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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Longtime Civil Servant Remembered


The City of Mansfield and the entire community suffered an unthinkable loss with the sudden passing of Councilman Rick McDaniel on Saturday, February 6.

McDaniel, 65, and his wife Sharon had four children and eight grandchildren. McDaniel retired after 30 years with Dixie Cup in Fort Smith. He served for over a decade on the Mansfield City Council, on the city’s planning commission, and as Secretary and Vice-President of the Mansfield/Huntington Area Chamber of Commerce. Lastly, perhaps McDaniel’s most prominent role, the city’s Santa Claus.

McDaniel was a Master Mason of Reid Lodge No. 163, and a vendor at Rags n’ Roses in Greenwood, AR. He enjoyed doing embroidery work. In fact, if he wasn’t spending time with his family, or serving his city, McDaniel was at his machine designing and creating personalized items.

McDaniel poured his heart and soul into anything he did. Often funding projects benefitting the community out of his own pocket. He served humbly, and proudly. No doubt, this pillar of the community will be missed by many. He will simply be irreplaceable, and his passing is a tremendous loss.

“When I think of Rick, not only do I think of him as a fellow councilman, but I think of him as a friend,” shared constituent Sheri Hopkins. “He was always a friend to all who knew him, always eager to help and he loved Mansfield. He always wanted what was best for our town and its citizens. He will be greatly missed.”

*Editor’s note: I echo the sentiments of those who mourn the loss of this amazing civil servant. I was blessed to call him a friend over the years and witnessed firsthand his kindness and generosity. Rick and I spoke often, in fact, we had just been cutting up and carrying on right up to the hours before he passed. One of my last texts to him read:
Me: You sure make life fun. (Referring to the goofiness of the day.)
Him: If you can’t have fun in life, why live at all.
That was a good sum of his life. He loved his family, his community and was extremely devoted to both. He loved a good laugh, a sound I hope never fades from my memory. From his attempted hand modeling of his flavored water during Facebook lives, to his quirky nicknames. He loved to have fun. Thank you Rick for the memories. Until we meet again my friend.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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