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Robert “Bob” was the first child of Ward Taylor Daniels and Etha Pearl Hurd. Although the family lived on a farm in Wells Township, Appanoose County, Iowa, Bob was born in Moulton at the home of Etha’s parents, 412 North Main Street. Bob was soon joined by two sisters Ruth (Smith), Barbara (Payne), and a brother Stuart (Dorla). All have proceeded him in death.
He attended Pulliam Rural, 1st through 8th grade, a one-room school house near the family home. After completing Pulliam he attended Moulton High School in Moulton.
Upon graduation and at the age of 17 he convinced Mom Etha to sign for him to enlist in the US Marine Corps as World War II was raging in the Pacific. He soon found himself in recruit training in San Diego, CA and upon completion of his training was immediately transferred as a Corporal to the Marine Bombing Squadron 443 for 15 months in Southwest Pacific theatre area. His squadron participated in both the Bismarck Archipelago Operation and the Northern Soloman Islands Campaign. Bob completed his military service stationed at Cherry Point, NC where he was honorably discharged in 1946.
In 1948 Bob married Marvel Brockus, a hometown girl. Bob bought some farm acreage next to his parents farm. He and Marvel lived with Ward and Etha while they built their own new home on the recently purchased acreage. Their new home was constructed from wood harvested in the family timber and sawn in the family sawmill by Bob and his father Ward. Their first son Warren soon welcomed a brother Wayne, sister Marian and baby brother David.
Bob quickly discovered he was not a “farming man” and went into business for himself. He opened a store on Main Street in Moulton called Daniels Hardware – Plumbing and Heating. He ran and expanded this operation successfully for several years. Given his mechanical and business expertise he was offered and accepted a position as Manager/Director of the newly formed Farmers Mutual Telephone Cooperative which was converting rural phone service from party crank phones to the newer dial phone system.
Always looking for new and exciting activities Bob began pilot training and received his airplane pilot’s license in 1963 and shortly thereafter purchased his own single engine airplane which he greatly enjoyed flying especially from his dirt landing strip on the farm to local airports and even very long distance from Iowa to the airport in Milton, Florida. He and his daughter Marian made one especially exciting trip from Moulton, Iowa to Milton which Marian can tell you all about !!
Bob was also active in fraternal and civic organizations including the Burl McClure Post of the American Legion, Commander 1951; the Serenity Masonic Lodge #317 in Moulton; Kaaba Shrine Temple Noble in Davenport.
In the early 1960’s even with all this going on when another business opportunity became available next to his hardware store he jumped with both feet into an additional adventure….running a pub and dance hall. Sadly as the Pub remodeling was being completed and grand opening imminent, a devastating fire broke out in the pub. The fire was so terrible it destroyed both the hardware and pub buildings.
Not only did this event destroy his business life, it took its toll on his personal life. His marriage to Marvel ended.
In 1964 Bob married Geraldine “Jerry” Morrow Newcomer. He soon quit the Telephone Cooperative and he and Jerry moved to Milton, Florida. His sister Barbara lived in Milton and he had visited her several times and liked the area. Two of Bob’s children Warren and Marian and Jerry’s two sons, Randy and Richard moved with them to Milton. In 1966 Bob and Jerry had a daughter DeAnn (Eric Rodriquez)
Bob explored his employment options in his new location, he worked off-shore drilling, off-shore worker transport, running a specialty advertising business, insurance agent, local government and finally a booming Florida business…real estate. He passed his realtor exam and became an agent for Strout Realty. He continued in the Shriners Pensacola Hadji Temple and American Legion for many years
A health scare in 1988, minor heart attack, made Bob re-evaluate his lifestyle. He closed the realty office and stopped his insurance and advertising business. Fishing, gardening and veterans affairs became his interests and past times.
He became very active with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4833. He helped them acquire land and build a new Post home. He served as Post Commander in 1977 and 1993 and as a life member he stayed busy and enjoyed the many activities at the VFW.
The death of his daughter DeAnn in 2003, the death of his wife Jerry in 2009 and his sister Barbara 2017 took mighty tolls and slowed him even more. Moving into his 90th year he was seeing even more of his younger family members, friends and contempories passing and reminded him of just how old he had become. As he moved further and further into dementia and frailty he accepted a move into a local Adult Living Facility. But it was only to last a few months until his long and mostly happy life overtook him. He was recently transferred to a Santa Rosa Care a 24 hour care facility under hospice and he passed on peacefully January 26, 2023 being 96 years, 7 months and 15 days of age.
Left to mourn his passing are his children: Warren, Moulton Iowa; Wayne (Alice), Cantonment; Marian Julius (John), Milton; David (Sandra), Lawson MO. Stepsons Randy and Richard Newcomer; Grandchildren: Lisa Zimmerman and Tammy Brown (Warren); Nina Tamoria (Wayne); Eric Eakins, Valarie Wollner, Zarah Lewis, Joel Lewis (Marian); Tanya Boecker, Melissa Daniels (David); Jessica and Karissa Rodriquez (DeAnn). There are 21 great-grandchildren.
Children and grand children who proceeded Bob in death were an infant son, daughter DeAnn and her husband Eric Rodriguez, Granddaughter Dulcie Eakins (Marian), Granddaughter April Daniels (David), Grandson David Robert (David)
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