Jessie Phillip Daniel, III
On Nov. 16, 2014, God called home an always faithful soldier and family man, Jessie Phillip “Phil” Daniel, III. Phil was born on Oct. 11, 1934 in Kilgore, Texas to Jessie Phillip “JP” Daniel, Jr and Mildred “Gracie” Ford Daniel. The son of a bulldozer operator and all around roughneck and a housekeeper, he was the oldest of five children. Phil’s family followed th
e booming oil business, moving all over East Texas, Southern Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
As soon as he could convince the United States Marine Corps he was old enough to enlist, he joined the Few, the Proud—a move that would define the rest of his life, as with all Marines. During his 20-year career in the service of his country, Phil served overseas in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and many other posts. During his service, he earned numerous awards, including the Combat Action Ribbon, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, as well as the Korean Service Medal and multiple Vietnam Service Medals and Good Conduct Medals, in addition to a personal Letter of Recognition for his long and dedicated service to his country. Like most soldiers who saw battle, he spoke little of his time in service, but held dear the pride he felt as a brother among his fellow Marines.
In 1954, he married a shy and slight young woman who spoke English with a funny accent, Maureen Monica McCabe, who had just moved to Dallas, Texas, with her mother from Liverpool, England. She fell for his tall frame, handsome good looks, sharp wit, and impeccable dress. They enjoyed a marriage of 25 years that he often described as the happiest days of his life. In 1970, they adopted a little girl in San Francisco, near where they were stationed, and began to raise a family. Upon retiring from the Marines, he moved his family back to his home state of Texas, where he returned to the oil industry working in petrochemical refineries and living in La Porte, Texas. There they lived happily, if modestly, until Maureen’s untimely death.
Losing his first wife too soon to illness, he met and wed another wonderful woman, Jeanette Potts Pointer Daniel. They enjoyed their retired years together, living in Houston, Splendora, and finally Lockhart. They enjoyed 25 years of marriage and a full life of family and their church community until her death in 2013. By then, dementia had taken over his normally sharp mind, but it couldn’t dull his wit or the sparkle in his eye, especially for children. He lived most recently in Austin, Texas, with his daughter, Katrina Daniel, and at Parsons House, where he made many new friends among the residents and staff.
He is preceded in death by his wives, Maureen Monica McCabe and Jeanette Pointer Daniel; his parents, Jessie Phillip Daniel, Jr., and Mildred Grace Daniel, and his brother Gerald “Jerry” Daniel.
Phil Daniel is survived by his daughter, Katrina Daniel, of Austin; his stepdaughter, Sonjah Pointer, of San Antonio; his brother, Ronald Wayne Daniel and his wife, Paula, of Alvin, Texas; sisters, Linda Barr, of Maynard, Ark., and Debbie Walker, also of Arkansas; his grandson, his wife, and their three boys, Kirk and Clarissa Ridge, Noah, Asher, and Fynnlan; granddaughters Keenan Johnson and her husband, Joshua and Haley Reed and her partner, John Serianni and their children, Brianna Renna Serianni and Jayse Serianni.
While we will miss you here until we see you again, I know those who have gone before you, including those who’ve served in the Army and Navy, will be relieved to see that you’ve joined the ranks in Heaven’s scenes where you always knew the streets are guarded by the United States Marines. Semper Fidelis.
Our family also wishes to offer special thanks to those who have shown us extraordinary care in recent months, including the staff at Parson’s House who provided a warm and inviting home, Dr. Lee Frierson-Stroud, and the caring staff at the Summit at Westlake and Brookdale Hospice.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at 3 p.m. at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78209.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in memory of Jessie Phillip Daniel, III to the Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd, Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, Calif., 92057 or by email semperfifund.org.