Sharon J. Daniels, EMLF’s second and longest serving Executive Director, passed away April 30, 2022, in Overland Park, Kansas, where she had relocated after her retirement in 2018.
Sharon was born January 3, 1944, in Ransom, Kansas, and was the daughter of Maurice B. and Mary Daniels, with whom she was very close. Sharon brought her parents to live with her in Lexington and cared for them in their final years. She was co-valedictorian of her high school class and received awards for her musical talents. She pursued both political science and music in college at Fort Hays State University, participating as a singer and piano accompanist in the Impromptwos 1965 USO Tour of the Pacific Command.
Sharon received her JD from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at the Rose Schmidt law firm in Pittsburgh with a focus on coal and energy law.
Sharon served EMLF tirelessly for over thirty-three years. During her tenure, she successfully navigated the Foundation through the cyclical nature of energy markets, provided high-quality educational programming, and awarded over $600,000 in scholarships to law students.
She is a past recipient of the John L. McClaugherty Award, the Foundation’s highest honor, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of energy law and to the Foundation itself. The University of Oklahoma College of Law has recognized Sharon with the Owen L. Anderson Distinguished ONE Award for her impact on the energy community, and she was also honored with the Fort Hays State University Alumni Achievement Award.
EMLF Board of Trustees members have described Sharon as smart, kind, and helpful, and remember her for her enthusiasm, leadership skills, and as the “constant driving force behind the Foundation’s success.” Her death has shocked and saddened the energy law community where she made such a profound impact.
Sharon is survived by her sister, Linda, and her brother, Jeff. Condolences may be sent to her family through the Belden Larkin Funeral Home here. The full obituary is available on that site as well. A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date not yet determined.
EMLF has received several requests for information about memorial donations to the Sharon Daniels Scholarship Fund, established in 2018 upon her retirement. You may send a check to the attention of Anna Fletcher at 2365 Harrodsburg Road, Suite B-215, Lexington, KY, 40504, with “Sharon Daniels Scholarship Fund” on the memo line or donate via our website.