John Anthony Davis

September 2, 1942March 29, 2021
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John Anthony Davis, 78, formerly of Cedar Falls, Iowa, passed away unexpectedly on March 29th at his home in Round Rock, Texas.

John was born in September, 1942 in St. Louis, Missouri to Ralph and Janette Davis. He graduated from Cedar Falls High School in 1960, and attended Iowa State Teachers College. In 1964, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as active duty aboard the U.S.S. Aludra until 1967. During his service, he received the National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal; he served in the Navy Reserves until 1970.

John briefly worked at Arrowhead Harbor in Cedar Falls before starting his 27 year career at Viking Pump; he retired in 2000 as Purchasing Manager. During his time at Viking Pump, he met his wife of 30 years, Glenda Lee Davis.

John was a dedicated husband. He treasured Glenda. They enjoyed traveling, daily walks, and spending time with their grandchildren. He cherished his role as a grandfather. In his free time, he enjoyed running, swimming, biking and reading.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Janette Davis. He is survived by his wife, Glenda Davis; his stepchildren Gregory Martin, Mark Martin, and Bobbi Schmid; 11 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; his brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Sandy Davis and their 3 children.

At John’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local library.


John Anthony Davis

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Bobbi Schmid

April 10, 2021

Some of the many memories of John......
John sitting on the floor with the grandkids of the kitchen and letting them make their own ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce and sprinkles.
Showing the grand kids how to body roll down the hill of the back yard.
Giving the grandkids wheel barrel rides around the back yard
When he decided to go after the ground hog that was digging under the garage, but the groundhog ended up chasing him.
He always called a bottle opener a church key
After I got married and riding in the limousine and finding out that was his first time riding in a limo. Even though he had traveled the world with my mom.

Dara Martin

April 10, 2021

I love reading these memories of John. My son, Zachary, loved talking about Happy Grandpa. My memories of John are him always being calm and friendly, going with the flow. He used to set us up with a bowl of cheez its and make me and Glenda a White Russian as we watched CNN and the news and discussed the stock market. Most of those memories are from Cedar Falls. I know he will be greatly missed by the family and hoping his fond memories give peace to all.

Molly Martin

April 10, 2021

There are a lot of fun memories I have when it comes to grandpa, so I'm just going to make a list of my favorites.
- Riding around on the mower for fun in the backyard.
- Digging up worms to go fishing.
- Playing old maid .
- Messing around in the workshop in the basement.
- Going up in a hot air balloon they had sitting at the fair grounds and also riding horses when we were there.
- Going to the fish store and picking out a new fish for the aquarium.
- Going for rides in the convertible while listening to mambo number 5 or Elton John.
- Going to the park and flying kites and then proceeding to get the kite stuck in a tree.
- Teaching me to play chess.
- Reading the Harry Potter books and then talking about them.
- Last but certainly not least mooning th camera in front of the house when he was making one of his home movies.

Ethan Davis

April 9, 2021

Riding in on a motorcycle with a bag of Brachs Spice Drops candy, you couldn't have cast a better person for the role of Cool Uncle. Always laughing and with a smile wide enough that you couldn't miss the glint of gold (which I remember having quite a few questions about).

As a kid growing up, I didn't know everything about Uncle John's background, his time in the military, or his travels but I knew he was interesting and fun, traits I appreciated as a kid and admire as an adult. John reinvented and reprised the role of "Cool Uncle" over his life in different ways but always got it right. We missed John and Glenda when they moved to Texas but we understood because "Iowa is a four lettter word," and who could refute that logic. :-)

Zachary Martin

April 9, 2021

I’m gonna really miss my grandpa John. He was always so great to be around. I remember one Christmas I got my VR headset and it was so fun him trying to figure out how it worked

Juan Herrera

April 9, 2021

Grandpa was a good man. Always cordial, always smiling, and always ready to lend a hand. He gave the best hand shakes and always treated everyone with respect. He was so easy to talk to and always had a good story. He lived a life full of adventures.

I will miss helping him with technology. He never cared to get with the times and probably lived a better life than most because of it.

