Bessie McDaniel


Bessie Mae Murdock McDaniel, at the age of 96, departed for heaven the morning of August 14, 2013.

Born to Frank and Emma Jones Murdock on September 28, 1916, Bessie was the eldest of 10 children. A brother, Gurvin Murdock (Cara Jean) and sister, Alice Fontenot survive her.

November 9, 1932 she married Joseph Daniel “JD” McDaniel, who died July 3, 1965. They raised three sons, Troy Joseph, Joseph Tillman and Clyde Ross McDaniel, all now deceased; and 2 daughters, Emma Della Lawrence (Ivan), and DeeLois Mae Lawrence (Jerry); Mrs. Clyde McDaniel (Jimmie) also survives her.

Eighteen of us had the privilege to call her “Grandma”. Thirty-four others knew her as Great-Grandma. Then there are thirty-three great-great-grandchildren with one on the way and three great-great-great-grandchildren. She considered several others her grandkids as well. She was honored as an “adopted grandparent” in association with the Jefferson County Sherriff’s office. She often would say, “I love all my kids. I may not like everything they do but that’s between them and God”.

Mrs. McDaniel, a lifelong resident of the Double Wells Community, near Pine Bluff, Ark., was respected and loved by many. Her coconut cake was legendary. Her wealth of historical facts and humorous stories entertained several generations. One of her greatest pleasures was making loved ones a quilt. She was a real talent with her sewing abilities. Her positive attitude endeared her to “new friends”. The past few months added many doctors, nurses, health care professionals and first responders to that list. The family wishes to thank each of them for the comfort and encouragement during this time.

The family is at the home of Jerry and DeeLois Lawrence, where Bessie had been residing the past few months.

Visitation will be Friday from 5:30-7:30. Services will be Saturday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Fuller-Hale South Funeral Home. Reverend Todd Howard and Reverend Charles McDaniel will be officiating. Interment will follow at Lee Cemetery. Online condolences: FullerFunerals.com.