Johnny Phillip Hanel, Sr.

Johnny Phillip Hanel, Sr., 86, of Dayton, passed away Friday, May 5, 2023 in Dayton. He was born June 22, 1936 in Cameron, Texas to his late parents, John S. Hanel and Freida Zalesky Hanel.

Johnny was a member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He had lived in Dayton most of his life and was a proud Dayton Bronco who was inducted into the Dayton Sports Hall of Fame for his baseball accomplishments in high school. Johnny enjoyed spending time farming and playing golf. He also loved watching baseball games, Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Molly Smesny Hanel; daughter, Connie Hanel and a sister, Geneva Hanel Parick.

Survivors include his life companion, Lola Johnson; children Rhonda Hearod and her husband Donnie, Johnny Hanel, Jr. and his wife Sharon, Brian Hanel and his wife Angie, Carla Cotton and her husband Allen and Mark Hanel and his wife Lisa; grandchildren, Beau Hearod and his wife Courtney, Connie Gary and her husband Jarod, Danielle Hanel, Mason Hanel, Baylea Cotton, Jaxson Hanel, Austin Hanel; great-grandchildren, Bennett Hearod, Camille Gary, Molly Gary; brother, Leroy Hanel and his wife Maria and numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends.

The visitation will be Tuesday, May 9, 2023 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Eastgate with Father Peter Nguyen, SVD officiating. Burial will follow at St. Anne’s Catholic Cemetery in Eastgate.

Pallbearers for Mr. Hanel will be Beau Hearod, Jarod Gary, Mason Hanel, Jaxson Hanel, Austin Hanel, and Craig Johnson.

To view his online obituary, or post a tribute to his family, go to

Arrangements are under the direction of Pace-Stancil Funeral Home, 1304 N. Cleveland, Dayton, Texas 77535, 936-258-5300.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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