Some of my favorite memories are watching him play with our puppies, Beso and Bali, and cooking for him during the snow storm. He was really complementary of the fish tacos that I made. I could tell that he liked them because he ate a few of them, and although he couldn’t drink at the time, he was happy to share his Heinekens with me and my brother, whom he happily welcomed into his home without hesitation even though he had never met him before.

I always told Cheyanne that I thought of him as my own grandpa. I will miss him very much.

Michael Martin

April 9, 2021

My favorite memories with Grandpa include how he would let me and Molly play in his workshop area and make our own "inventions" by taping some wood together when we were kids, driving around in the car playing Mambo #5, and when he would follow us with the camera making silly home movies. He always encouraged and hoped the best for me. He was the best Grandpa anyone could have and I will miss him.

Patrick Martin

April 9, 2021

John Davis or as my sister and I would call him, “Happy Grandpa” was a good man. He had earned that nickname by always having a cheerful and jovial nature when we were around as children. Compared to the other older people we had been around, he was always smiling and making the best of things.

One of my favorite memories with him was when I was really young. We had gone to visit him and he had a riding lawnmower. At the time, I called it a tractor and thought it was the coolest thing that he got to drive around the yard with it. I always wanted rides on it and it was the coolest feeling to actually get to ride the tractor with him.

He will be missed.

Greg Martin

April 9, 2021

Whenever we'd come to visit John, he'd always have cold beer. He'd only drink the cheap stuff - Busch or Milwaukee's Best himself, but would splurge on a fancy craft beer when we'd come to visit. We'd get such a kick about John having spent $1 per bottle - as much of a spendthrift as he was.

We surprised my mom with a whole family visit for her 61st birthday. Mark, Bobbi and I didn't get our act together for her 60th birthday. We had so much fun planning the visit and having him take mom to the H-E-B so we could come and hide in the house to surprise her.

John really enjoyed the trip we all took to London and Paris in 2014. Elizabeth was in her freshman year of college and the UNI Panther Marching Band marched in the New Year's Day parade. John really enjoyed our NYE dinner - at a 1-star Michelin restaurant. He always said "You really know how to live Gregory".

We spent time in Paris and drove all together in a "party bus" to the Normandy region. He was so funny when it seemed every 5 or 10 miles we needed to "peyage" - which we quickly learned meant "toll coming" He really seemed to enjoy Omaha and Utah beaches. We really enjoyed hearing his stories about his service in the Navy - and how the Admiral's steaks or thanksgiving dinner would somehow be "lost" and concurrently the ship's crew ate quite well.

We will miss John a lot. Really wish we could have taken him on another trip to "live large".

Jon Hamilton

April 9, 2021

I remember when John and Glenda came to Cedar Falls while Liz and I were in college and drove us around the town and told us where all the good restaurants were. We went to Steamboat Gardens in Waterloo. John was always after a good deal, so of course we had to take advantage of the pork tenderloin special - called "Tugboat Tuesdays". We had so much fun and laughed a lot during that meal. Liz and I took advantage of that deal multiple times after that. Thank you John, we are going to miss you!



      John Anthony Davis was a modest man, quiet and observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to his life and in his relationships. He was tough-minded with the kind of “stick to it” attitude that earned the respect of all who knew him. He was also a man who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything he undertook. Realistic about life, he was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.

      John was born on September 2, 1942 at St. Mary's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. His parents were Ralph and Janette Davis. John was raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He was brought up to be self-confident and dependable. These were traits that would serve him well throughout his life.

      Growing up in the Davis household was a bit different than most homes. There were good times to be had, but just as often there was a fair share of challenges as well. However, John was able to work through the usual family problems when they appeared, and he was the one person in the family who seemed able to keep the stress at bay. John was raised with one brother, Mark. John and his sbrother may have had the typical rivalries while growing up but John was always consistently loyal to his family.

      As a young child, John was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. He wasn’t pushy and never forced his way into games or other activities. John developed a variety of interests, though, and the things he enjoyed doing he did well. He was always curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it. In his spare time he liked to go fishing and going on adventures.

