Emily P. McDaniel, 80, social worker, traveler

December 07, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Emily Platt McDaniel, a retired social worker who had a lively interest in classical music and theater, died of breast cancer complications Nov. 30 at Union Memorial Hospital. The Guilford resident was 80.

Born Emily Kent Platt in Syracuse, N.Y., she graduated from Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. In 1943, she earned a degree in zoology from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass.

She worked in blood laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston before entering Simmons College School of Social Work, also in Boston, where she earned a master's degree in 1951. In 1976, she became a licensed clinical social worker.

Before moving to Baltimore in 1956, she organized the Framingham, Mass., Youth Guidance Center.

"She combined a great imagination that included many fanciful fantasies coupled with a down-to-earth, New England practicality," said Bettie Porth, a fellow social worker and friend who lives in Baltimore. "Emily was interested in finance and was scientifically minded, too. She also made the best mint juleps in silver mugs I have ever tasted."

In the early 1970s, Mrs. McDaniel was a counselor at several schools operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. She was also on the staff of the Children's Guild, then on Ruscombe Lane. She worked with patients being discharged from North Charles General Hospital and did outpatient counseling at the Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Mrs. McDaniel retired about 20 years ago.

She maintained a lifelong interest in travel and geography that started with a trip to England with her grandmother on the steamship Queen Mary in 1939.

She later visited Morocco, Brazil, Indonesia, China, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia. Family members said the trips were cultural study tours that fueled her fascination with how geography helps mold societies, cultures and ecology. She later attended weekly seminars on travel and other subjects at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Mrs. McDaniel frequently attended concerts at the Peabody Institute and performances at Center Stage and the Theatre Project.

In 1999, she created the Emily McDaniel Faculty Development Fund at the Peabody Institute. The fund enables Peabody faculty members to do additional academic research or attend professional conferences. Mrs. McDaniel was a member of the Peabody Women's Board in the 1970s.

"She was witty, generous and she enjoyed bringing friends together to share experiences," said Joyce Ritchie, Peabody's associate dean for development. "She just loved music."

Mrs. McDaniel's other interests were gardening, hiking in Maine and New Hampshire, and collecting modern art. She enjoyed picnics and mountain climbing.

She enjoyed sailing as a youth at her family's summer house in Cazenovia, N.Y., and as an adult on the Charles River in Boston, in Maine off Mount Desert Island and in the Baltimore harbor with her family.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where Mrs. McDaniel was a Eucharistic minister and sat on a grants committee. She also belonged to Education For Ministry program affiliated with the University of the South.

Survivors include a son, John S. McDaniel III of Baltimore; two daughters, Emily K. Marget of North Chelmsford, Mass., and Mary McDaniel Chapman of Auburn, Ala.; a brother, Lucian B. Platt of Bryn Mawr, Pa.; a sister, Eleanor Platt Erisman of Gladwyne, Pa.; and three grandchildren. Her husband of 35 years, John S. McDaniel Jr., an attorney, died in 1992.

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