TAHLEQUAH – Joel Wayne McNiel, 51, also known as Blue, was born June 14, 1964, in Tahlequah to Jerry Wayne McNiel and Lavonna (Christie), and passed away Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Clarington, Ohio. Joel grew up in Tahlequah, and attended Tahlequah Public Schools. Joel was a cowboy. He traveled the rodeo circuit riding bareback and was known to ride a bull now and then. Blue was an outdoorsman, fishing, hunting, going to the creek, and cooking out with family and friends was his passion. Joel also enjoyed working with leather. He and his wife, Mary, enjoyed riding motorcycles and sight-seeing wherever his job took them. Blue was a certified welding inspector and traveled the country working on the pipeline. He was very proud of his Cherokee heritage and what it meant to be Native American. More than anything, Joel was a husband a dad and a papa. Nothing was more important to him than his family. Joel was preceded in death by his father, Jerry Wayne McNiel; and his granny, Delora Hendricks. He is lovingly survived by his wife, Mary (Todd) McNiel; his kids, Makayla Winsett and husband Justin, Falon McNiel and Justin Davis, Tiffany (Todd) McPherson and husband Cory, and Cameron Todd and wife Ashley; grandkids, Bryton McPherson, Kayson McPherson, Jaelynn Winsett, Daxton McPherson and Canon Todd; an aunt, Nita Sue Barnes; cousins, Brian Barnes and wife Barb, Benny Barnes and wife Tash, Tommy Barnes and wife Jeanie, Janice Carr and husband George, and Roy Dell Barnes and wife Beth; his dogs, Trigger and Hoss; and many friends. A visitation will be held Friday, July 31, at Clifford D. Garrett Family Funeral Home in Fort Gibson, with the family receiving friends from 5–7 p.m. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Aug. 1, at 10 a.m. in the Cherokee County Fairgrounds Building in Tahlequah with Brother John Rozell officiating. Interment will follow in the Hendricks Cemetery with Brandon Trammel, Drew Carr, Cody Quetone, Tyler Keys, and Hayden Harris serving as casket bearers. Serving has honorary casket bearers are Larry Newton, Kenny Harris, Andy Quetone, Jay Steely, Dennis Keys, Shane Vonschiltz, Don Veretto, Haskell Murphy, and Dugan Forrest. Family request that in lieu of flowers you can make a donation in Joel’s name to Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org/Donate; Youth Bull Riding Association and Junior Bull Riding Association at njbranow.org/Donate; or any Children’s Medical Association. Online condolences may be left at clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com. Clifford D. Garrett Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 1224 E. Poplar, Fort Gibson, 918-478-2555.
Published on  July 31, 2015