William Andrew Davis
April 6, 1933 – March 23, 2020
William Andrew (Bill) Davis was born April 6, 1933 in Itasca, Texas, and died peacefully on March 23, 2020 surrounded by his daughters. Alma, his wife of 61 years preceded him in death. He is survived by his daughters Iris Davis, Ann Bartnik and Andrea Wilson, and their respective spouses Jon Deckard, Peter Bartnik and Jeff Lobaugh, as well as six grandchildren: Andrew, Will and Meg Bartnik, Jake and Zoe Wilson, and Coby Lobaugh. He is also survived by Ronnie Wilson, who was like a son to him. Longtime caregiver Modou Kujabe became a close friend during the later years of his life. The eldest of 3 sons born to Otis and Iris Davis, he leaves behind his brothers, Paul and Jean Davis and their spouses Marianne Davis and Cathy Blotter and his nephew Cory Davis.
After growing up in Corpus Christi, Daddy attended Del Mar College and Texas A&I University before doing a 3-year stint in the Army. He and Mom moved to Austin in the late 1950’s where he completed his studies at The University of Texas, graduating in 1961 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Trained as an engineer, he spent his life figuring out how things worked. We joked if you asked him what time it was, he’d tell you how to build a clock. He moved his growing young family all over Texas (and briefly to California) and then settled us in Tyler just in time to see the first man walk on the moon. He worked for Howe-Baker Engineering Co. for many years before starting his own small engineering firm. He finished his career in Houston, where he worked on international projects for an Oil & Gas company.
Daddy traveled extensively for work throughout his career. As kids we were so excited when he came home from a business trip because he had all kinds of exotic gifts for us. We always had the coolest stuff for “show and tell.” He made friends everywhere he traveled. Even though he would never be considered a social animal, he had a knack for talking to strangers. He had a file labeled “Indian Friends” in his filing cabinet from his travels in India. After moving back to Tyler when he retired, he enjoyed his free time working in his shop behind the house. Daddy loved sailing, books, woodworking and reading about Texas history.
A private family gathering will be held Wednesday at 11:00 AM at Tyler Memorial Cemetery. The family would like to thank the Prestige Estates staff and Choice Hospice for their compassionate care over the past two years. In lieu of flowers we know that Daddy would prefer donations to PATH (www.pathhelps.org) 402 W. Front St., Tyler TX 75702.
William Andrew Davis
March 27, 2020
I had the pleasure of knowing Billy through Jean and Paul for almost 40 years.
Always a gentleman with a fantastic sense of humor.
He will surely be missed.
March 25, 2020
Bill is like a second dad to me and another grandfather to my daughter, Chloe. My family was blessed to live next to Bill and Alma for almost 15 years. There are so many great, everyday special moments that cannot fill this space. Memories of both Bill and Alma. After my visits with Bill and Alma- which were very often, drinking either coffee or boxed wine- Bill made sure I made it home safely. And always when it was dark. He would get his flashlight, walk me out and up the small incline to my driveway and then watch me til I got inside. Not far, but it is a dad thing, My dad would have done the same and appreciated Bill for this.
Once, we chose to give a dog away that was tearing up our yard and Bill and Almaś. Our family did not want to see Bill or Alma fall. They did not know this. Alma showed up crying at my door saying that Bill was upset and worried that our friendship might be ruined. I almost laughed and cried at the same time. There was absolutely no way in the world this would ever happen. We got rid of the crazed pup because we loved Bill and Alma so much. Bill was in his office when I went over. He gave me a rare hug as I reassured him.
Bill was always helping when our animals went astray.
Bill and Alma once let us use their house while they were away so that we could have beds for the 30 or so relatives visiting us one holiday. Still amazed by this amount of trust.
But most importantly, it was how Bill and Alma watched over all the neighborhood children, especially Chloe. I never had to worry . Chloe remembers Bill allowing her to run around in his shop and yard, never saying too much, but sharing the space. Alma always asking about her and offering Popsicles or some treat. I remember Bill making a little stool for her so she could put it at her bathroom sink.
A lifetime of the little moments that I am so very grateful for. An added bonus is the levels of friendship with Andrea, Iris and Anne. I love your family. Always.