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Lee Ivory Bonner McDaniel

Wednesday, December 30, 2020
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Today we celebrate Mrs. Lee Ivory Bonner McDaniel.

This ninth daughter of Mr. Erastus “Rassie” and Mrs. Lula B. Slaton Bonner was born in Ruston, Louisiana, on March 23, 1930, the eleventh of twelve children in her family.

She departed this life during the morning hours of December 22, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana having dedicated her life to giving.

At an early age she became a member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Ruston, Louisiana and accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. Growing up during the Great Depression in a large family living in rural North Louisiana, she witnessed how faith, discipline and love conquers adversity.

In 1948, she graduated from Lincoln High School in Ruston, Louisiana and followed in the footsteps of two older sisters as she pursued a career as an educator. After attending Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, for one year, she transferred to Grambling College in Grambling, Louisiana, and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. While attending Grambling College, she became a Charter Member of Alpha Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She would later become a Charter Member of the Lake Charles, Louisiana Zeta Psi Omega Chapter of her sorority, continuing its pursuit of personal and professional development as well as community service.

Her passion for educating led her to Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1952 where she began her career as a first grade teacher at Washington School under the late Mrs. Jessie D. Clifton, Principal. In addition to Washington School, she taught first and fifth grades for over 30 years in Calcasieu and Bossier Parishes, including Carver Elementary, Forrest K. White Elementary, Henry Heights Elementary and Ralph Wilson Elementary, receiving numerous awards and recognition from her administrators and students.

During her years as an educator, Mrs. McDaniel began graduate studies at University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado and earned a Master of Education from McNeese State University. Upon retiring in 1984, she dedicated her retirement years to tutoring children in her community. Although her declining health challenged her later years, her desire for teaching others never waned.

Her Christian life in Lake Charles was further enhanced as a member of New Sunlight Baptist Church. Over 65 years she practiced her faith as a member of this historical Lake Charles church, culminating in leadership or teaching positions with the Women’s Missionary Society, Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.

In addition to being a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mrs. McDaniel was a member of the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association, the Calcasieu Parish Unit of Retired Teachers, the Golden Girls and AARP.

Mrs. McDaniel met her future husband and fellow educator, Mr. Lynn E. McDaniel while attending University of Colorado. They married on January 2, 1960. From this union, two sons were born, unconditionally loved and blessed with unforgettable childhood experiences. She remained a supporting presence throughout their adult lives.

Mrs. McDaniel was preceded in death by her husband, Mr. Lynn E. McDaniel, oldest son, Orlando K. McDaniel and her stepson, Fredrick McDaniel.

Family left to cherish her beautiful memories include her youngest son and his wife, Gerald L. McDaniel and Dawn Y. McDaniel, daughter-in-law, Mariva A. McDaniel, all of Dallas, Texas; one brother, Fred H. Bonner of Ruston, Louisiana; four granddaughters, Dionne M. McDaniel of Alexandria, Virginia, Sydney D. McDaniel and Lynsey T. McDaniel of Los Angeles, California and Alexis S. McDaniel of Dallas, Texas; one great-grandson, Lee A. Bradshaw of Alexandria, Virginia; one sisterly niece, Nancy Carolyn Easley of Halifax, Virginia and a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and dear friends.

Visitation will be held from 8 – 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 2, 2020, at Combre Funeral Home in Lake Charles, Louisiana, In strict accordance with current State of Louisiana COVID-19 protocol, it is requested that attendees wear masks and respect social distancing.

Due to COVID-19, a private celebration service will follow 11 a.m. at New Sunlight Baptist Church in Lake Charles. Friends are invited to participate in the live streaming of this service via the following link: