In the words of George Thorogood "On the day he was born, the nurses all gathered round and they gazed in wide wonder at the joy that they found... The head nurse spoke up ,said "Leave this one alone", She could tell right way ... You know the rest...
The mold was broken and the legend began.
Born in Staten Island, New York to James and Catherine Daniels, he was #7 of 9 children.
Bill attended St. Catherines Grammar School, Spring Lake, New Jersey and St. Rose High School Belmar, New Jersey (down the shore to be clear) as he would tell you. Bill was proud to be Captain of his HS class soccer team.
Bill's early childhood jobs included those of paperboy on bike and a landscaper. The beginning days of his Mantra, "Cash is King."
He participated in Boy Scouting and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Bill also was an instructor for the Belmar First Aid Squad. "Be Prepared" and "Prevent the accident from happening" are lessons he instilled in all he came in contact with.
Bill attended Monmouth College, as a student-athlete on the men's soccer team. Then in 1970, he took a ride in his Cadillac to Breckenridge, Colorado. Arriving as "the Jersey Cowboy" he settled into the beautiful Rocky Mountains .
In October of 1990, the family moved to sunny South Carolina.
He and his wife, Cheryl; sons: Christopher, Justin, Patrick and daughter, Meredith became part of the Lowcountry.
Bill was a Mt. Pleasant soccer, T-ball and softball coach for many years and it was his passion.
Bill became a local quickly...rough around the edges "Yankee" he was to many and then as "Wild Bill".
Opening The Depot, his retail tropical plants store and year round fireworks shop and annual Christmas tree lot, Bill was christened "Firecracker Bill" by friend and Pastor at Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church, where he was an Usher for many years. The nickname became his and he loved it. No matter how old or young, a smile from customers year after year, the fun of fireworks is what drove him on. Even Halloween was extra special in the neighborhood as he always gave out snappers and sparklers with the candy.
He was a straight shooter. "Don't beat around the bush" he would say. No grey area was his personality.
If you ever received a "proper Irish blessing down", it was out of love. He would not have wasted his breath otherwise.
Tough to deal with most of the time... tougher now to be without for family and close friends who will remember his real heart of gold. He helped many along the way, Meals on Wheels, Families Helping Families, St.Vincent De Paul, Wando High School and many more.
His legacy will always be that he was a "Tell it like it is!" kind of man - Be who you are and never look back. His most famous line was "My Mother should have named me Frank"!
Bill is preceded in death by his Father, James J.; Mother, Catherine; and siblings: Patricia Daniels Sprengel, Kathryn (Kathy) Daniels O'Brien, Robert Daniels, and James Daniels.
He is survived by sons: Christopher Newman, Justin (Lisa) Newman of Lahaina, HI; Patrick (Ashley) Daniels of Goose Creek, SC; and daughter, Meredith Daniels of Mt. Pleasant, SC. Lastly, he was Grandcracker to 3 beloved grandchildren: Annalee Grace, Lauren Olivia, and Patrick Jr. Daniels, whom he adored. He is also survived by siblings: Marie Daniels Betts, Lillian (Lynn) Daniels, Barbara Daniels and Elizabeth (Beth) Daniels Burdge, all of New Jersey.
In memory, please consider a donation to East Cooper Meals on Wheels or your charity of choice.
A Celebration of Life to be held in September.
The family wishes to thank all Local First Responders, Mt. Pleasant Police, EMS, Mt. Pleasant and Awendaw Firefighters, The Medical staff at East Cooper and Roper-St Francis Hospitals, The Medical University of South Carolina and Durst Family Medicine for over 30 years of love and care.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 869 St James Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445 (843) 553-1511.