Willis L. "Bill" Daniel, 99 years, 8 months, died peacefully Tuesday, June 19, 2012 with family at his side.
He was in good health and strong in spirit, but bed-ridden and weak in strength. Bill was a native of Danieltown in Brunswick County, Va., where his ancestors had lived since deeds were signed by King George II of England. He moved with his parents, Ashton S. Daniel and Lottie L. Moore to Colonial Heights in 1929 and lived briefly in Richmond and Petersburg before settling in Colonial Heights.
Bill loved hunting in earlier years but his real love was fishing. He and his family vacationed in Mathews County since the mid 1940s where he crabbed and fished every year until 2011. Bill and each of his two wives rented cottages on North River, Gwynn’s Island, and Burton’s Point but his long-time favorite was Godfrey Bay in Blakes where he fished for many years with Gus Lampathakis and rented year-around next door to Gus and Betty.
When his son bought a home on Billups Creek, Bill went boat fishing with him until no longer able, then charter fishing with Glen Hubbard, and even caught five fish while sitting inside his back porch with the door open–reeling them through the grass and bouncing them up the steps.
Willis worked briefly with his father in 1929 helping build the first building at the Dupont plant in Richmond, then his father Ashton became the first police officer in the town of Colonial Heights and Bill took a job driving a truck for the Highway Department in 1930. Bill worked in various capacities and by 1945 he was Associate Fiscal Manager. When Virginia decided to build a limited access highway through Richmond and Petersburg, he was selected to become the Director of Finance & Purchasing, Property and Stores, Advertising, Risk Manager, Comptroller, and acting Executive Director of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike Authority, which afterward became part of Interstate 95.
Bill retired in 1975 but served the Appomattox River Water Authority for many years as financial consultant. He was a member of the National Machine Accountants Association (NMAA) which became Data Processing Management Association (DPMA) where he served as Richmond Chapter President and held four International Officer positions.
He was a life member of Risk and Insurance Management Society and held Chapter and National officer positions. He was also a member of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association and the American Management Association. Bill was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since childhood and was a charter member of Colonial Christian Church where he served as Elder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Bill was widower of Elizabeth Cheely Daniel and of Nell Bickings Popoczy Daniel. He was also preceded in death by five brothers, a sister, a grandson, a step-grandson, and son-in-law, Donald Wells.
Willis is survived by a son, Gerald L. "Jerry" Daniel (Beverly) of Moon; two daughters, Joyce D. Wells of Colonial Heights and Sandra D. Harrison (Gerald) of Dinwiddie; step-daughter, Nancy P. Bresko (George) of Prince George; eight grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 23 at the Colonial Christian Church, 295 Dunlop Farms Blvd, Colonial Heights. The family will receive friends from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday at E. Alvin Small Funeral Home, 2033 Boulevard in Colonial Heights.
Condolences may be registered at www.ealvinsmall.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad or Colonial Christian Church.