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Keith Eric McDaniel
Keith Eric McDanielWinter ParkKeith Eric McDaniel, 62, died Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at the Arbors of Marietta. He was born July 25, 1958 in Marion.

He was a 1976 graduate of Guntersville High School in Alabama where he had been chosen to be Valedictorian. Keith was a standout athlete in high school sports, having been state tennis champion as well as excelling in football baseball, basketball, track and wrestling. He loved waterskiing. He had also been active in Boy Scouts of America. He loved animals.

He was a very bright student and had aspirations to become an engineer like his father, but a serious back injury while playing football his senior year changed his life forever. Following recovery from the injury, Keith suffered debilitating mental illness for the rest of his life. His illness inspired his little sister to study psychology in college and eventually become a doctor.

He is survived by his father, Don McDaniel, Tennessee; his mother, Rebecca (Morrison) Diedrich, Beckley, West Virginia; two brothers, Kent (Kay Ross) McDaniel, Rochester, Minnesota; Kyle (Wendy) McDaniel, Deltona, Florida; a sister, Kate (Kevin McLaughlin) McDaniel, Beckley, West Virginia; aunt, Molly Charles, aunt, Kay (Dan) Moore, uncle, John (Noel) Morrison, a stepsister, Cindy Hulette; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM in the Claibourne Cemetery with Pastor Joseph Rhea officiating.

Memorial gifts may be made to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), PO Box 49104 Baltimore, MD 21297.

Condolences and remembrances may be expressed at www.stofcheck-ballinger.com

Directions to Claibourne Cemetery

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Condolences       to

#1 from: Rebecca George
Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 5:27 PM

To Becky Morrison Diedrich,
    Remembering teaching 6th grade with you at Claibourne and also working there with your dear mother, Kit.
    May you be comforted knowing Keith's suffering is now truly over and he may rest in peace.
    Blessings to you and your family,
                 Becky George

#2 from: Don Mcdaniel
Knoxville tn
Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 8:36 PM

My beloved firstborn son.

#3 from: Noelle Jacquet-Morrison
St.Paul, Minnesota
Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 11:22 AM

Few days ago, my husbandís first-born nephew Keith died. He was 62 years old. I did not know him well. He was imprisoned in his mind by mental illnesses that did not allow him to realize what his life could have been, I learned that he was an awesome athlete with an IQ in line with Einstein, but was unable to function in the world and his mind was riddled with alternate thoughts and perceptions of the world around him.  Diagnosed In his late teens mental health disorders, he would live a life where reality was only his own and with time he descended in the abyss of darkness without any hope of recovery. We never had the chance to know who he was because of his inability to relate to the world around him. and my only remembrance of him is rooted in few visits.
But today I want people to know that at time even in his darkest moments there was a feel of innocence about him. So here is the story that sticks in my mind.
One summer around his birthday we took a trip to Ohio to my husbandís family with our children who at that time were in their mid- teens for the girls and Philip our son must have been around 10. It was Keithís birthday and he asked if we could buy him cigarettes as gift. It was also a time where he was obsessed with watches and would wear 5 or 6 on each arm. He was obsessed with being on time, not your time or my time, but his time. He asked that I take him to specific store in town to buy his cigarettes.  He was specific, only I could take him. So, I agreed. He wanted to leave at 3pm sharp. I was warned not to be late. So, at 3pm sharp I was ready. What I had not counted on is that he would need to check all his watches. All 10 of them. One at a time. So, when I told him that I was ready, he proceeded to check the time and having a short conversation with each of his watches. So, I waited patiently until he was done. By the time he was on the last watch it was 3:08 pm  according to him and I was late. He expressed his concerns about my lateness but was willing to oblige me to take him anyhow, as the cigarettes seemed to be a more powerful attraction than trying to make me understand the need to be on time. We went, I bought a carton of cigarettes and we returned to his motherís house then, he left without a word.
Today we want to remember that his life was precious, but his body refused to let his mind do the job of being. Born in moment of joy, he would for his entire adult life be a prisoner of his mind.
You can now soar dear child, the spirits will soothe your soul and you are now free to be who you were destined to be.

