Dunbar Funeral Home (Devine)

3926 Devine ST, Columbia, SC


James Miller Davis Sr.

21 septembre 193314 mai 2020

COLUMBIA - Jim died Thursday, May 14, 2020 with his four children at his side. He was born on September 21, 1933 in Hartsville, S.C. to Benjamin Cecil Davis and Annie May Miller. He grew up in Florence, S.C. and attended the University of South Carolina, where he received a degree in social work. He then earned a master’s degree in social work from Tulane University. He returned to Columbia and worked for the Veteran’s Administration for over 40 years, first at the regional office and then at the V.A. Hospital. After retirement, he worked part time for a number of years as an adjunct professor for the University of South Carolina, in a job he said was the perfect job.

He was married to Mary Hodges Davis for 40 years until her death in 2001. They had four children and 12 grandchildren. Jim was a long time member of Washington Street United Methodist Church and the John Harper Sunday School class, where he enjoyed many long term friendships. His faith was extremely important to him, and he consistently read his Bible and his devotional, trying his best to be the man that God called him to be.

His hobby was his family. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren either at their homes or the house on Lake Murray. When his children were younger, he was always available to play a sport with them or attend their sporting events. He also loved talking about his children and grandchildren and was always ready to share pictures of his family that he carried around in his shirt pocket. Jim patiently and calmly taught countless people how to ski and loved fishing with his children when they were young. He was also a craftsman who could build or fix anything, and he built most of the lake house and dock that the family enjoyed for so many years. Jim was a “granddad” to many and loved sitting and reading to all of his “grandchildren” whether they were biologically related to him or not.

He supported numerous Christian outreaches and charitable organizations and cared deeply for those in need. He touched countless hearts and lives with his Godly spirit and generosity. He was an avid Gamecock fan and long time season ticket holder for football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball. Even when his health would not allow him to attend many sporting events, he still attended the USC women’s basketball games with his close friend Richard Lashley.

Later in life, he loved spending each morning at Lizards Thicket for breakfast and was a beloved “regular” who knew every employee at the restaurant.

He is survived by his four children: Elise Hane (Keitt), Jim Davis, Jr. (Anne), John Davis (Sara), and Joe Davis (Joyous), and his 12 grandchildren. He will be remembered as a patient, kind, gentle man who loved and cared for everyone and saw the best in everyone. Because we knew him, we have been changed for the better.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Andrew Hane at Mission to the World, Oliver Gospel Mission, or WSUMC Soup Kitchen.

Mr. Davis' service will be available on livestream by visiting rvrsd.org/davis at 3:25 pm Friday, May 22, 2020.

Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family. Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com.


  • Private Funeral Service

    vendredi, 22 mai , 2020


James Miller Davis Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Cindy Cummings

mai 22, 2020

Your father was the kindest man I know! He will be missed because he was so loved!

Karen Long

mai 20, 2020

Our thoughts and prayers to Jim's family that he was so proud of.
I was fortunate enough to have been a coworker and friend of his for many, many years. His phone calls and friendship will be dearly missed.

Nancy McNeil

mai 19, 2020

I am sorry that I can’t be with you wonderful kids, but please know that you are all in my heart and prayers. Jimmy was a special person even when he was young. He taught me to drive as a teenager and, most of all, had a large part in my positive attitude in life. I have never forgotten when he told me that he didn’t ever want to hear me say “I don’t care” again. To this day, I am reminded that everything matters because of him. He might have been called my “step-brother”’ but he was a real and dear brother to me.
God bless all of you.

Paul and Juanita Bell

mai 19, 2020

We were so sorry to read about Jim’s death. Before we moved to Aiken when our children were quite young there were many happy memories of eating together, playing bridge, and enjoying time at the lake. Always the southern gentleman, Jim was a good friend to all.
Paul and Juanita Bell

George Walker

mai 19, 2020

Jim and Mary had that special something about them, no matter where they were, to make everyone around them feel welcome. My fondest memories are of the lake house where we would gather to enjoy a summer swim, a bit of a catch-up, a great feed and of course where he taught us all to ski. His ability to explain it all simply, with the patience of Job, made it enjoyable no matter how many times you fell. His love for his family shone through; if anyone wasn’t able to make it you were sure to get all the latest news on what they were up to in short order. He will be missed. My deepest condolences.

Debra Burritt

mai 17, 2020

Jim & Mary were wonderful neighbors to David & I when we moved to the lake. When I told Jim that I would love to learn how to water ski but had failed as a teenager to learn. He took the challenge & not only got me skiing, but stuck with me till he got me to drop a ski and then slalom. Because he spent the time teaching me to ski, we had a number of years in which that was a passion for us. He was so kind & so interested in other’s lives. He made us feel special. We had lost touch in the last few years, but he was always in our heart, Debra & David Burritt

Frank Raymond

mai 17, 2020

Jim was one of the first social workers I met after moving to Columbia in 1972 to join the faculty of the College of Social Work at USC. Not only did we share the same profession, but both of us had attended Tulane University. We bonded instantly and he became a dear friend.

Jim was a field teacher for the College at the VA Hospital and he did an outstanding job in helping train masters degree students to become professionals. At the time Jim retired from the VA I had become dean of the College and I prevailed upon him to work part-time as a liaison between the College and field agencies throughout the state where students were completing their internships. He did a superb job and continued to serve in this capacity for many years. He loved this work because it enabled him to continue preparing students for their careers. In addition to drawing upon his substantial knowledge and skill base for this work, Jim reflected the professional integrity and personal temperament that served as an example to his students.

Jim was not only a fine professional, but he was also a wonderful individual. He was warm and friendly, kind and gentle, empathetic and caring, and unfailingly willing to listen and to help others in any way he could. He was also the quintessential "family man," always ready to tell anyone he talked with about his children and grandchildren and to show their latest pictures.

Hundreds of social workers have benefitted from Jim's instruction and example, and thousands of friends have profited from experiencing his love and kindness. Although Jim will be missed, this rich legacy will continue to be a blessing for all who knew him.

Judith Thompson

mai 17, 2020

What a joy it was to be a breakfast time semi-regular at Lizards Thicket for several years. Jim was a real treat to know.

Ronald Capps

mai 17, 2020

My prayers are with the family and friends of Mr. Davis. He was a nice, friendly man to me and my mother. We met through his dad, B.C. Davis, many years ago.

I'm not sure you would remember me, but I certainly remember Mr. And Mrs. Davis andtheir kindness.

Lynn Stogner

mai 17, 2020

I loved being around Mr. Davis (could never bring myself to call him Jim). He would listen, really listen, ask important questions and gently get me headed in the right direction if needed or make sure I saw the positive in a situation. I can't think of him without thinking of family. The Davis clan was his happiness. Where 2 or more of them were gathered, there was Mr. Davis, soaking up their love and giving it back. He and Mrs. Mary raised wonderful children who love the Lord and continue the legacy of loving others well. He will be greatly missed but we rejoice that this is not "goodbye", but "see you later". Praying for each of you as you get through the coming days and months.