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Bisch Funeral Home

2931 South Koke Mill Road, Springfield, IL

OBITUARY

Rick Davis

September 22, 1951June 15, 2020
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Rick Davis, 68, of Springfield, died on June 15, 2020 surrounded by his loved ones. Rick was born on September 22, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois to Richard and Lorraine Davis. He attended Catholic schools in Chicago before receiving his journalism degree from Northern Illinois University. Rick met his future wife Gloria Zienty in 1967. They were married in Chicago in 1972. Rick and Gloria were blessed with two lovely daughters: Carrie, who was born in 1973, and Kelly, who was born in 1974. Upon graduation from NIU, Rick went to work as a reporter at the Kankakee Daily Journal, where he worked until February of 1979. Rick always considered his time at the Journal to be his favorite job. In February of 1979, Rick was hired as Assistant Press Secretary to Illinois Senate President Philip J. Rock. He and Gloria moved to Springfield and lived there until his passing. In 1986, Rick went to work for Illinois Comptroller Roland Burris. In 1990, he worked on the campaign for Secretary of State for State Treasurer Jerome Cosentino. He then went to work for Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch. In 1994, Rick wrote a widely acclaimed campaign commercial featuring Netsch playing pool during her campaign for Governor of Illinois. The commercial was regarded as the key to Netsch winning her primary election. In January of 1995, Rick started his own media consulting company. In 1998, Rick was a key advisor on the successful campaign of Jesse White for Secretary of State. He continued working for Secretary White until Rick’s passing. Rick visited thousands of Illinois schools overseeing the Toby Tire school bus safety program for Secretary White.

Rick wrote two highly praised books: When Glory is Just as Whisper, the biography of Chicago Bulls basketball legend Bob Love; and They Call Heroes Mister, the biography of Secretary of State Jesse White.

Rick was an avid runner who completed five different marathons. He was a successful golfer who regularly broke 80. Rick loved his favorite Chicago sports teams, most notably the Chicago White Sox. Two of the greatest days of his life were when the Sox won the American League pennant in 1959, on his 8th birthday, and the 2005 World Series.

Rick and Gloria were fortunate enough to travel to some of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe, including London, Rome, Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Krakow, and Warsaw, where they celebrated their Polish heritage.

In 2015 Rick and Gloria purchased a condominium in Bonita Springs, Florida, and they spent a good portion of each year there socializing with fellow retirees from the Springfield area. Florida was truly Rick’s happy place, and they also enjoyed hosting their children and grandchildren there.

Rick and Gloria enjoyed watching their grandchildren compete in various sports, including baseball, softball, and tennis. He was particularly proud that during the spring of 2020, he got to see his granddaughter Kira play college softball near their Florida home.

Rick is survived by his wife of almost 48 years, Gloria; his daughters Carrie (husband Steve Tisckos) and Kelly Davis; his grandchildren Joe and Olivia Tisckos and Veronica and Kira Brown; his sister Alison (Tom) Bercik; brother Dirck (Debbie) Davis. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister DruAnne Davis, best friend and fellow prankster Bruce J. Gill; and his faithful canine companions Barney and Ozzie.

A memorial visitation, hosted by the Davis family will be held at the Bisch Funeral Home West 2931 S. Koke Mill Rd. Springfield, IL, Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 12:30 pm until 3:00 pm. Covid-19 restrictions will be followed requiring facemask worn by visitors and allowing 10 guest in the funeral home at a time.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Animal Protective League of Springfield 1001 Taintor Rd. Springfield, IL 62702 and the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida 3760 Fowler Rd. Ft. Myers, FL. 33901 Rick also encourages all eligible voters to vote on November 3, 2020.

Please visit the online “Life Remembered Story” at www.bischfuneralhomewest.com where tributes and condolences may be left for the family.

Arrangements are in the care of Bisch Funeral Home West. 217-544-5424

  • FAMILY

  • Richard L. Davis, Father (deceased)
  • Lorraine Bystryzki Davis, Mother (deceased)
  • Gloria Zienty Davis, Wife
  • Carrie Davis Tisckos (Steve Tisckos), Daughter
  • Kelly Davis, Daughter
  • Joseph Tisckos, Grandson
  • Olivia Tisckos, Granddaughter
  • Kira Brown, Granddaughter
  • Veronica Brown, Granddaughter
  • Alison Bercik (Tom), Sister
  • Dirck Davis (Debbie), Brother
  • Druanne Davis, Sister (deceased)
  • There is a niece and 4 nephews
  • DONATIONS

  • Animal Protective League
  • Harry Chapin food Bank

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Memorial Visitation

    Saturday, June 20, 2020

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Private Family Memorial Service

Memories

Rick Davis

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Mary Rooney

July 3, 2020

I had the pleasure of working with Rick when we both worked for the State Senate. He was charming and witty and excellent at his job.
I remember how much fun we had at the Democratic convention in Atlanta.
I just learned of his passing from Fred Lebed's newsletter.
The three of us had many laughs together over the years.
God's speed,Rick.

