Walter Reid Davis, age 100, went to his eternal home in heaven on Tuesday April 23, 2019. He passed away peacefully in his home, fittingly as he was born in a home on Davis Mountain in Hendersonville, NC on March 7,1919 to parents James Madison and Lula Davis. Walter was preceded in death by his 4 older brothers and his 3 younger sisters.
Walter is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Bess Davis. Their life of love, devotion, and commitment to each other has truly had a great impact on all his family, as well as countless others. They were married June 3, 1952 in West Frankfort, IL which is Bess' home town. In recent years they began not only celebrating their anniversary each year, but also doing so on the 3rd of each month. They kind of had a game to see which one would greet the other on the 3rd of each month with "Happy Anniversary"!
Walter is also survived by sons, Greg (Elizabeth) Davis of Bellbrook, OH, Jeff (Kathy) Davis of Beavercreek, OH and Tim Davis of Jacksonville, FL. Also grandchildren Reid Davis of Alameda, CA, Kristen Davis of Xenia, OH, Kelli (Jared) Tharpe of Knoxville, TN, Casey (Lucas) Draper of Beavercreek, OH, Nicodemus Tayor, Emily Taylor, and Zachariah Taylor all of Bellbrook, OH. Walter was also blessed with 7 great grandchildren, with an 8th due in Sept, 2019. Iris Davis, Riley Tharpe, Jaxon Tharpe, Canon Tharpe (Tharpe baby brother due 9/2019), Allie Draper, Austin Draper, and Isaac Draper.
Walter graduated from Etowah H.S. in Hendersonville, NC in 1938 and was awarded the Silver Cup as the most outstanding student. After H.S. he worked a variety of jobs before serving in the U.S. Army from 1942-1945 during WWII. Due to a partially crippled right hand caused by falling into an open fireplace around 18 months of age, he was unable to fight overseas. He was stationed stateside and served in the Army quartermaster corp.
Walter is a graduate of Gardner Webb College and a 1949 graduate of Wake Forest University. After college he went on to Southern Seminary graduating in 1952.
He pastored his first church in Sturgis, KY in 1950. Also that year he met his future bride Bessie Mae Ice while they both served on a summer mission trip in Washington State. He went on to pastor churches in Geneva, KY, Rantoul, IL, Hammond, IN, Denver, CO, Dayton, OH, and Campobello, SC.
He retired from full time pastorate in 1988, but spent another 10 years serving as interim pastor in several churches. In 1989 he was named Pastor Emeritus of East Dayton Baptist Church.
Bro. Davis was loved by all and he truly loved everyone. He treated everyone the same regardless of their status in life. He lived out the gospel on Monday through Saturday that he preached on Sunday. He was known for his big smile, kind heart, humble spirit and selfless servant attitude. Only eternity will tell the huge impact he had on so many lives and in turn the souls that were reached through his ministry and subsequently those who came to know Christ during his ministries.
Pastor Davis is believed to be the last surviving member of the the Committee that drafted the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. During this time he served as the President of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.
His family will receive visitors on Sunday April,28 from 4-6pm at Tobias FH Beavercreek Chapel 3970 Dayton-Xenia Rd. Services will be Monday April, 29 at 11am at The Church at Eastmont (formerly East Dayton Baptist) 1380 Spaulding Rd. Internment at Mt Zion Park Cemetery.