OBITUARY

Michael "Nick" Nixon Davies

September 29, 1955June 9, 2019
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Michael “Nick” Davies, 63, passed away on Sunday, June 9, 2019, surrounded by friends and family, after a 6-year battle with cancer.

“Nick,” as many knew him, was born in Chattanooga on September 29, 1955 to Amy (Nixon) and Richard Davies. He spent his childhood in Chattanooga and Nashville and graduated from John Overton High School in 1974. He spent some time at the University of Tennessee but was always more interested in learning with his hands than in a classroom.

In March of 1987, Nick started dating Betsy Swartzbaugh, and it was game over. They had been dating a week and a half when he told her, “you know we’re going to get married, right?” Thankfully, he was. They were married in October of that same year and were lucky to spend 31 years together building a life full of boat rides, picking home-grown vegetables, adventure, laughter, and the kind of love that set an example for everyone who knew them (and frequently embarrassed their children).

Nick was a loving and present father to his two daughters, Linda and Katharine, who he loved to joke with, fish with, and brag about. From building over-the-top science projects in the garage, to attending hours-long ballet recitals, to getting to walk both of his daughters down the aisle, Nick delighted in being “Dad.” In the final weeks of his life, it was an upcoming trip to see Katharine graduate from seminary that motivated him to keep up his strength. The trip is remembered by all as a testament to his resilience, and love for his children.

Nick had a self-proclaimed degree in “redneck engineering” and, in both his professional life as a salesman for manufacturing equipment, and with his many hunting and fishing buddies, he was admired for his mechanical genius, ingenuity, and ability to “MacGyver” together solutions for any problem. He taught himself to build boat motors, designed his own bait traps, built black powder weapons for hunting, rigged watering systems for the garden, and after one or two chartered deep sea fishing trips, decided that he didn’t need the guide, that he could figure out how to go out 30 or 40 miles off-shore and catch the big fish himself. And he did.

Despite his unofficial engineering credentials, Nick proudly considered himself a salesman. He was honest and hardworking and was deeply valued by co-workers and clients, many who, after 25 years spent at Handling Systems, considered him a dear friend.

In work, out on the boat, up in a tree stand, in friendship, in family, in faith, and in love, Nick always committed his whole self to what he was doing, and leaves behind a legacy and example for his friends and loved ones of a life fully lived and fully committed to what matters most. He was a man of great faith, and as he had time to prepare for his passing, or, as he called it, “the next great adventure,” he had the peace and assurance of someone who knows their God is welcoming them home.

Nick is survived by his wife, Betsy Davies, his two daughters, Linda Davies (Amanda High) and Katharine Bair (Andrew), his brother, Blair Davies, his step-sister Connally Penley (Charlie), as well as many dear friends.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, June 14, 2019
  • Memorial Service Friday, June 14, 2019

Memories

Michael "Nick" Nixon Davies

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Daryll Swinney

June 14, 2019

Betsy, my heart is broken upon finding out about Nick. He and I became friends when I was working at APCOM in Franklin and we met through Handling Systems. We had several hours of talks about family and hunting and fishing. I also felt as if Nick was the one salesman that you would really like to have as a relative instead of just a work friend. I just spoke with him several weeks ago. He never said anything about his illness. Just like Nick. His tribute was wonderful. Please let his daughters know that I thought he was really something special. I always enjoyed the Christmas Pistachio Nuts in the Mason Jars. I remember him telling me about the system you and he had in the garage getting them ready. All in all very special memories. I will not be able to get there today but I will have my dear friend Nick on my mind all day and for many years to come. Take your "Rest" my friend. You have truly earned it.

Amy Swartzbaugh

June 13, 2019

We will miss you, Nick!

Jan Short

June 13, 2019

Betsy, Linda and Katharine,
What a wonderful tribute to Nick.... So sorry for your sadness... Lots of prayers and love from us.
Jan and Randy Short family

Patty McCormac Ludeke

June 13, 2019

Betsy,
We have fond memories of your family and enjoy stories from Amy about your girls’ weddings and the goodness of Nick. He went way too soon. Sounds like he will keep the angels on their toes. Sending love,
Patty, Scott, John, David, and Sam

Dawn Davies

June 11, 2019

Betsy, Linda, and Katharine,

We are so sorry for the loss of your husband and father. Over the years there have been so many memories, but Mike's nephew and nieces have mentioned to me their memories of our summer dinners out when we visited our southern Davies. His nephew and niece are out of the country, and will respond when they return.

I wish we had words that could make the pain of this loss lessen. I know I have some shining memories - your rehearsal dinner, days on Percy Priest, venison sharing, summer vacation. I hope that your memories of these times will bring you comfort as well.

Dawn, Ricky, Margaret and Eleanor Davies

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