The world lost a deep warmth on Thursday morning, January 27th, 2022, with the passing of Connie McDaniel Steiger. She released her earthly body in her home in Jacksonville, Florida following a multi-year battle with ovarian cancer. But as with all great epics, the final chapter is never the best part of the adventure.
Connie’s story began in Fayetteville, North Carolina on February 14th, 1952, as the eldest of Betty Jean and Milton Hampton McDaniel’s four children – David, Hampton, and Alan McDaniel, respectively. Connie’s intrepid spirit would not be held back by the confines of her hometown and following the birth of her two sons, Bryan and Adam, she chose to “gather no moss” and began accompanying a national touring band in the early 1970s. This chapter of her life would be short lived and eventually came to a close in Panama City, Florida where she took on the greater duty of developing a stable and secure home for her two young boys. It was here that Connie came into her own and truly blossomed into the strong and earnest woman that most knew her to be.
In 1987, she met Stuart Steiger at a bid for bachelor auction fundraising event that she was hosting and later that year, they were married. Her family would expand in 1988 with the birth of Matthew and again in 1991 with the birth of Leighanna “Yannie.” After spending decades on the sunny beaches of the Gulf Coast in Panama City, the family moved to the more rural setting of Chipley, Florida where life could be paced a bit slower. Chipley is where yet another chapter of her life would begin. Here she focused on raising Matt and Yannie while still finding time to help Stuart manage his Chiropractic business.
Connie would often swell with pride when reflecting back on the family she had created – clearly one of her most treasured accomplishments. It is also worth noting that she was widely regarded as a wonderful dinner host and an even better cook; her deviled eggs are still raved about in some social circles even to this day. An almost visible glow would come over her whenever she was given the opportunity to take care of other people, or even her plants.
A memorial for friends and family will be held on Sunday, February 27th at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park in Palm Coast, FL at 12:30pm.