will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Center Fork Missionary Baptist Church on South Moore Road in Hot
Memorials can be made to the Lake Hamilton FFA Alumni Association, The Melvin Daniel Lake Hamilton FFA Farm, or to Center Fork Missionary Baptist Church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Smith Family Funeral Home, Hot Springs.