Willis Davis, born on September 11, 1940, was 82 when he passed peacefully to his Lord and Savior on October 11, 2022, with his family at his side. Willis was born to the late Sedley “Sid” and Addie (Lackey) Davis. He grew up on a farm in the Black Creek community near Robbins, Tennessee, where he met the love of his life—his faithful and devoted wife to the very end, Orangie Ann (King) Davis. Together they had three boys, twelve grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.
Willis became a Christian as a young adult, and he got “the living kind.” He diligently studied the Scriptures and became a Sunday School teacher and deacon, serving as such at the Black Creek United Baptist Church, the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, and for many years at the White Rock Baptist Church. His many students were strongly influenced by his in-depth, solid teaching. Willis and Orangie helped start and organize the library at White Rock, which is full of sound, helpful, God-honoring resources, that anyone may check out. Willis was a secret giver and didn’t even tell his own family that he had given a substantial sum to an orphanage in Romania that had no heat to purchase heating. His faith was authenticated by the consistent life he led—at home, at church, at work, and anywhere else he went. As his health declined, Willis stated on separate occasions, “The Lord has been too good to me. I’m not going to start complaining now.” The world is a better place because of what the Lord accomplished through His servant, Willis Davis.
After graduating Robbins High School in 1959, Willis joined the United States Army, where he served during peacetime, stationed at Okinawa, Japan. Public service was very important to him. During his time in the Army, Willis took remote learning classes through the University of Maryland. Upon being honorably discharged from the Army, Willis attended and earned his Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee. Willis and Orangie started dating during his time at Tennessee Tech. They married on April 11, 1964 and remained married for over 58 years until his death. Willis and Orangie loved to travel and spend time together.
Upon graduation, Willis went to work at the United States General Accounting Office, which involved traveling to other states to conduct financial audits of federal government agencies. Willis then accepted employment at the United States Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he negotiated and oversaw contracts for many years before retiring as a procurement officer. Willis and Orangie moved to Oneida, Tennessee for retirement.
In addition to his parents, Willis is preceded in death by his in-laws George and Hazel “Hetty” (Privett) King; sister Iola “Sis” Muller and husband Oscar; brother Rosure Davis and wife Wanda; sister Etta Marie Miller and husband Arthur; brother Charles Ray Davis; brother Kenneth “Buck” Davis and wife Patricia; brother Philip Davis and wife Barbara; brother Milford Davis and wife Lourine. Additionally, Willis is preceded in death by several nieces and nephews.
Willis is “Dad” to Kevin Davis and wife Nancy, Jeffrey Alan Davis and wife Sarah, and Thomas Eric Davis and wife Mindy. He is “Papaw” to Amanda Pope and husband Sean, Natasha Davis, Nikita Hatmaker and husband Cody, Jessica Davis, Dalton Davis, Adalea “Addie” Carol Davis, Nathaniel Willis Davis, Ian Thomas Davis, Evan John Davis, William Enoch Davis, Jordan Harbison, and Jonathan Harbison. Great grandchildren include Gracie Davis, Ethan Murphy, Emma Murphy, Jordyn Harding, Raygan Hatmaker, Arianna Duncan, Jaxon Beets, Kinsley Faith Tackett, Camden Beets, Remi Tackett, Keelan Harbison, and Kason Harbison. Willis was also survived by one sister, Lora Mae (Davis) Goad, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family wants to give special thanks to Summer Walker, who with her loving care, helped make all the difference in Willis’ final days of this journey, as well as to Dr. Tim Smith, the staff at Grace Primary Care, niece and hospice-supervisor Starla Stewart, hospice nurse Brenda Smith, and the staff at Quality Hospice. The family thanks everyone for their prayers, support, and many kindnesses shown.
The family respectfully requests that, in lieu of flowers or other gifts, monetary donations be made in Willis’ honor to the White Rock Baptist Church or to another church or charity.
Friends may visit with the Davis family on Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. until time of funeral service at 2:00 p.m. at the White Rock Baptist Church in Huntsville, TN with Bro. Jim West and Bro. Jeff Davis officiating. Music will be provided by Kevin and Nancy Davis.
Committal service will follow in the Daniel Memorial Cemetery in Helenwood, TN.
Jones & Son Funeral Home is serving the family of Willis Davis.