Harley McDaniel


December 4, 2019 - 9:44 AM

COLUMBUS — Harley H. McDaniel. age 87, passed away at 12:50 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at Mercy Hospital, Joplin, Mo., following an illness.

Harley was born Dec. 9, 1931 in Iola, to Loyd and Velma (Finch) McDaniel. He had lived in Columbus since 1973, moving from Pleasanton.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving from Oct. 23, 1950 to Oct. 22, 1954, reaching the rank of staff sergeant. He was an instructor for Jet Aircraft and Engine Mechanics. He served at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas and Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas. He received the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from Kansas State University. He taught vocational agriculture in Hope and Pleasanton before becoming a game warden with the Kansas Fish and Game Department, a position he held for 22 years before his retirement in 1994.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church, Columbus. He was a lifetime member of Big Brutus serving on the board of directors with the Big Brutus Museum where he had received the Miner’s Lamp Award in 2018. He was also awarded the William R. Brock Memorial Medal of Merit from the Galena Elks Lodge for his work with the community as a law enforcement officer. He was a member of the NRA. He was a former councilman of the City of Columbus, and was mayor, 2007-08. Harley regularly attended coffee clubs at McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Daylight Donuts. He was known for sharpening mower blades for friends around town and was often seen at his grandkids’ activities.

Harley was married to Shirley Y. McElvain on Sept. 2, 1956 in Mildred. She preceded him in death March 2, 2014. Two brothers, Harold McDaniel and Jerry McDaniel, also preceded him in death.

Surviving is one son, Shane McDaniel (Becky), Columbus; one daughter, Kelli Bigando (Brian), Columbus; seven grandchildren, Aaron Bigando (Marissa), Sarah Bigando, Hunter McDaniel, Colton McDaniel, Taylor McDaniel, Alexis Alumbaugh, and Jacob Thomasson; one great-grandson, Waylon Thomasson; and his close friend, Darline Mitchell, Columbus.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Derfelt Funeral Home, Columbus. Burial will be in Park Cemetery, Columbus.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Big Brutus Museum or First United Methodist Church, Columbus, in care of the funeral home.


March 6, 2014
October 26, 2012
May 11, 2011
December 27, 2010