Stacy Leroy Daniels (1937 - ), a native
of Frankfort, Benzie County, MI, and a long-time littorian of Crystal Lake, read
the “Tragedy” of Crystal Lake as a young boy. After becoming a professional
environmental engineer, he came to wonder more about the uniqueness of Crystal Lake:
What caused the lowering of the Lake? Who was Archibald Jones – a scapegoat to be
blamed for an ill-conceived project, or a “bootstrap engineer” to be celebrated as
Dr. Daniels is a hybrid “lakie” and “townie”, and above all, a (water) “shedie”.
He was born in Frankfort, MI, 29 Aug 1937, the son of Oscar Lowell Daniels and Mary
Jesta Daniels, who moved to town in 1928. His father was the Superintendent of the
Frankfort Public Schools for many years. His mother was an English teacher. The original
family bluffside cottage on the NW shore of Crystal Lake was built in the early 1930's.
Stacy is married to the former Carol Yvonne (Parker), a retired science teacher.
Together, they built a second lakeside cottage in 1980. Their daughter, Julie Lyntha,
who swam across Crystal Lake one summer, is married to their son-in-law, Thomas P.
Cavanaugh. Both are attorneys specializing in estate planning. Their grandsons, Thomas
Daniel, Drew Michael, and Brock Ryan Cavanaugh, are the fifth generation of the family
to dip their toes into Crystal Lake.
After his family moved to Midland (MI) in 1944, Dr. Daniels attended Midland High
School, and the University of Michigan, where he studied both chemical and environmental
engineering. He obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from the U of M in 1967.
He was associated with The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI, from 1955-1993, where
he managed a variety of environmental projects and issues associated with water/wastewater
treatment research; health/environmental science; hazardous waste management; and
regulatory assessment. He has been a member or chair of several national environmental
peer review groups and science advisory committees.
From 1994-2010, he was Director of Research for Ingenuity IEQ, Inc., a small business
that markets critical airflow systems and new technologies for improving indoor environmental
quality (IEQ). As an Adjunct Professor in Chemical Engineering and in Civil/Environmental
Engineering at the University of Michigan, he taught courses in water/wastewater
treatment, and solid/hazardous waste management. He has authored/coauthored ~ 300
papers, book chapters, presentations, and communications on diverse environmental
As a volunteer professional, Dr. Daniels has been involved with the myriad environments
of Crystal Lake since the early 1960’s. He has observed, participated, and directed
many independent and cooperative environmental studies concerning the Lake and its
Watershed with the ad hoc Committee of the Benzie County Department of Public
Works, the Crystal Lake Clean Water Committee, the North Shore Property Owners' Association,
the Crystal Lake Watershed Fund (CLWF), and the Crystal Lake Watershed Association
He established the Crystal Lake “Walkabout”, a “hands-on” educational program
of observational monitoring and environmental exploring for young adults in 1993
- now offered biannually to all of the 5/6th and 7/8th grade students in Benzie County
and to the public. Its Interpretive Manual has evolved both as an Educational Primer
for Students and as A Reference Manual for Property Owners and Visitors.
He has served as Committee Chair of Education & Communications and Co-Chair of
Water Quality for the Crystal Lake & Watershed Association (CLWA) formed
in 2004 upon the merger of the Crystal Lake & Watershed Fund (CLWF) and the Crystal
Lake Association (CLA). He has also edited the CLWA newsletter, “Crystal
Whitecaps”, and its webpage www.CLWA.us. “The CLWA, together with governmental,
academic, and professional partners, develops and supports initiatives for water
quality monitoring, septic system control, sustainable development, and land conservancy,
through education, for watershed management.”
He has been an active runner in the Crystal Lake Team Marathon, enjoys reading environmental
history, and writing serious (and humorous) environmental poetry. His long-time interest
in local history motivated him to research the story of Archibald Jones, president
of the Benzie County River Improvement Co., and then write the “Comedy” of
Crystal Lake. Besides his immediate family, the author is not related to anyone else
within the Crystal Lake Watershed or Benzie Co., except perhaps in spirit to his
alter ego, Archibald Jones.