      While his teachers and even his friends generally thought of John as being a serious person, he managed to have a pretty good time in high school as he made that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. He graduated from Cedar Falls High School in 1960. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. John was a very logical person who enjoyed learning about factual information. Using his exceptional memory, he was able to learn much through observation. John always seemed to have a command of the facts and was able to make it seem as though he could easily master any problem that might be presented to him.

      On June 24, 1990 John exchanged wedding vows with Glenda Lee Martin at the United Methodist Church of Waterloo, Iowa. Compassionate and devoted to Glenda, John held endearing, traditional values about marriage and family life. He took the responsibility of marriage to heart, giving it his total commitment. He was a source of strength to Glenda and using his gifts at nurturing one-on-one relationships, he worked hard to make his new family happy.

      John was blessed with three stepchildren, two stepsons, Gregory and Mark, and one stepdaughter, Bobbi. They were also blessed with eleven grandchildren, Molly, Michael, Adam, Ryan, Ashlyn, Cheyanne, Austin, Patrick, Elizabeth, Zachary and Benjamin.

      John greatly enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a hard worker who expected the same in return from his co-workers. He was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. John enjoyed dealing with concrete ideas and could penetrate any amount of fuzzy information to reach the essential facts. Always able to attend to the task at hand, John was excellent at meeting deadlines. He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. His primary occupation was Purchasing Manager. He was employed for 27 years by Viking Pump. John worked hard to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

      John was also a Navy veteran. In 1964, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as active duty aboard the U.S.S. Aludra until 1967. He was in the Navy reserves until 1970. John saw action for three years during the Vietnam war. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of Petty Officer Third Class. He received praise for his valor, including being awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal. A literal thinker who possessed a calm exterior, John seemed to enjoy the routines set forth by the military. His results-oriented approach to things made him committed to the job, and he understood well his role in serving his country.

      John liked to experience things first-hand as well as learn about them. This trait carried over into his hobbies, where he was very methodical in how he organized his activities and categorized things. Since he enjoyed his private time, John always tried to allocate a specific time for working on his hobbies. His favorite pursuits were reading, daily walks, fishing, deep sea diving, biking, riding his motorcycle and traveling. John was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Organizations were grateful to have John as a member, since he always brought with him a “stick to it” attitude and a high degree of common sense. Using straightforward methods to successfully complete the job, John was a great planner who was incredibly well organized. It seemed that he was able to schedule any event or activity with ease. He always seemed to know exactly what needed to be done. Throughout his later years, John was an active member of the Elks Club.

      John sought out practical solutions, not individual recognition. He was always grounded and objective, feeling a strong sense of responsibility for taking care of what needed to be done. This selfless attitude earned John accolades for his efforts and achievements. Some of his most prestigious awards included the National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.

      John enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. Since he was an early starter and had a knack for planning everything, traveling with John appeared effortless. He enjoyed researching all of his examined options and applying cost-effective planning techniques. Plus, no matter where he traveled, John always had a back up plan at the ready, just in case. Favorite vacations included a cruise in Asia and a cruise in the South Pacific.

      John was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of John’s favorites was Wiggles, a Golden Retriever.

      When John’s retirement finally arrived in 2000, he was well prepared. He always trusted and placed value in what was logical and in the things he knew, so he was very confident in planning his retirement. He had begun the process early and had his retirement all laid out well in advance. His new life involved relocating to Round Rock, Texas. In retirement, he found new pleasure in swimming, walking, traveling, going to the library, and getting Round Rock Donuts. Even in retirement, John continued to stay in touch with his old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. He was active in his new community and felt fulfilled.

      John Anthony Davis passed away on March 29, 2021 at at his home in Round Rock, Texas. John had a heart attack while enjoying gardening. He is survived by his wife, Glenda Davis; his stepchildren Gregory Martin, Mark Martin, and Bobbi Schmid; 11 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; his brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Sandy Davis and their 3 children. There were no services for John at his request. John will be laid to rest in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas.

      Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of John Anthony Davis. He was committed to living the life of a good man who was both practical and trustworthy. He was committed to the traditional values that he upheld his entire life. He committed himself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around him. Most of all, he was committed to those he knew and loved.