Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

John "Jack" McDaniel

December 11, 1921 - July 31, 2014
Grand Rapids, MI



Tuesday, August 5, 2014
2:00 PM EDT
Covenant Village of Great Lakes
2510 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Sendai Tsunami Relief Fund c/o World Venture Finance Office
1501 West Mineral Ave
Littleton, CO 80120

Account # 6440-965


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Jack was born on a farm in Centerville, Iowa on December, 11, 1921, the ninth child in a family of ten. He learned early the responsibilities of every member in a farm family, arising early and doing his share of chores. He attended the local country school, even riding a horse to high school. At the age of 15 he trusted Christ as his Savior and from that time on gave preference to seeking God's plan for his life.

An appeal by his evangelist aunt to take the gospel to those who had not heard motivated him to inquire about preparation for missionary service. It seemed too overwhelming and he determined to become a business executive. While living with his brother in Eugene, Oregon, he attended the University of Oregon. While there, the Inter-Varsity Fellowship deepened again his call to the mission field.

In 1948, having "worked his way through", Jack received his B.D.D. degree from Northern Baptist Seminary, and in May of that year was appointed as a missionary to Japan under Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society. General Douglas MacArthur was making a public appeal for 10,000 new missionaries to Japan, and this further spurred him to consider Japan, surely a place where millions had not heard the gospel.

Six months at Yale University to learn Japanese language was helpful but he wanted to learn Japanese, not from a book, but from native speakers. October 1949 found him on a freighter going to Japan. He was exhilarated to be on his way despite "green around the gill" days of seasickness. He lived with a missionary family in a village where no one spoke English. Children flocked around this strange, big nosed creature and Jack loved trying his new language skills on the kids. Soon he was preaching in Japanese. He never used an interpreter.

But life was not all preaching. The mission had 18 single girls and just 1 single guy--Jack. His choice was Adelaide and they were married March 2, 1951 during a typhoon.

Born a farmer"s son-- early rising, 5:30 a.m. was a lifelong habit and never changed only now he had a new purpose -- time with God. Five children arrived over the course of eleven years and they all soon learned that Dad was not available during prayer time. Family fun with dad was special to all the family--picnics on the sandy Pacific Ocean beach, hot dog roasts high on the rocks near a waterfall, vacationing at Karuizawa where we owned a four bedroom "plywood mansion" purchased from an airman returning home. Karuizawa is called the Japan Alps with beautiful mountain trails, lava beds and an active volcano. Fishing and hunting with missionary friends, and the January snow camp for families, especially brought enjoyment to Jack.

Jack had evangelized four different areas of Sendai where we lived (site of the recent earthquake and tsunami) and left four national churches with Japanese pastors. No training institute for pastors existed so Jack established the Baptist Bible Seminary. He often said, like Job of old, "he had not time to swallow his spittle".

Retiring in 1988. the family lived in Plainwell, Michigan until coming to Grand Rapids in 1995, and to Covenant Village in November 2004. Jack enjoyed many friends here, loved to joke, attending Wednesday chapel service as long as able and singing with The Harmonizers singing group. He considered himself God blessed throughout his life and is most certainly enjoying heavenly fellowship and arguing a bit, maybe, with the Apostle Paul. Jack passed away at Covenant Village of Great Lakes on July 31, 2014.

When I in righteousness at lastThy glorious face shall see,When all the weary night has passedAnd I awake with Thee,To view the glories that abideThen, and only then, will I be satisfied

Wm. Hendrickson