Gwendolyn (“Gwen”) V. McDaniel passed away on February 21, 2018 at Ball Memorial Hospital following a fall and consequent hip replacement in early January. Her son, Ted Williamson, was by her side. On January 23, she had celebrated her 100th Birthday in the company of family and friends.
Gwen McDaniel was born in Jay County, Indiana in 1918, daughter of Clarence C. and Vashti (Vance) Martin. She graduated from Portland High School in 1935 and attended night classes in Indianapolis during World War II while working at the Indianapolis Power and Light Company. She married Wendell Williamson in 1937 and returned to Portland, IN. Wendell died in 1973. She married Lee McDaniel in 1986 and he died in 2013.
Gwen was Queen of the Portland Centennial in 1936. She was ordained as an Elder in 1975 in the First Presbyterian Church, served as a Deacon for many Years, President of its Women’s Association, and a member of Miriam Circle.
She was a member of the First American Field Service Committee at Jay County High School. A 28 year active member of the Delta Theta Tau Sorority, member of the Plant Hoe and Hope Garden Club, member of Portland Country Club Ladies Golf Association, Ladies of the Elks, Jay County Hospital Auxiliary, and was Administrative and Executive Secretary for Jay County Hospital working 17 years for four Administrators; also a member of the Jay County Historical Society and Art’s Place. She was a Cub Scout leader and Sunday school teacher.
Gwen played golf for many years. She also enjoyed playing bridge with her friends. During the 1980’s, accompanied by her son Ted and his wife Fadia, she toured the capitals of Europe and resided with them in Saudi Arabia for a brief time.
Gwen was predeceased by her younger brother, Bill Martin, in 2015. She is survived by her son, Ted Martin Williamson, a retired attorney, and his wife, Fadia Fayad Williamson, who live in Vermont. She is also survived by her stepchildren, Tom McDaniel (wife, Elaine), of Lopez Island, WA, Cindy Merchant (husband, Jerry) of Mt. Dora, FL and David McDaniel (wife, Beth) of Carmel, IN, six step grandchildren, seven step great grandchildren, a brother, Royce Martin of Palatine, IL, her brother Bill’s widow, Elisabeth Martin, of Columbus, GA, five nieces and three nephews.
A private burial was held on February 24, 2017 in Green Park Cemetery. A memorial service to be held in the spring will be announced later.
Any memorials are requested to be made to Art’s Place, The First Presbyterian Church of Portland, Indiana or the donor’s favorite charity. Baird-Freeman Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements.