John Martin Davis Jr.

December 9, 1944December 7, 2019

On Saturday, the 7th of December 2019, John Martin (“Marty”) Davis, Jr. passed away while surrounded by family at Medical City in Dallas. He was 74 years old.

Marty is survived by his loving wife, Yana; his stepson, Gian David Lipscomb, and family (wife, Malena, and children, Nathan and Andrew); his brother, Dr. Stephen Davis, and family (wife, Jan, and children, Natalie Davis Dowling and Mark Davis); and he is preceded in death by his parents, John and Doris Davis, and his first wife, Carolyn Sweatt Davis.

Born on December 9th, 1944 in Jacksonville, Florida, Marty’s family relocated to Dallas at an early age, and he would spend much of his life calling Dallas home. An Eagle Scout, Marty attended W. H. Adamson High School in Oak Cliff before graduating in 1963 and enrolling at Southern Methodist University, a school with which he would have a lifetime relationship. Earning top honors and obtaining his Bachelor of Business Administration, Marty stayed at SMU to earn his law degree, graduating in 1970. That same year, Marty enlisted in the Navy, where he would spend the following six years serving as a lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps. After military service, Marty worked briefly as a tax attorney for Haskins and Sells in Savannah, Georgia, before taking over the accounting firm of Davis, Clark and Co., which he continued to operate in Dallas until his retirement in 2008.

Outside of his work as a lawyer and CPA, Marty spent much of his free time contributing to educational and philanthropic organizations. A member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, he authored or co-authored five books, including Texas Land Grants 1750-1900: A Documentary History (2016) and Civil War Taxes: A Documentary History 1861-1900 (2019). It was Marty’s endless curiosity and desire to contribute that led him to compiling one of the largest Texas map collections in the United States (the Yana and Marty Davis Map Collection), eventually donating it to the Museum of the Big Bend at Sul Ross University. This contribution, along with his fundraising and advocacy efforts on behalf of the school, led to an honorary doctorate in 2016. In addition, Marty contributed his time to the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation, the Texas Map Society (where he served as president), and the Dallas Heritage Village. For his philanthropic work for the arts community in Dallas, he was awarded the Obelisk Award twice, and he will forever be remembered as someone whose generous contributions to universities, museums, and arts organizations across Texas helped further their missions of education and understanding. His dedication to these missions and organizations will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held for Marty at the Perkins Chapel on the Southern Methodist University campus on January 15th.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any remembrance contributions be made to the Museum of the Big Bend, 400 N. Harrison, Alpine, Texas 79832.

He will be buried during a private ceremony at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Fort Davis, Texas, on December 14th.


  • Visitation

    Friday, December 13, 2019

  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, December 14, 2019

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, January 15, 2020

  • Reception

    Wednesday, January 15, 2020


John Martin Davis Jr.

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John Cochran

April 29, 2021


I just learned of Marty's death and only so after doing a Google search for him. I searched because last night I dreamed that Suzanne and I were with you and Marty at SMU. I knew it was Marty in my dreams because he was laughing so much.

We truly loved having Marty and you as friends for a long, long time in Dallas and we really appreciated having Marty as our CPA for almost a quarter of a century.

It was comforting to know that he lived life to the fullest and died in the love of his family.

John Cochran
Larkspur, Colorado

Stephen Pearl, MD

February 23, 2021

Saddened to hear of the passing of my old friend Marty. Though I have not seen him since 2006 - I was his former doctor before leaving Texas - it was a privilege to know him and have him as a patient and friend. No matter how difficult a day I was having, Marty always energized and brightened my day when he came to the office. He had the force and energy of ten people. I still remember the lovely evening we had with Marty and his lovely wife Yana at the Crescent. As many have said, he will be sorely missed.

Don Navarro

December 7, 2020

One of most brilliant colorful individuals I have know who I was privileged to call a friend and classmate. Marty - you are missed! Don Navarro

Don Navarro

January 9, 2020

Your giving heart - extraordinary intellect - wry humor - colorful attire and unique persona will not be forgotten. Rest in peace ole friend as we cherish our fond memories of your presence!

Krysta Johns

December 16, 2019

Sweet Yana,
We are so sorry to hear about Marty. It was impossible to leave your house without aching sides and sore cheeks from laughing so hard and smiling so much - Marty was truly one of a kind. I'm grateful my daughter got to meet him this past summer. He leaves an impression unlike anyone else, as well as a hole in the heart of Fort Davis that is bigger than all of Texas. What a treat and a blessing it is to call you two our friends. We will miss him greatly. We are here for you, always.
With love,
Krysta and Robert Johns

Alden Hathaway

December 16, 2019

Yana: I am so sorry to learn of Marty's death. He became a good friend, sharing our walking fellowship in Beaufort. I treasure the deacons bench he left for our street-side door. May the Good Lord bless and keep him. And be strong comfort to you and your family +Alden Hathaway