Dr. McDaniel William Ubi, PhD, 31, was born in Huntsville, AL, on Oct. 9, 1987. After 9 ½ years of battling leukemia (ALL), McDaniel went home to be with the Lord, while surrounded by 5 of the most influential women in his life, on Jan. 26, 2019 at Methodist Hospital, in San Antonio, TX.
He is preceded in death by his maternal grandmother Comfort Okah. Also, his fraternal grandparents Ubi Ikona and Oden Ubi Ikona. He is survived by his parents Reverend, Dr. William Ubi and Dr. Martina Ubi, brother Benny Ubi (Ruth), sisters Love Ubi Kelly, Peace Ojong (Ojong) and Joy Ubi, along with many aunts, uncles and cousins. He also leaves behind several adopted American families: The Robsons (high school), Grandpa Don Gibson (high school), The Hendricks, (high school), The Joneses (high school), The Gibbs (high school), The Sextons (college), and too many friends to count. Lastly, the love of his life, his fiancé, Tera Mossbarger of Ft. Worth, TX.
McDaniel came to know His Lord and Savior at a very young age while he was living in Nigeria. His mother said he started preaching in the church at the age of 7. Not surprising to all those who came in contact with him. They all could not help but notice his sweet spirit and the fruit of his relationship with his Lord. He had many gifts. He was a wonderful Son, an awesome friend, a great encourager, a great listener, a really good debater (is that a gift, lol), a goal seeker, a good student, a peacemaker, and most of all a true game changer. He made changes for the good. By being good and kind and considerate, he made you want to be that way too. Overall when you met him, you wanted to be more like him, you wanted what he had in his heart that he so kindly shared with everyone. And what he had was the love of Jesus. He lived it and he shared it. And there are many so thankful that he did share and will get to say thank you to him one day because of it. And he will be dearly missed until that day but never forgotten.
We can’t end there because you all must know of the great accomplishments he achieved while he was in that 9 ½ year battle. He graduated Huntsville High School in 2006. Then he set out on his own to make a life for himself and begin his journey. He went to the University of North Alabama in the fall of 2006 on student loans, working as an RA in one of the dorms and teaching aerobic classes. He would love that I told that one. I even went to one. In the fall of 2009, his battle began. Diagnosed with ALL didn’t stop him. He was in and out of UAB hospital and received treatments at Kirkland Clinic as well. They got him in remission and he kept on pressing toward the mark. It was Ubi 1, cancer 0. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Dec. 2010. Then continued his academic endeavors after getting accepted into his favorite college of all times, Auburn, War Eagle, where he earned his Master’s degree in Hospitality Management Dec. 2013. Once again he set yet a higher goal and got accepted into Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX, along with a fellowship, Jan. 2014 he began his doctorate degree. He was a student teacher and worked hotel jobs. The cancer returned fall of 2015. He received treatment at University Medical Center there in Lubbock. Needing a stem cell transplant his sister Love would turn out to be “The Perfect Match” and was his stem cell donor in Feb. 2016. Once again he was in remission. Now it was Ubi 2, cancer 0. Spring of 2017 was almost here and the big “C” returned. He was now going to be treated in San Antonio, TX at Methodist Hospital. This time they got him in remission and the treatment plan was (DLI) Donor Lymphocyte Infusions those too donated by his sister Love. How sweet to say it was Ubi 3, cancer 0. Now living in Fort Worth and commuting back and forth to Lubbock he got to the finish line in Dec. 2017 and walked across yet another stage, but this time got to kneel in front of a professor and have a doctorial hood placed over his head. A hood that shortly after the ceremony was over he, now being Dr. McDaniel Ubi, removed and placed over his sister Love’s head and thanked her. While working in the private sector and applying for teaching positions, teaching being where his heart was, the cancer returned Nov. 2018. Once again being treated in San Antonio they got him in remission. So we can now get those t shirts (we are big on t shirts) that say Ubi 4, cancer 0. But we the 5 who were by his side when he received the biggest prize of his life will also add #Got Faith? So thankful he kept running, 2Timothy 4:7-8. I have to believe that this is not the end to McDaniel Ubi’s story but just the beginning. And that we all need to press toward the mark, Phil 3:14. Oh I forgot to mention that he started a non-profit iLeukout.org while going through treatments in a hospital bed. He never stopped sharing his gifts. And so his story continues and his legacy will live on.
At McDaniel’s request, there will be no funeral, only a Celebration of Life! In response to this request, there will be a Memorial Service to take place at Legacy Chapel 16 Hughes Rd, Madison, AL 35758 on Saturday Feb. 2, 2019 starting at 10:00am. Following the service there will be a private burial in Grant, AL. He will be laid to rest in a small cemetery at the foot of a dear saint who loved him very much, his adopted grandmother’s, Dorothy Sexton, grave. We are comforted in knowing that this is just a temporary home. For one day when the trump of God sounds both of them will be among the first to rise, 1Thess 4:16-17.
The family would like to give special thanks to all the adopted families who opened their hearts and homes to their precious Son. They are also grateful, to the professors, students at UNA and Texas Tech, who were there while he was in the midst of the battles. They are thankful for the friends and intercessors all over the world for prayers. And to his church families at Turning Point in Lubbock and Calvary Baptist in Huntsville, who have gone above and beyond to help in so many ways, words cannot adequately express their thanks. Everyone everywhere worked together to help him reach his final big accomplishment and seeing his dream fulfilled in receiving his PhD. To all the doctors, nurses, techs, cancer researchers, any and all medical staff who poured their God given talents into McDaniel’s care, the family is forever indebted. The family begs them to continue the fight for all who come after McDaniel. Also, the precious people that have cared for their sweet boy in San Antonio since the morning of Jan. 26th until we could get him back home to Alabama and those here at Legacy Chapel for their compassion and kindness now that we have him home.
Lastly, and in lieu of flowers, please call with donations to Legacy Chapel in Madison, AL with proceeds in excess of those needed for these final arrangements going to McDaniel’s foundation (ileukout.org), which is focused on helping those with leukemia and support through knowledge about cancer, fundraising, serve by volunteering and scholarship awards. Please visit his website and be ready to be blessed. Amen, Amen