Homozel Mickel Daniel contributed generously to local philanthropies

business people


Greenville philanthropist Mrs. Homozel Mickel Daniel, the widow of Daniel International Corp. founder Charles E. Daniel died June 22, 1992 at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

She was 89.

Mrs. Daniel was an active officer and a director of the worldwide construction and engineering company until its purchase in 1977 by Fluor Corp. A life trustee of The Daniel Foundation, she contributed generously to numerous religious, charitable, scientific, literary and educational philanthropies.

Evidence of her generosity can be found in scholarships, endowed professorships and buildings at Furman University, Converse College and other institutions.

Born Homozel Mickel in Elberton, Ga. in 1903, she was the daughter of Homer Curtis Mickel and Leola Alston Carter Mickel.

In 1924, she married fellow Elberton native Charles Daniel. They first lived in Anderson, where he founded his company in 1934, then moved with the company's corporate headquarters to Greenville in 1942.

Mr. Daniel died in 1964.

Mrs. Daniel lived at the family residence on Roe Ford Road north of Greenville.

"She was my aunt and one of my closest friends. I look at her as a second mother," Greenville business leader Buck Mickel said.

"She was a very generous woman."

A music major at Georgia State Woman's College, Mrs. Daniel's lifelong interest in the fine arts was reflected in her gift-giving.

Furman University received the single largest gift in its history from The Daniel Foundation when the foundation gave $4.3 million to the school for a music building. The building was dedicated the Homozel Mickel Daniel Music Building in 1975.

The grant also created an endowment that provides annual scholarship aid to music students. The Charles E. Daniel Dining Hall is also named in honor of the Daniel family.

"Mrs. Daniel loved Furman University and believed in its educational mission," said Dr. John E. Johns, the president of Furman.

"She enthusiastically supported the fine arts and gave generously of her financial resources for facilities, scholarships and programs in music and drama. She was both a presence and a force in the educational experiences of literally thousands of students."

Mrs. Daniel received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 1974, citing "as a business woman and an ardent lover and patron of music and drama, you have brought honor upon yourself and this community."

Johns also noted Mrs. Daniel's love of basketball and her attendance at every home game as long as her health allowed.

At Converse College, trustees named the recital hall in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel in 1970. The Daniel Music Scholars program was begun at Converse three years later, and the college established a Daniel Professor of Music in honor of Mrs. Daniel.

Mrs. Daniel was a notable contributor to the cultural life of Greenville and South Carolina, especially the Charles E. Daniel Little Theatre and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. She also was a founder of the Rose Ball.

"She had been very generous any time we asked for support," said Tom Styron, director of the Greenville County Museum of Art.

In 1987, Mrs. Daniel donated Isaac of York, a major Washington Allston painting. Allston was an ancestor of Mrs. Daniel. The Daniel Foundation also led to the more recent purchase of a portrait of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene, Styron said.

"She was just a great person, and it's a great loss to Greenville," Styron said.