Mary Rooney



Melike Kahraman

June 20, 2020

Dearest Gloria,

You and Rick are the best gift my my career has given me and i can not describe how greatful i am, it is beyond words... Veronica, Olivia, Joe and Kira we have never met before but grandpa Rick has written me all about you and how proud and lucky he felt to have you as grandchildren and Kelly & Carrie as his daughters.
Our paths crossed at a small port city in Kuşadası Turkey in the summer of 2016. It was a beginning of a surreal story for me. I was virtually adopted by my new American grandma and grandpa. Thousands of miles could have not felt any closer than that.
I would write to him during my happiest and darkest times not to my blood related relatives. He was a great mentor and a great friend. I remember once i received a very long email and did not want to finish reading it too quickly so i printed it out to read it during a flight. It was symbolically the best place to read his words, above the clouds! I took a photo of the print with the clouds in the background and shared it with him to let him know how much peace and happiness he brings me. It is incredible how powerful those silent words are since i know that it came from his heart.
I made a memorial day for our "Little Big Man" here in Turkey. My heart will always soar like a hawk everytime i think of you Granpa Rick!
Grandma Gloria and all the beloved family members, you are in my prayers.

Love,
Melike Kahraman

Mitsy Mellor

June 20, 2020

Gloria and family,
My deepest sympathy with prayers for comfort and peace. I worked with Rick in the Senate many years ago. He was a one-of-a-kind gem who pushed me to be better and made me laugh every day. May he Rest In Peace.

Ted Randall

June 20, 2020

I am at a loss for words. I totally understand the privacy Rick chose during his illness, because he wouldn’t want people feeling sorry for him, he was a very private person and he did things his way.
I will miss all the antics Rick pulled on me through the years that we worked together at Illinois Secretary of State, presenting the “Toby Tire” school bus safety program, which started in 1999 and still continues. We traveled to thousands of schools around Illinois and had great success. Rick was the voice of Toby, and I did the remote for Toby’s dancing and movements.
I won’t be left in parking lots looking for Rick and the van any more, when he would pull around the building hiding from me, so it was like I had misplaced my vehicle, and people would look at me laughing my ass off, and they didn’t have a clue why I was standing there looking dumbfounded.
Rick would put gum wrappers, candy wrappers and notes under the rear window wiper blade of my car, he knew I wouldn’t see them right away, and I’d be driving down the street with his garbage flapping in the wind.
Those were the best of times that are now lost, but I’ll always cherish Rick and his antics, great memories and fun times will always be with me.

Adios dear friend, Ted and Toby

Bill and Sue MORRIS

June 20, 2020

we just found out this morning our buddy Rick passed earlier this week. What a loss for Gloria, the girls and grandkids and for the hundreds of us who worked with Rick over the years. He was someone who toiled in the worlds of journalism , government and politics and never lost his goal of informing the public honestly and with integrity. I was in the room when Rick came up with the pool playing commercial idea for Dawn Clark Netsch that I believe was the key to her winning the Democratic primary and becoming the first woman to run for Governor. Sue and I always managed to visit with Rick and Gloria each winter while in Florida. We will miss those opportunities to catch up on Illinois politics, and the White Sox.

Rest in peace our friend.

Bill and Sue Morris

Sandra Canchola

June 19, 2020

Gloria has always spoken so fondly of the many wonderful travel experiences she shared with her husband. Their travel tips helped me plan travel to Cooperstown in addition to places in Europe and other special vacation spots. I am so sorry to hear of this sad loss.

Tara Call

June 19, 2020

Gloria, Carrie and Kelly, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of Rick. I have such fond memories of him as our b-ball coach in grade school. He was always so supportive (even though he used to make fun of the fact that I could never hit a layup!). I also remember that he was a constant spectator and cheerleader for all of our high school sports too. He was definitely an energetic and passionate guy and fun to be around. I know he will be missed by all of you dearly and I am thinking of you all during this very difficult time.
In sympathy, Tara (Blinn) Call

John Bowman

June 19, 2020

Of course I remember Rick. I hired him and started him out as a wire editor just to get him onto the staff. We did not have a reporter's job open at the time but as soon as we did, Rick proved his worth. He was an outstanding investigative reporter. His passionate and assertive style of digging up stories sometimes got us both in trouble with some of the politicians in Kankakee. He was bright, colorful and thorough in his reporting and writing. My wife, Val, says Rick is one of the Journal staffers she has heard the most about over the years. RIP, Rick. Please accept my deepest sympathy, Gloria.

