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Rachanell Delano Daniels passed away at his home on Wednesday November 7, 2018. He was born to the late Mary Eva Daniels and James Daniels, Sr., on July 19, 1952. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Rosa Strahan Daniels and Percy Daniels, Charles Wesley Alfred, Sr. and Eva Mary Alfred, and his uncle Warren Daniels.
Widely known as "Ray," he was a larger-than-life figure who transformed all who encountered him. Blessed with an intuitive mind, Ray discerned people's needs and would offer his help and support to anyone. He possessed a generous spirit, and he gifted his time and intelligence to all who knew him. He was a natural leader who positively impacted the lives of others.
Ray possessed an amazingly clever, sometimes wry, often self-deprecating sense of humor. He loved to tease, good-naturedly, and was relentless in joshing his friends. He delivered many humorous observations, but he also welcomed being the punch line in others' jokes. Ray's love of music was well known. His collection included an eclectic mix of musical styles from around the world. An avid sports fan, Ray loved his Saints, the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide and professional boxing.
A highly decorated soldier, Ray's valor during the Vietnam War earned him a purple heart, a bronze star and the respect of those who served with him. He was honorably discharged after eleven years of service to his country.
Ray excelled in a number of ventures after his military service. He was an Operations Manager for Waste Management and is best known for his work in the event production community of New Orleans and around the country. His positions included site services supervisor for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Festival Productions, Inc.) and Essence Music Festival (Essence Communications, Inc.). He held the positions for many years before becoming site manager and logistics coordinator for Essence Music Festival. He also worked in operations and logistics for Solomon Group Ventures, LLC, and most recently as operations manager for Pyramid Audio Productions, Inc. From 2013 until his death, Ray owned and operated Daniels Logistics LLC, a transportation and logistics company.
Ray is survived by his wife, Cara Harrison Daniels; stepchildren Christian Scott and Kiel Adrian Scott; brothers James Daniels (and his wife Margo), Seth Daniels, and Stephen Daniels; uncles Charles W. Alfred, Jr. (and his wife Mary Francis), and Anthony Alfred (and his late wife Victoria); aunts Isabell Gaskin (and her late husband Bruce), and Dora Jane Jackson (and her late husband Emile); mother-in-law Herreast J. Harrison (and the late Donald Harrison, Sr.); sisters-in law, Cherice Harrison-Nelson and Michele Harrison; brother-in-law Donald Harrison, Jr.(and wife Mary); and, from his previous marriage to Deborah Norman, stepchildren Emanuel Smith, III and Eshantii Smith-Trask; step grandchildren, Emanuel Smith IV, Dallis Smith, Zorah Trask; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and many, many friends.
A celebration of Rachanell "Ray" Daniels' life will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at Rhodes Funeral Home, 3933 Washington Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70125, 504-822-7162, Visitation: 8:00am, Service: 10:00am
Interment on Friday, November 16, 2018 at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, 34888 Grantham College Drive Slidell, LA 70460. Please call 504-579-4356 after Wednesday, November 14, 2018 for time of interment. Arrangements by D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home. Please visit www.rhodesfuneral.com to sign the guestbook.