McDaniel remembered by peers and mentors

Cassie LaJeunesse, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

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Junior Joseph McDaniel holds a shark in Jamaica.

The Berry community was shocked by the news of the death of Joseph McDaniel on Oct. 28. McDaniel, a junior business management major, made a significant impact on his teachers and his fellow students while at Berry.

Professor of management Paula Englis served as McDaniel’s academic advisor for two years. According to Englis, McDaniel had an interest in entrepreneurship and was a student in her entrepreneurship class this fall. He also joined her and a group of other students on a Maymester trip to Jamaica this past May to study international business and international entrepreneurship. On the trip, McDaniel befriended the bus driver, Mr. Morgan.

“Many times I would see Joseph sitting and eating with Mr. Morgan, quizzing him about Jamaican life and culture,” Englis said. “That’s the person Joseph was – kind, interested in others, quick to smile and laugh, easy to be around.”

Englis said that McDaniel was interested in international travel and business because part of his family is from Peru, and she explained a business idea that he had developed from his trips to Peru. After discovering that many clothing manufacturers outsource their business to Peru, McDaniel formulated a plan to buy clothing directly from factories and become a reseller in the US. Through the entrepreneurship class, he hoped to scale his business, which he called Incan Outfitters. After talking with another student in the class, Englis said McDaniel also became interested in starting a social enterprise in Peru to encourage entrepreneurship there.

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McDaniel crosses a bridge in Jamaica.

According to Englis, McDaniel was laid back and always had a smile on his face. 

“He helped all kinds of people,” Englis said. “He always had time for people.”

One of McDaniel’s friends, junior Chris Chandler, described McDaniel as a “good, quality friend” and agreed that he was always there for his friends.

“If you needed him there, he was going to be there within five minutes tops, no matter what,” Chandler said. 

Chandler lived across the hall from McDaniel their freshman year, and the two quickly bonded over a love of fishing. Some of Chandler’s favorite memories with McDaniel are from their fishing trips at the beach. He told stories about a beach trip during spring break their sophomore year when McDaniel caught “the biggest red fish he had ever seen.” 

Later that same trip, Chandler and McDaniel were fishing late at night and McDaniel fell asleep. According to Chandler, anyone who knew Joseph would know that he couldn’t wake up “for anything”. On the trip, just before Chandler wanted to pack up for the night, he said that his rod went off. 

“I was fighting this fish, and Joseph wouldn’t wake up,” Chandler said. “Finally, I had to go over to the chair, kick him and he woke up, stumbled out of his chair and fell face first into the sand because he was still half asleep.”

Chandler had many stories about his beach trips with Joseph, including one this summer when McDaniel convinced complete strangers to go fishing with them. After an unsuccessful shark-fishing expedition, the group returned to the beach and started a bonfire.

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McDaniel holds the red fish that he caught on a beach trip with Chris Chandler.

“He was a real personal person,” Chandler said. “He liked to get to know you and know what things you liked, and that’s how he became everybody’s friend. He could read people really well.”

An obituary for McDaniel was published in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

“He touched the lives of all who knew him with his warm smile and kindness,” the obituary said. “His quick laugh and slow drawl made everyone feel immediately at ease.”

McDaniel’s friendly and laid back personality will be missed by his friends and everyone he met during his time at Berry. 

“I feel that everything is going to be okay in the end,” Chandler said. “I know everything is going to be fine eventually.”

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