Willie L. Daniels passed away peacefully on the nineteenth day of October 2017 surrounded by family and friends.
"Willie Lee", as he was affectionately known, was born on September 8, 1937 to the late Tean Ashley and A.C. Smith in Barwick, Georgia. The family later settled in Valdosta.
Willie Lee was a member of the first graduating class of Pinevale High School. He later matriculated at Florida A&M University, majoring in Business and Finance.
His career on Wall Street was both historical and remarkable. Daniels & Bell, Inc. formed on June 24, 1971 with Willie L. Daniels as its President. It was the first 100 percent black-owned brokerage firm in history to own a seat on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Everyone who knew or met Willie Lee recognized his passion for higher education, his indomitable spirit, his relentless drive, his love of food and his unique sense of humor.
Left to cherish his legacy are his wife, Dorothy and their two sons, Christopher Willie and Gregory Willie Daniels; and a daughter, Kimberly Fleming from a previous marriage to Edna R. Daniels. His grandchildren, Jordan Christopher and Kyla Milana Daniels, were the pride and joy of his life. He leaves behind a host of loved ones including a sister-in-law, Hattie Williams; first cousins Ruby Hughley, Mable Lee "Doll" Sanders, Mack, Sadie and Floyd Sloan; and second cousins Elease Harvey, Dorothy Lee Powell, Ricky, Eugene "Barry", and Dock "Butch" Nelom; Ruth Butler, Ruby Russell, Barbara and Keith Williams, and Samuel and Rodney Sanders. He rejoins older brothers, Ousley "Junior" and "Pliny" Williams; his eldest granddaughter, Danielle Fleming; and his closest cousins and friends, William and George "Junior" Battle, Mattie Nelom, Janice Williams, Willie James, Lockett Sloan and Cellie Byrd.
Willie Lee will forever be missed, but his extraordinary legacy will not be forgotten.
Published on November 14, 2017