Tina Urso McDaniel

May 16, 1972 – December 12, 2020

Tina Louise Urso McDaniel passed away peacefully at home on the morning of December 12, 2020 at the age of 48 after facing ovarian cancer and all its complications for almost 2 years. Born May 16, 1972 to Kathy and Jeff Urso in Bitburg, (West) Germany, Tina was a gifted, bright, exuberant child with tons of energy and an outgoing personality. Before she entered kindergarten, she was already reading and would even read to the other children in her class. After traveling for several years while her father was in the Air Force and after the birth of her sister Jen, the family settled in his hometown of Reading, PA. They later moved to Lansdale, PA where Tina attended and excelled at North Penn High School. Tina took AP classes, played clarinet with the North Penn Marching Knights during undefeated seasons and sewed many of her own amazing, colorful creations, including her senior prom dress. She began creative writing from an early age and even had a poem published before she reached high school. She was a stickler for grammar and loved learning about and using a wide vocabulary of words. Even after experiencing two major strokes, one which temporarily took away her ability to speak and permanently affected her ability to write, her sister would still read a “word of the day” to her from her phone (most of which she already knew).

Tina met the love of her life, Chad, while obtaining her Bachelors in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, then moving on to achieve her Master of Arts in Film and Video from American University. After graduation, she moved to join Chad in Silicon Valley and together moved to Seattle, WA, where they were married in August 2002 and made their home for over 20 years. Tina had a huge heart for helping others through philanthropy and began volunteering with the Plymouth Housing Group in 2013 until about a year before her death. In 2018, she began volunteering at New Horizons, teaching creative writing to homeless youth in Seattle. She and her husband Chad were frequently involved in attending and supporting arts organizations in the Northwest, including Arts Corps, On the Boards, Reel Grrls, KEXP and more. Her compassion and fervent quest for awareness and sincerity drove her to support many other meaningful organizations and to be a strong, supportive sister and friend.

Tina never stopped writing and creating and imbued everything around her with bright color, fun decoration, music and inspiration. While as-of yet-unpublished, Tina leaves behind a substantial library of written work in the form of poems, short stories, screenplays, comics and even a novel. Her creativity blossomed into amazing and thoughtful crazy quilts, cleverly-poetic and uniquely-wrapped gifts, elaborate collage, ornate holiday decorations, a rainbow of hair colors and a dressing style that was uniquely her own. Every nurse, doctor and therapist who came in contact with her commented on her positive spirit and sense of humor and noted how she was one of the only patients regularly listening to music in their hospital room. Tina was a persistent force of life whose vibrance will be hugely missed by those closest to her. A light has certainly gone out in the world but we feel lucky to have experienced it.

Tina is survived by her husband Chad Urso McDaniel, her sister Jen Urso and partner Casey Farina, nephew Ilia Urso Farina, parents Kathleen M. (Frazier) Urso and Jeffrey Carmen Urso, brothers-in-law Shane and Lyle McDaniel, mother-in-law Debbie McDaniel and nephews Zachary and Jacob McDaniel. Chad and Jen ask that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Plymouth Housing Group, New Horizons Ministries and/or Northwest Harvest.

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