On March 28, 2019, the city of Fort Worth, Texas, honored the life of American war hero, Dr. Robert Tennerson McDaniel.

 

McDaniel was a resident of Renaissance Park Multi Care Center undergoing rehabilitative services. He celebrated his 96th birthday on Feb. 28, surrounded by family and friends. The facility threw McDaniel a surprise birthday party on March 1, and close family and friends honored him for his heroic acts in World War II.

 

On March 19, McDaniel passed away, having lived a “very blessed life.”

 

McDaniel was Fort Worth’s last surviving Tuskegee airman. He was also a scholar; the valedictorian of his high school class, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Prairie View A&M, counselor’s certification in Denver and an honorary doctorate degree from Tuskegee University. He served as a coach, counselor, math educator and principal over the course of his career. It was not until his retirement that many of his students even knew about his military career and legacy.

 

In 2007, President George W. Bush recognized the surviving Tuskegee airmen, including McDaniel, and awarded them with the Congressional Gold Medal of Freedom. He was also personally invited to Barack Obama’s inauguration by the president himself.

 

McDaniel professed a faith in Jesus Christ at a young age. He and his wife, Hester Randle, were members of St. Peter Presbyterian Church and were married for 55 years. They had one son, Robert Mennefee, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson. McDaniel is also survived by several nieces and nephews as well as other family members.

 

“He was a modest man and did not want to be recognized,” said HR representative, Chaun Scott. “He taught our staff about that era of history and what it did for the African American community.”

 

On McDaniel’s birthday, the facility received a card that said, “May our Mighty God bless you a thousand times greater for your expressions of love and kindness on my 96th birthday.”

 

McDaniel was an easy man to celebrate as he was incredibly special to the staff and fellow residents. Renaissance Park is honored to have been a home for such a hero.