Hundreds gather to remember C.B. Daniel


Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 12:32 a.m.

Hundreds gathered at Trinity United Methodist Church Wednesday morning to remember the late C.B. Daniel as a friend, colleague and community leader.

Charlton Bradford Daniel was born in Decatur, Ala., in 1939, but for much of his life, he called Gainesville home. He died Sept. 24 at the age of 69.

His son, Brad, described C.B. as "old school," a man who was honest and fair to a fault, whether dealing with a family member or a business associate.

"Dad shared how he felt and how much he cared through what he did," Brad said.

What Daniel did for organizations in the Gainesville community would require a story in itself. He served as chairman and board member in countless civic and philanthropic groups. In 2008, he received the Chamber of Commerce's "Legacy Award."

Those who spoke of him Wednesday spoke of a different sort of legacy.

Gerry Gause, owner of Gause & Son Jewelers, knew Daniel from the late 1950s, when the two were in high school in Ocala. Gause said the Navy had a term for someone like Daniel: "CB was a ‘stand-up guy.' He put everybody else above himself."

Rosa B. Williams spoke of meeting Daniel in the 1970s, when he headed First Federal Savings and Loan. It was an era when a black resident couldn't go into a bank to apply for a loan "without a white person standing next to him," Williams recalled.

Daniel changed that practice at his business.

"For awhile, I was worried he might get run out of town on a rail," she said.

Renee Clemmons remembered Daniel's passion for establishing a girl's club in Gainesville, driven in part by his love for his twin daughters, Brittany and Cynthia.

"He had a way of picking up the phone and making miracles happen," she said of the campaign that resulted in the establishment of the Girls Club of Alachua County in 1982.

When Jacksonville-based Florida National Bank needed a new president, Jim Quincey recalled recommending Daniel.

"You couldn't find anyone else with C.B.'s ties to Gainesville and the people of this community," Quincey said.

When Florida National merged with First Union in 1990, Daniel was the corporation's city president, then the area president for North Central Florida.

He also served a term on the Florida Board of Regents, appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1995.

In 1996, Daniel had a heart transplant after spending more than three months in Shands waiting for a donor heart.

John Fitzwater, former Sun publisher, recalled seeing the Shandscair helicopter flying over Florida Field on a Gator game day.

"I said to my wife, there goes C.B.'s heart," he said.

The transplant was successful, but Daniel succumbed to cancer last week.

Despite his illness, Daniel continued his community involvement. He also enjoyed spending time with an expanding family. He and wife Carolyn have been married 44 years. Son Brad and his wife, Belen, have a son, Dylan, and daughter Cynthia Daniel-Hauser and her husband, Cole, have two sons, Ryland and Colt. Brittany Daniel is an actress who makes her home in Los Angeles.Steve Demontmollin said everyone could learn from Daniel in the search for courage and balance in their lives.

"He was the toughest guy I've ever known," the AvMed vice president said. "But he blended that toughness with a sensitivity of spirit that made him a true advocate of the helpless."

It was a thought echoed by Quincey and others at the service, who added, "C.B. will always be remembered, but he'll never be replaced."

Diane Chun can be reached at 374-5041 or by e-mail at chund@gvillesun.com.

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