Cover photo for Mary Janice Brantley McDaniel's Obituary
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Mary Janice Brantley McDaniel

July 25, 1941 — June 30, 2024

Elko

Mary Janice Brantley McDaniel, age 82, passed away peacefully at her home in Elko, Georgia, on Sunday, June 30, 2024, with her husband, Bill, and her three daughters, Lori, Lisa and Leslie at her side.

Her funeral service will be officiated by Pastor David Miller at McCullough Funeral Home in Warner Robins, Georgia, on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. Her family will receive friends for visitation at 3:00 p.m. followed by the service at 4:00. Jan will be laid to rest after a graveside ceremony officiated by her life-long friend, Reverend Jimmy Voyles, at Oak Hill Cemetery in Quitman, Georgia, on Wednesday, July 3, 2024 at 11:00 a.m.

Jan was born on July 25, 1941, in Nashville, Georgia. She was the daughter of Chandler H. and Maude Johnson Brantley. She was preceded in death by her parents and two siblings, her brother, Jack Brantley and sister, Jeanette Brantley Cain.

Jan was a 1958 graduate of Quitman High School in Quitman, Georgia and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science Degree in Secretarial Studies and Business Administration from Valdosta State University in 1966. Her passion for learning was a lifelong pursuit. In 1983, she earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Georgia College & State University and then, in 1993, graduated from the Air War College, USAF Air University.

She was one doctoral thesis away from attaining a PhD when attention to her aging parents took priority.

On June 24, 1962, she married the love of her life, William H. (Bill) McDaniel, at First Baptist Church in their hometown of Quitman, Georgia. She began her married life as a military wife, moving numerous times as her husband’s career as a USAF officer demanded. For years, she devoted herself to Bill and their growing family of three girls as Bill’s military career transferred them from state to state. During those years, Jan found time to volunteer her talents and skills to deserving organizations like her church, her daughters’ schools, local libraries, the Officer’s Wives Club, civic groups and, most importantly, to women and children’s advocacy centers, for which she was most passionate.

In her free time, Jan loved to travel, read, golf, garden, cook and decorate. However, her outstanding civil service career at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia took most of her focus after her daughters no longer needed her full-time attention at home. Jan decided to go back to work and was hired into federal service in 1979 as a secretary in the Unmanned Vehicles Division of the Material Management Directorate. She quickly rose through the ranks with responsibilities as a Personnel Management Specialist, Chief of the Command Training Branch, Chief of Stock Control and Distribution, and Chief of the Resource Management Branch of the 78 Air Base Wing. Towards the end of her career, she was one of eight people selected by Major General William P. Hallin, Center Command, to reengineer the work processes of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center to prepare for the 21st Century. He cited her “innovative thinking and creative problem solving skills, coupled with her unparalleled collaborative capabilities and unwavering spirit” as reasons why she was chosen to help “successfully propel Robins Air Force Base, the single largest industrial complex in the state of Georgia, into the new millennia.”

Jan’s leadership and dedication to service were recognized numerous times and in many ways over her illustrious 22-year career. After only a few years of service, she regularly received Superior Performance Awards. Beginning in 1987 until the end of her professional career, her recognition awards included the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center’s Federal Manager of the Year award, the DS Federal Woman of Achievement award, the USAF Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Irving B. Schoenberg Award presented by the Society of Logistics Engineers, just to name a few.

During this time, as if her professional career did not keep her busy enough, Jan's love of learning culminated in her part-time work as a college professor teaching business administration classes to Georgia College and State University undergraduate and graduate students. Many students along the way passed on their unending gratitude to her for the indelible mark she made on their lives.

Jan retired in 2001 to spend more time with family and friends at a beautiful lake-front home on Lake Oconee and then later, at a lovely 100-acre pecan orchard in Elko.

Jan’s commitment to her career was readily apparent but her primary focus was foremost on her family. Her commitment to ensuring that every member of her family felt loved, supported and valued was her first priority. She constantly showered her husband, daughters and their families with time and attention and made it her mission to conjure up family memories full of warmth and laughter that will be remembered forever. From festive holiday get-togethers, and epic Easter egg hunts, to summer time barbecues complete with boat rides, water skiing and family game nights, she saw to it all. Her efforts, motivated by a mother’s love that knew no bounds, forged a strong family bond that will never be broken.

Jan leaves behind a legacy of love and devotion. She is survived by her beloved husband Bill of 62 years and her three daughters and their husbands, Lori McDaniel Jourdain (Bill), Lisa McDaniel Ward (Stan) and Leslie McDaniel Shultz (Matt). She is also survived by her eight grandchildren, Jennye Ward Wallace (Jake), Patrick Slaughter (Sara), Will Jourdain, Jordan Slaughter, Meghan Ward Scharnikow (John), Daniel Ward, Emily Jourdain and Haley Shultz Bryant (Tanner), and also by her nine great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Landon, Lincoln, Jack, Caroline, Thomas, Julia, Margaret and Judson.

Mary Janice Brantley McDaniel will be remembered as a loving and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, grand and great- grandmother. She will likewise be remembered as a dedicated, accomplished and respected educator, civil servant, and a passionate advocate for the well being of all women and children.

Her grace, intellect, and kindness will be missed by all who knew her and her love and devotion will never be forgotten by her blessed and grateful family into whom she poured every ounce of her heart and soul.

For friends unable to attend at this time, the service will be streamed live at https://www.youtube.com/@McCulloughFuneralHome via the McCullough Funeral Home’s YouTube page.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Janice Brantley McDaniel, please visit our flower store.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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