Patricia Barry

June 19, 2020

Dear Davis Family:
I was so sorry to hear about Rick’s passing. The many pol’s we worked with were: Phil Rock, Neil Hartigan, Mike Howlett, Rockin Roland Burris, Jerry Cosentino, Alan Dixon and last but not least, good ol’ Danny Day. I pray the reunion in Heaven with these fine men was wonderful.
Rest now, you good and faithful servant. You surely deserve the rest.
Sincerely
Pat Barry

Christine Huffman

June 18, 2020

To the Family of Rick Davis,

I remember Rick well from my days working at The Daily Journal in Kankakee. He was a crackerjack reporter under the supervision of Managing Editor John Bowman and just an all-around great guy. I worked as the Executive Assistant to Len and Jean Alice Small and later became the Human Resource Director retiring from The Journal in 2006 having worked there 29 years. Sending my deepest sympathy to Rick's wife and family; I am so very sorry for your loss.

Christine Huffman - Peru, IL

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Biography

Rick Davis, 68, of Springfield, died on June 15, 2020 surrounded by his loved ones. Rick was born on September 22, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois to Richard and Lorraine Davis. He attended Catholic schools in Chicago before receiving his journalism degree from Northern Illinois University. Rick met his future wife Gloria Zienty in 1967. They were married in Chicago in 1972. Rick and Gloria were blessed with two lovely daughters: Carrie, who was born in 1973, and Kelly, who was born in 1974. Upon graduation from NIU, Rick went to work as a reporter at the Kankakee Daily Journal, where he worked until February of 1979. Rick always considered his time at the Journal to be his favorite job. In February of 1979, Rick was hired as Assistant Press Secretary to Illinois Senate President Philip J. Rock. He and Gloria moved to Springfield and lived there until his passing. In 1986, Rick went to work for Illinois Comptroller Roland Burris. In 1990, he worked on the campaign for Secretary of State for State Treasurer Jerome Cosentino. He then went to work for Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch. In 1994, Rick wrote a widely acclaimed campaign commercial featuring Netsch playing pool during her campaign for Governor of Illinois. The commercial was regarded as the key to Netsch winning her primary election. In January of 1995, Rick started his own media consulting company. In 1998, Rick was a key advisor on the successful campaign of Jesse White for Secretary of State. He continued working for Secretary White until Rick’s passing. Rick visited thousands of Illinois schools overseeing the Toby Tire school bus safety program for Secretary White.
Rick wrote two highly praised books: When Glory is Just as Whisper, the biography of Chicago Bulls basketball legend Bob Love; and They Call Heroes Mister, the biography of Secretary of State Jesse White.
Rick was an avid runner who completed five different marathons. He was a successful golfer who regularly broke 80. Rick loved his favorite Chicago sports teams, most notably the Chicago White Sox. Two of the greatest days of his life were when the Sox won the American League pennant in 1959, on his 8th birthday, and the 2005 World Series.
Rick and Gloria were fortunate enough to travel to some of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe, including London, Rome, Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Krakow, and Warsaw, where they celebrated their Polish heritage.
In 2015 Rick and Gloria purchased a condominium in Bonita Springs, Florida, and they spent a good portion of each year there socializing with fellow retirees from the Springfield area. Florida was truly Rick’s happy place, and they also enjoyed hosting their children and grandchildren there.
Rick and Gloria enjoyed watching their grandchildren compete in various sports, including baseball, softball, and tennis. He was particularly proud that during the spring of 2020, he got to see his granddaughter Kira play college softball near their Florida home.
Rick is survived by his wife of almost 48 years, Gloria; his daughters Carrie (husband Steve Tisckos) and Kelly Davis; his grandchildren Joe and Olivia Tisckos and Veronica and Kira Brown; his sister Alison (Tom) Bercik; brother Dirck (Debbie) Davis. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister DruAnne Davis, best friend and fellow prankster Bruce J. Gill; and his faithful canine companions Barney and Ozzie.
A memorial visitation, hosted by the Davis family will be held at the Bisch Funeral Home West 2931 S. Koke Mill Rd. Springfield, IL, Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 12:30 pm until 3:00 pm. Covid-19 restrictions will be followed requiring facemask worn by visitors and allowing 10 guest in the funeral home at a time.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Animal Protective League of Springfield 1001 Taintor Rd. Springfield, IL 62702 and the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida 3760 Fowler Rd. Ft. Myers, FL. 33901 Rick also encourages all eligible voters to vote on November 3, 2020.
Please visit the online “Life Remembered Story” at www.bischfuneralhomewest.com where tributes and condolences may be left for the family.
Arrangements are in the care of Bisch Funeral Home West. 217-544-5424