by Terry Rogers
On August 7, Daisy Velma Lee Griffin Daniels celebrated her 102nd birthday with family and friends. Daniels was born in 1917 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, moving to Delaware in 1957 for a better life for her and her children.
“She worked at King Cole Canning Factory and later at Slaughter Neck Daycare,” her daughter, Roslyn Harris, said. “She was a teacher and loved working with the children. My mother has always been a Christian, a virtuous woman for as long as I can remember. She was a strict disciplinarian and always wanted the best for her children. She always told us to be the best that we can be and stressed getting a good education or entering a trade.”
Daniels was the daughter of William Abe and Clara Harrell Griffin, one of 13 children. Daniels has outlived her ten sisters and three brothers. On August 13, 1938, Daniels married Garfield Weldon Daniels, Dr. and they had 13 children, eight boys and five girls. While living in North Carolina, Daniels worked in the cotton, potato and tomato fields with her older children, getting up at 3 AM each day to cook food to take to the field so she and the children could eat and then catching a truck to carry them to the fields.
“Two of my siblings are deceased,” Harris said. “All five of the girls graduated from Delaware State College. One of the boys became a body shop owner and another owns a trucking company. One a corrections officer and another a bus contractor. Seven of us were in the Armed Forces. When asked what she attests her long life to, my mother said that she owes it all to God and that He has brought her this far by faith.”
The family celebrated Daniels’ birthday at a family reunion on August 3, gathering at her house for dinner as well as ice cream and cake. Harris said that the event was filled with singing and having fun. Harris said that her mother enjoys flowers and could often be found planting them along with a vegetable garden.
“She has a green thumb and still has flowers in her house,” Harris said. “Another hobby she had was picking up cans with her friend, the late Argatha Riddick. The two would walk two to three miles, picking cans, talking and witnessing to neighbors along the way. They walked the neighborhood and along Route 1. When President Obama was elected, Mom was so happy. Not in her lifetime did she think she would see an African-American president. She said that things have really changed over the years.”
According to Daniels, discipline for children is at an all-time low, often saying that her children were well-disciplined but children today were “terrible” and that there was “no respect.” Not only did Daniels raise 13 children, Harris explained that there were five to ten others who considered themselves part of the family.
Daniels has been a member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church for over 60 years. She was a member of the choir, taught Sunday School and was a member of the Prayer Warrior team while also serving on many other committees at the church.
“To know her is to love her,” Harris said. “She has seen a lot in her 102 years and thanks God for his favor.”
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