#4 from: Patricia Parrott Eby
Reno, Nv.
Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 2:52 PM

SO sorry for your loss. Losing a child is so hard. Have been there and know the kind of grief you must be feeling. Prayers for both you Don and Becky. Pat Parrott Eby

#5 from: Mike Thompson
Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 3:35 PM

I grew up with the McDaniel and Morrison families.He came from good stock.A tragic story but he gave you some good memories.Keep those.My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.Mike

#6 from: johna nibert
Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 7:11 PM

So sorry for the loss of your Son, Brother and all. He must have been a awsome  lad. Prayers to all.  
              Johna Nibert

#7 from: Ginger (Chapman) Wright
Kokomo IN
Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 8:31 PM

I remember Keith with fondness. He was truly a polite and gentle soul.

#8 from: Deb Lawyer
Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 10:51 AM

I spent many hours with Molly and remember Keith fondly.  I even went to Alabama with Molly and her parents to visit Becky and her family.  Molly and Keith tried valiantly to teach me to water ski but that didnít seem to be in the cards as I fell over every time.  I am so sorry for the pain that Keith and his family have suffered.

#9 from: Catherine Ferguson
Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 3:00 PM

To Rebecca Diedrich,                 Sincerest sympathy for comfort at this difficult time.  Prayers for you and your family.

#10 from: Kent McDaniel
Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 9:24 PM

Keith was my older brother who I loved deeply. I am so sorry that he had such a hard life. I will miss him greatly.
Love, Kent

#11 from: John McDaniel
Marion, Ohio
Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 9:54 PM

My deepest condolences to the whole family..
John Mc Daniel

#12 from: Kevin Kehn
Marion, Ohio
Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 9:01 AM

Becky, Kent, Kyle and Kate,

May the peace of God be with you all during this time of loss.  Rest eternal grant Keith, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him.

#13 from: Kay McDaniel Moore and Dan Moore
Swansboro  North Carolina
Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 11:18 AM

We send our condolences to all Keithís family. May memories of the bright, athletic and mischievous young fellow he was bring you comfort .

#14 from: Kate McDaniel
Beaver, WV
Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 8:21 PM

Go rest high on that Mountain....Your work on Earth is done. I love you big brother.
     - Katydid

#15 from: Mom
Beaver, WV
Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 8:26 PM

Your talents skills and abilities should not have  been covered up with the wet cold torment of mental illness.  You were a good son and I am proud of the way you managed your illness so bravely.  I will not forget you, son.  Iíll love you forever.
       - Mom

#16 from: Gary and Susie Crofut
Wed, Jan 20, 2021 at 3:54 PM

Love and prayers to Rebecca and family. Susie and Gary Crofut              

#17 from: Uncle John
Saint Paul, MN
Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 11:31 AM

It is hard to lose someone you have known and loved from birth. We all sorrow in our loss, but I want to remember the joys you brought us in your life, and to be happy that you have now laid down the burdens that life had brought you. Rest in peace, Keith.  

#18 from: Kyle McDaniel
Deltona, FL
Sun, Jan 24, 2021 at 8:58 PM

Every teacher and coach I ever had growing up who knew Keith asked if I was Keith McDaniel's brother. I would say "Yes." The coaches would say " We're going to watching you, because he was incredible.", and the teachers would say things like "He was the smartest student I ever had." One said he never received a "B." Straight "A"s up until the back injury. I remember him getting "Incompletes" on his report cards, because he would be in pain and not want to go to school. He told incredibly detailed but simplistic jokes that he would make up on the spot. We would laugh so hard. He would draw something in seconds that were amazing. His designs with cardboard or duct tape were so inventive, creative, and complex. Yes, he rolled me down a hill in a 50 gallon drum and I hit a tree. Yes, he duct taped me to a tree. Yes, he threw a lit bottle rocket in my bedroom the same night after I had an M 80 †blow a hole through my ear and had just gotten it sewn back together at the emergency room.
But he was my big brother. I always wanted to be as good an athlete, as smart, and as talented as him. And all of this has somehow caused me to be a better person. Maybe because I have never had the challenges Keith has endured. He was unique, special, gifted, intense, creative, and †hilarious. I love you Keith. My big brother.

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