I found out last Thursday morning that my grandmother's house had sold in Brookhaven, so I made a trip down that afternoon. My dad and grandfather built this house many years ago, and I have always been so proud of that! It was fun to go one last time and walk through the yard where my cousins and I had bottle rocket wars, and look in the closet where Jeff and I hid most of the time during hide and seek. Lots of good memories--I'm very thankful for my family! We sure will be glad to have her in Jackson though!
I also was determined to climb the pear tree one last time, and I think it will be the last tree I will ever climb! It's not as easy as it used to be!
The Daily Leader paper had this article in it a few weeks ago. It was entitled "Local Spends LIfe Giving".
Local spends life giving to community
Published 11:49am Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Brookhaven will soon lose one of its frequent givers and humble helpers.
Keith McDaniel will soon be moving to The Orchard in Ridgeland, but not without leaving her mark in the more than 50 years she has been a part of the local fabric.
” Mrs. Keith is a dear, dear lady and will be missed by so many,” Helen Lynch, one of McDaniel’s many friends, said. “She does so much in our community and has made such a difference in so many lives for so many years.”
McDaniel moved to Brookhaven in 1966 and taught English at Copiah-Lincoln Community College for many years.
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http://www.dailyleader.com/2015/02/17/local-spends-life-giving-to-community/ 2/27/2015“What impressed me from the first about Brookhaven were its friendly people, fine hospital, many fine churches, good schools and good people in administration, ” she said.
She taught developmental English and worked hard to help those students catch up. McDaniel said she taught many football and basketball players because of her strict nature.
“The coaches knew I’d tattle on them,” she said with a laugh.
One of her favorite stories involves a football player coming to her at the end of class. He wanted to thank her for all her help in English.
“Mrs. Mc, you done so good,” McDaniel recalled him saying.
McDaniel was present at Co-Lin as they integrated the students. She said, with one exception, the whole process went smoothly.
“They blended well,” she said.
The incident she remembered was when she and another teacher took a group down to New Orleans as part of her French class. The group began ignoring a black girl on the trip, but McDaniel and the other teacher were quick to fill in the gap.
“We were her friends for the weekend,” she said.
Although her profession required a certain amount of a giving nature, McDaniel’s work doesn’t stop there. She has been very active with Outreach Ministries.
McDaniel got involved after meeting Jerry Durr. She said the Outreach began when Durr found a homeless man sleeping on a bench in Brookhaven.
“He really impressed me as a caring person,” she said. “It seemed like it was such a good outreach.”
She has enjoyed being able to help those in need, but she said her favorite parts of the Outreach haven’t involved giving material things. McDaniel loved being able to talk and give her time to the people.
“It was just a people mission,” she said.
McDaniel also volunteered at the hospital, including six years in the emergency room. There her goal was to be an encouraging and comfort spirit during such stressful times.
“Many people told me it was such a blessing to see a smiling face,” she said.
In recent years, McDaniel has really grown to love her Sit Fit class, led by Idella Byrd at King’s Daughters Medical Center’s fitness center.
“There’s about five or six of us that sit around a table,” she said. “We just get really into each other’s lives.”
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McDaniel said as a going away present she was given a ball with everyone’s names on it along with a little bit of equipment. She hopes to find a similar exercise group near The Orchard.
“Really I wanted to kidnap her [Byrd] and take her with me,” she said.
McDaniel has touched many lives, but many have touched hers. Although she believes its part of God’s plan for her to leave at this time, she leaves with many memories of the people of Brookhaven.
Faith Presbyterian, where McDaniel is a member, will be hosting a going away reception on Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in its fellowship hall.