October 3, 1937 – February 26, 2021
If friends and family ask why I’m missing, please just tell them, I’ve gone fishing…
Michael E. “Mickey” Daniels passed peacefully at his Carnelian Bay, CA home Friday, February 26, 2021, following months of failing health.
Mickey was born in Canoga Park, California, and raised in Sacramento with his younger brother. He graduated from Sac High in 1955 and attended Sacramento City College prior to enlisting in the US Marine Corps. By 1960, Mickey made his way north to the famed Squaw Valley Winter Olympics and his beloved Lake Tahoe, the place he’s called home ever since.
Being an avid fisherman and dedicated law enforcement officer, Mickey served in multiple capacities during his 60+ years on the North Shore. He worked first for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, followed by the California Highway Patrol, eventually retiring from his (elected) position as Placer County Superior Court Constable. Beginning with his boyhood adventures on the Sacramento River, his passion for fishing extended to the lake where he turned his hobby into a thriving guide service. His entrepreneurship and hard work were skillfully managed, along with his primary professional duties. This willingness to take on most any job available to support himself and his family was evident throughout his life. Many may remember old times at local supermarkets where he handled double shifts!
Mickey’s most recent community involvement includes board positions with Tahoe City Rotary and Placer County Fish & Game Commission. Over the years, he’s been active with kids’ sports, coaching, volunteering and fundraising. He started the locals’ favorite Big Mack Feed in 1978 as a campaign fundraiser and established it as an annual charity event the following year.
Mickey is survived by his wife of 35 years, Nora Daniels, his children Matt Daniels (daughter-in-law Susan) and Marty Daniels Schoonmaker (son-in-law Dirk), step children Deanna Tormey and Steven Mikol, grandchildren — Kristen, Jessica and Kylie Daniels, JC and Mera Schoonmaker, Sarah and Emma Tormey, and Joshua and Leah Mikol. He is fondly remembered and referred to as Uncle Mickey, Big Mick or Grumpy by a host of nieces and nephews, friends and grandkids from his birth kin to his first wife’s (Sharon) Bechdolt family and far beyond. He is preceded in death by his parents Laurence and Frances Daniels, sister Betty, brother James, son Michael E. Daniels Jr. “Little Mickey” and granddaughter Amanda Tormey.
Generations of fishermen continually recount stories of admiration and precious lifelong memories, experienced aboard his boat(s) over decades. His impact was most always meaningful, never less than entertaining. His endearing and jovial personality is unforgettable and strong. A proud and good man, he is loved and will be missed by many.
A memorial/celebration of life will take place at a later time, details to be announced. Private burial services will ensue at Trails End Cemetery, Tahoe City. Donations may be made to the Far West Nordic Ski Education Association, North Lake Tahoe Program; or, North Tahoe Middle School scholarship funds in honor of “Little Mickey” and Casey Kelly.
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