Teacher. Adviser. Star athlete. Raconteur. Friend.
Ed Daniel, 74, of Arlington is being remembered in many ways by friends, former students, and colleagues from Howard Payne University following his death Monday after a year-long illness.
Mostly, though, he is being remembered as unforgettable.
Family visitation will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Fielder Church, 2011 S. Fielder Road in Arlington. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the church. A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in North Brown Cemetery near Goldthwaite.
Dr. Cory Hines, president of Howard Payne, pointed to Daniel’s decades of service to, and support of, the university in a variety of ways — first as a student, then as a professor, and more recently as a member of two boards.
“Dr. Daniel was one of Howard Payne University’s earliest graduates of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy,” Hines said, “and he has remained a committed supporter and friend of the university for over 50 years, helping to provide leadership through his service on the university’s Board of Trustees and the Academy Board of Directors. Howard Payne has lost a great alumnus, and I and the rest of the HPU family express our condolences to Dr. Daniel’s family and friends.”
Others in the university’s network were quick to offer tributes as news of his death Monday spread.
“Ed Daniel was my friend for more than 60 years, and his many accomplishments, beginning with stardom on Gordon Wood’s first state championship football team at BHS, are many,” Dr. Don Newbury, Howard Payne chancellor and former president, said. “He likewise excelled as a student at HPU, and in professional life as well.
“Perhaps less well known is that he taught a Bible class for older men at Fielder Church for more than a quarter century, often dropping by to give rides to the ones who no longer were able to drive,” Newbury added. “He leaves a deep void and will be missed by legions of friends.”
Dallas Huston, veteran radio broadcaster of both Brownwood High and Howard Payne football games, said he knew Daniel well, and because they were close to the same age, they had many mutual friends.
“I knew him as a football player, a man, and a friend, and he was good at all three,” Huston said.
“Add my name to the long list of those who will deeply miss Ed’s friendship and wit,” said Gene Deason, chairman of the board of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy at HPU and Brownwood Bulletin editor emeritus. “The lessons I learned in his Texas history class at Howard Payne proved invaluable in my newspaper career, but later I came to appreciate his institutional memory, his forward vision, and his keen assessment of issues during the decades we served together on the Academy’s board of directors.
“Ed’s thoughtful insights were often peppered with lessons from Scripture, then punctuated with a perfectly timed joke,” Deason continued. “I speak for the entire Honors Academy family in saying we recognize and honor what Ed meant not only to the university that brought us together, but also to each of us personally.”
One of Daniel’s former students said the two of them had developed a close friendship in recent years.
“During my college years, he was one of those larger than life figures difficult to describe,” Mike Mooneyham of Midlothian, a 1972 Howard Payne graduate, said. “He was an amazing teacher who made history a living and breathing subject… His lectures were rife with his wit and humor, and the classes were over long before anyone wanted them to be. Ed was my role model and, during the years I was a teacher, I did all within my power to emulate him. But there was only one Ed Daniel. He made all of his students feel as if they were special and as if each one was his only student.”
When Daniel left teaching to become a stock broker, Mooneyham said, he didn’t stop entertaining audiences with his wit and humor.
“He spent several decades traveling the country on the speakers’ circuit. He always left the crowd in amazement with his philosophy, jokes and humorous stories.”
Daniel had success as a high school and college athlete, but even in his 70s, Mooneyham said he could run, catch, and wrangle a goat on his Goldthwaite farm faster than a cowboy 40 years his junior.
“He was always willing to do anything in the wide world to help anyone, including me,” Mooneyham said. After Daniel’s retirement, he joined Mooneyham and two others for informal weekly lunches where discussion topics included barbecue, philosophy, politics, and religion.
“Regarding philosophy, Ed was incredibly knowledgeable and wise,” Mooneyham said. “Regarding politics, Ed made it clear that he voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. And most importantly, regarding religion, Ed made it clear that when he breathed his last breath on earth, he knew that he would be with Jesus in Paradise.”
Daniel was born Aug. 19, 1944, the oldest son of the late Oda and Lollie Obenhaus Daniel, in Palm Springs, California, where his father was stationed during World War II. After the war, his family returned to Texas and moved to Brownwood.
A graduate of Brownwood High School, Daniel was a starting tight end on the 1960 state champion Brownwood Lions football team. In his memoir, Coach Gordon Wood described Daniel as “doing yeomen’s work” playing on offense and defense, and recalled his participation in a pass and lateral play that helped the Lions defeat rival Breckenridge on their way to a state crown.
Following graduation, he attended Howard Payne (then) College where students elected him “Mr. HPC.” He played football for four years and earned a degree, with honors, in 1966. Coaches selected him for first team All-Lone Star Conference football honors. Later, he earned a Master of Arts degree from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas.
Daniel taught both history and government on the university level before entering the brokerage business in 1976. Before moving to Fort Worth, he was the founding president of the Brownwood Optimist Club. He continued his passion for teaching as a public speaker for groups who enjoyed hearing his “humor in history.”
Daniel retired in September 2016 after 40 years as a financial planner with various firms in Fort Worth. He continued his relationship with HPU, serving as chairman of the Academy of Freedom Board of Directors and as a member of the HPU Board of Trustees.
His life was not complete, however, without golf dates with his buddies. In recent years, he enjoyed raising goats on the family farm near Goldthwaite. Over the past 30 years, he enjoyed trips to Ruidoso, New Mexico, and visiting his family in Tampico, Mexico.
He was a member of Fielder Church in Arlington, where he taught a men’s Bible Class for more than 25 years.
He is survived by his wife, Alicia; daughter and son-in-law, Laura and Julio Lozano; grandchildren, Isabella, Alexis and Samuel Lozano of Arlington; sister, Deborah (David) Twiford of Goldthwaite; brother, Pat (Mitzi) Daniel of Arlington; nieces Amy (David) Dumas and Casey Daniel, and nephews Brady Daniel and Ty Robertson.
The family requests that memorials to be made to Fielder Church Missions, 1323 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington, TX 76013.