Keith B. Daniels

October 15, 1931 ~ March 4, 2022 (age 90)

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Keith Byron Daniels passed away at home on Friday, March 4, 2022, at 90 years of age.  He was born to Roy and Florence Daniels on October 15, 1931, in Montpelier, Ohio, and grew up in southern Michigan.

After graduating high school, he attended his first year of college at the University of Michigan on a Naval ROTC scholarship.  The following year he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and graduated with degrees in Naval Science, Math, and Physics.  While in Oxford, he met his future wife, Mary Avolyn Culver, a student at Western College across the road.  Upon graduation from Miami University in 1953, he began four years of active duty with the U.S. Navy on the USS Eaton.  Keith and Mary married on October 30, 1954, and moved to Norfolk, Virginia.  He was on board the USS Eaton in 1956 when it collided with the USS Wisconsin off the coast of Virginia in heavy fog.  Keith was released from active duty in 1957 and became a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve until his military retirement as a Lieutenant Commander.  Keith and Mary returned to Ohio in 1957 where he continued his studies at Miami University and earned a master’s degree in Physics.  They then moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where Keith attended the University of Indiana for graduate studies in Educational Administration and their first son, Keith Jr. was born. 

In 1963, the family made their final move to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where Keith was employed as a physics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire until retirement.  Keith and Mary welcomed three additional children, Richard, Douglas, and Avolyn.  He started and coached the cross country program at UWEC for 27 years, coached the track team for many years, and was the first coach to be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame.

Keith lived a life of service and put in countless hours for the benefit of his family, friends, church, and country.  His three sons were proud to have him as their Boy Scout Master for Troop 175.  Keith was an active member of First Presbyterian Church including serving as an elder, lay pastor, on the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains & Military Personnel, and was twice President and the current Treasurer of National Presbyterian Men.  In addition, he was the current President of the Indianhead Chapter of Military Officers Association of America. 

Keith is survived by his wife Mary; children Keith Jr (Heidi), Richard (Karina), Douglas (Shellyann), and Avolyn Tolar (Paul); grandchildren Coleman (Heather), Hannah Arneson (Jeremy), and Jay; Kelsey, Baileigh, and Camden Tolar; and Evan and Isabella; great grandchildren Hazel Arneson and Lily; sister-in-law Elaine Goodwin; nephew Edward Goodwin; and niece Abigail Elder.

He is predeceased by his siblings, Earl, Marguerite, Paul, and Wayne, and his brother-in-law, Alan Goodwin.

A funeral service for Keith will take place at 1pm on Monday, March 14, 2022, at First Presbyterian Church, 2112 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 with Rev. Kathryn Reid Walker officiating.  Visitation will take place at the church Monday from 11:30am until the time of service.  Committal service with military honors will take place at the church columbarium on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 10am. 

Memorial gifts may be made to First Presbyterian Church.  Friends and family may offer condolences online at

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements. 






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March 14, 2022

11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

Funeral Service
March 14, 2022

1:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

March 15, 2022

10:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church

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