Elmer Fred “Shack” McDaniel

Published 4:10 pm Monday, December 26, 2022

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Elmer Fred “Shack” McDaniel, 85, of Pine Mountain, completed his journey on December 23, surrounded by his loved ones, after a 38-year battle from a severe cerebral aneurysm.

Shack was born on October 29, 1937, to Elmer W. and Vera H. McDaniel in LaGrange, Georgia; Shack was their only child, but considered his cousin, Ray Sheppard, as a true brother who was always there during his toughest challenges in life.  As a child, Shack’s favorite interests were sports, Boy Scouts, cars, and swimming.  His interest in sports would only grow stronger as he got older and his passion encouraged many young men and women over several generations to veer away from detrimental activities by spending their time participating in baseball, softball, basketball, and football.  Shack was a member of Pine Mountain First Baptist Church.   

After graduating from LaGrange High school 1955, Shack enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.  He served four years as a communications specialist, and his success in boxing, baseball, basketball, and football would keep him busy leading his teams to victory during base and Tactical Air Command level tournaments. 

Shack separated from the Air Force in 1959, and attended Truett-McConnell College on a basketball and track scholarship, where he excelled in academics as well as in athletics.  After completing his second year at Truett-McConnell, Shack signed a contract to play professional baseball with the Detroit Tiger Baseball Organization.  Although, he accumulated respectable stats as a starting pitcher for several seasons in the minor leagues, he decided it was time to return to college after not receiving the call to the majors. He went on to earn a Bachelors degree from Georgia Southern College and a Masters in Education at Georgia State University.  During summer breaks from college, Shack worked as a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.   

Shack dedicated his life to education and athletics, his teaching career included stops at Columbus Tech, West Georgia CESA, and Hogansville High School.  Even in his 40s, Shack could still be found playing, “all-time” quarterback during pickup football games in LaGrange, West Point, Hogansville, or Greenville.  He served as Hogansville’s Head Baseball Coach, Head Girl’s Basketball Coach, and assistant Football Coach during his time with the Greenwave before suffering a sudden and life altering cerebral aneurysm in 1985. 

Shack is predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his two sons: Shack (Christine) McDaniel, Jr. of Savannah, Georgia, and Mike (Valerie) McDaniel of Hogansville, Georgia, his grandchildren: Grant McDaniel, and Katie McDaniel.  Shack is also survived by his former Wife, Carol Champion Richardson of Pine Mountain, Georgia.  

In honor of what Shack stood for, encourage everyone, especially the children of your community to play sports and spend as much time as possible outdoors, with their friends and family.  Believe in yourself, and never give up. Finally, consider donating to or supporting a local sports organization, or the Troup County Recreation Department in Shack’s memory.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in the Striffler-Hamby Mortuary Chapel with Rev. Jimmy McMillian officiating. The family will receive friends from 9 a.m. until service time.

Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by visiting www.shlagrange.com.

Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 1010 Mooty Bridge Road, LaGrange, GA 30240 (706) 884-8636