John Phil Davis passed away October 24, 2012 after 82 wonderful years of life, sharing 63 of those in unwavering love with his adored wife, Theresa. He lived and loved every single day of it. Born a country boy in Zebulon on February 15, 1930, John was raised on a farm by loving parents, John Phil Davis, Sr. and Mary Ethel Carter Davis.
Even as a boy, John was energetic and charming. He was recognized as Most Popular Boy in his 1946 senior class and won the high school state tennis championship title that same year. When he was 17, John accompanied his sister Kathryn and her baby son, Mike, to California to join Kathryn’s husband Sam where he was stationed with the Marines. So inspired by what he saw, after returning home, John joined the Marine Corps himself, and always considered that a turning point in his life, where he learned discipline, respect, and integrity.
John met the love of his life, Theresa, in 1947 at a Griffin drug store lunch counter where John worked as a soda jerk. Theresa remembers seeing him walking down the street in his Marine dress blues to meet her upon returning home from basic training at Paris Island. She still recalls the giddiness she felt that day and continued to feel throughout their marriage. After a two-year courtship, John and Theresa were married on December 18, 1949.
After selling insurance and living with in-laws for a while in Griffin, John began his dream job on June 2, 1952, as a mechanic with Delta Airlines making $1.32 per hour. Through hard work, determination, and a daily love of his work, John rose through the ranks to become Vice President of Maintenance for the last twenty of his 41-year career. He loved Delta Airlines. He said there was never a day of work he didn’t enjoy and never a person there that he didn’t like. Although that sounds a bit unbelievable, he meant it and lived it, always believing that attitude makes the person.
As a husband, Dad, and “Pops” (grandfather), John was an inspiration and his family is so grateful to him for the life lessons he taught - lessons about positive attitudes, caring for others, working hard, being generous, enjoying life, and above all, loving each other. He will be greatly missed and forever adored by the love of his life, Theresa, four daughters, four grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren.
Contributions in John’s honor may be sent to Southwest Christian Care at 7225 Lester Road Union City, GA 30291 or the Baroness Erlanger Foundation at 975 East Third Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403.
A celebration of John’s life was held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 26, at Carl J. Mowell & Sons, 200 Robinson Road, Peachtree City.
Carl J Mowell & Son, Peachtree City