Dorris Daniel Obituary

DORRIS CALDWELL “JIM” DANIEL, JR., born in Corbin, KY on March 6, 1935, died 30 June 2024 in Murfreesboro, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorris “Scott” Daniel, Sr., and Margaret Shelley Daniel, as well as many cousins, aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife, the former Susan Garretson. They married 61 years ago in Lynchburg, VA. They have lived in Murfreesboro since 1974. He is also survived by his son, Doug (named for Douglas MacArthur, who is Jim’s hero), his daughter, Jennifer “Jenny,” his son, Thomas “Tom”, his brother, Scott Daniel, nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.

His grandfather, James Coulter Daniel, thought he was to be named for him and he and everyone else started calling him “Jimmy.” He was in 6th grade before he learned his real name. Jim spent his early years in Washington, D. C. and Arlington, VA. He received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from American University, Washington, D. C., and his Juris Doctor Degree from George Washington University Law School. He was admitted to practice before the Virginia Bar, the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, the Tennessee Bar, the Middle Tennessee U. S. District Court, and the U. S. Supreme Court.

After college Jim entered the U. S. Army Reserve receiving his Honorable Discharge in 1963. His first adult job was Assistant Director of Information for the National Milk Producers Federation and then Safety Representative in the Department of Traffic Safety Education for Washington, D. C. Metro government. After receiving his law degree, he began as Program Specialist in the Morale and Welfare Division for the newly formed Job Corps of the U. S. Office of Economic Opportunity, 1965-1969. He moved his family to Memphis, TN as Field Attorney for the Veterans Administration, 1969-1972, and then moved to Nashville as Director of the Field Legal Section of Veterans Administration’s regional office in Nashville, 1972-1974. In 1974 he joined the Law Firm of Daniel, Burton, Bolin & LaRoche, Murfreesboro. In 1991 he began a private practice as a Social Security Disability attorney, retiring in 2008.

He was a member & Past President of the Federal Bar Association, Nashville Chapter 1972-2008. Member of Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1975. Member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives until his retirement. Member of the National Federalist Society of Lawyers. Board member of Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands until his retirement. Chairman for the 1975 & 1976 Rutherford County Heart Association Fund Drive. Member and Past President of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution. Served on the Cultural Resources Commission and on the Rosecrans Commission for Rutherford County. Member, holding several officer positions, of the Kiwanis Club, 1976-2012. Volunteer for Main Street of Murfreesboro and Rutherford Co. chairing Christmas on the Square for several years. Member of the Murfreesboro Chapter, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Commissioner for the 21st District of the Rutherford County Commission, 2006-2010. Member and Elder of 1st Presbyterian Church, Murfreesboro. “Endowed a Chair” at the City Café.

Raised as a Democrat by his parents, he became a Republican in 1965 when he “saw the light.” He was Chairman of the Rutherford County Republican Party, 1977-1979 (20 Republicans were in attendance at the GOP “mass meeting.”) Elected to the Tennessee State Republican Executive Committee, 1978. Proclaimed and recognized as a member of the Capitol Club of the TN Republican Party in 1979. Made a Colonel & Aide de Camp, Governor’s Staff under Governor Lamar Alexander, 1979. Ran on the Republican ticket against John Bragg in 1980 for Tennessee State Representative for the 48th Legislative District. In 2013 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Rutherford County Republican Party.

A Memorial Service is planned at 1st Presbyterian Church, Murfreesboro, July 13, 2024, at 1:00 p.m., preceded by entombment at the church’s Columbarium with family only. A reception will be held in the church’s Common Room following the service. Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Shriner’s Children Hospital and the 1st Presbyterian Church’s Music Ministry.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Woodfin Funeral Chapels and an online guestbook is available for the Daniel family at

Dorris Daniel

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