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Donald Jari McDaniels
January 20, 2000 ~ May 13, 2023 (age 23) 23 Years Old
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Donald Jari McDaniels, a child of God who was loved by all he encountered, entered eternal life in the early morning hours of May 13, 2023, at MUSC Health University Medical Center, Charleston, South Carolina. The beloved son of the late Donna A. McDaniels and Samuel Hartwell, II. He had a village of loved ones that poured into him, and he had a special place in the hearts of many especially his Aunt Swazette McDaniels who helped reared him when his mom died when he was eighteen months old. His stepmother, Dr. Mamie Hayes Hartwell who loved him as her own and played an integral role in rearing him. His surrogate father, James Miller, his daughters, and all the Miller family; his Godmothers Tonya Speaks, Sherrell White, and Kim Thomas; Ms. Mary White who was like a grandmother to him; his best friends Mr. Torri White and Mr. Justin Johnson, Jr.; and his girlfriend, Ms. Kayla Johnson all loved and adored him. Jari accepted Christ in his youth at First Nazareth Baptist Church, Columbia, South Carolina and in recent months he was attending Progressive Believers Baptist Church, Columbia, South Carolina, where he was embraced by Pastor Gregory B. Cunningham and his wife Lizzie Cunningham.
Jari was educated in the public schools of Columbia, South Carolina and graduated from Westwood High School, Blythewood, South Carolina in 2019. He had an affinity for fishing, construction, horticulture, but most especially maintenance and auto-body repair. He could take an engine out of a car, rebuild it, and replace it seamlessly. He was accepted into the NASCAR Technical Institute, Mooresville, North Carolina; however, decided to delay his enrollment. He was recently employed at Koyo Bearings North America, Blythewood, S.C.
In his former years he was a proud member of the Knights of Pythagoras, Pathway to Light Council #4 - a mentoring group for young men to aid in growth and development, which is affiliated through the Prince Hall Masonic Family, College Lodge #378, Columbia, South Carolina. Jari had a sweet, kind spirit, and loved anything Clemson Tigers related, outdoor activities from lawn care, fishing, cutting wood, and especially working on motorcycles, trucks, and cars.
He was a young man that was very well mannered and a delight to all. His heart was big as gold, and some called him a “Gentle Giant” and “Biggie.” He was preceded in death by his mother, father, maternal and paternal grandparents. Although his life was short, we have contentment knowing that he is sleeping with the Angels and reunited with those gone before him.
He leaves to cherish fond memories his devoted, aunt, Swazette McDaniels; his loving stepmother, Dr. Mamie Hayes Hartwell; surrogate father, Mr. James Miller; and his daughters, Adelie Thomas, Katara Penny and the Miller Family; his uncle, Terry McDaniels; aunts, Tiffany (Anthony) Conelly, Dr. Julie Anna Hartwell, Dr. Marquita Daniels, Ms. LaTisha Swinton, all of Columbia, SC, Ms. Erica Johnson, Concord, NC; uncle, David Hartwell, Rochester, NY; godmothers, Tonya Speaks, and Sherrell White and the entire White family both of Columbia, SC; Kim Thomas, Columbia SC; a cousin, Norman Butler of Columbia SC; a host of special aunties, uncles, and other loving relatives, extended family, and friends, who will miss his daily presence in their lives.