Reba Mae Stewart McDaniel, of Madisonville, went peacefully to her heavenly home on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Wood Presbyterian Home in Sweetwater. She was surrounded by her loving family at her side.

As a toddler in the mountains of North Carolina, Reba rode a train car through the fire of Jeffery’s Hell to escape. She, along with her family, soon settled in Mt. Vernon, Tenn.

When Reba was just 10 years old, her mother fell ill with tuberculosis. She then had to leave school to take care of her mother, daddy and two brothers. Her mother passed away when Reba was 12 years old.

She then went back to school at the age of 14, where she later graduated from Tellico Plains High School. Returning back to school and earning her high school diploma made Reba’s family, and the little community of Mt. Vernon, so proud. Her first job was as a school teacher at Ebenezer School House in their community.

In her early 20s, she rode a bus to Oak Ridge, where she worked, unbeknownst, on the Manhattan Project. Her job was to mix the secret ingredients, “buttermilk and iced tea.” Little did she know she was helping to create an atomic bomb. It was on these bus rides to Oak Ridge that she met her husband, Bill.

She worked several jobs along the way, but was employed at Schott Gemtron Corporation for 30 years. She was 80 years young when she finally retired.

After retiring, she enjoyed camping in Pigeon Forge and going to Dollywood. She loved spending time with her family, and loved cooking for them every Sunday. Every year, Reba hosted a big Thanksgiving dinner for all of her relatives.

She was a member of Notchey Creek Baptist Church for many years.

She was 93 years old.

Preceded in death by: her husband, James W. “Bill” McDaniel; father, Arch Stewart; mother, Sinthia Graham Stewart; stepmother, Blanch Almira Rodgers Stewart; brothers and sister-in-law, Wayne, Kenneth and Sylvia Stewart; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jewel and Robert Russell, Eula and Roy Watson, Gordon and Jo McDaniel, Jimmy Logan and Sebe Jenkins; several step siblings.

Survivors include: her daughters and sons-in-law, Gloria and Bob Leslie of Madisonville, Penny and Bob Johnson of Sweetwater;

Grandchildren and their spouses, Patrick and Kayci Henry, Courtney and Craig Self, Adam and Karita Henry, Cody and Tony Hayes, Robby and fiancée, Whitney Edwards;

Great-grandchildren, Cade and Cooper Self, Madison and Brooke Henry, Vivy and Ian Henry, Josie and Tino Hayes and Owen Reed;

Brother and sister-in-law, Archie and Marianne Stewart of Madisonville;

Sisters-in-law, Pauline Stewart, Carrye Logan, Eula Faye “Tiny” McDaniel;

A host of special nieces, nephews and cousins.

We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to the staff at Wood Presbyterian Home and Sweetwater Hospital, for the loving care you gave to Reba.

The family received friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Notchey Creek Baptist Church. The funeral followed at 7 p.m. at Notchey Creek Baptist Church, with the Rev. Gale Miller, the Rev. Adam Henry and Pat Henry officiating. Interment was held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, in Notchey Creek Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Notchey Creek Baptist Church Building Fund or Notchey Creek Cemetery Fund.

Arrangements by Biereley-Hale Funeral Home in Madisonville.