William ‘Bill’ Davis, 74
A celebration of the life of William P. “Bill” Davis, 74, of Springfield, was held June 17, 2018, at the Elks Lodge in Sptingfield. He died June 13 in Springfield, a few weeks after being diagnosed with melanoma.
He was born April 22, 1944, in West Plains, the son of Jean and Dean Davis. He attended school in West Plains and then the University of Florida; he was an avid Florida Gators fan. He returned to Springfield, where he graduated from what is now Missouri State University amd was instrumental in establishing the Sigma Chi chapter.
Mr. Davis had a big life and a big heart, and he knew how to have a good time. He was generous to all his loved ones and had a smile that could light up a room as he brought joy to those who knew him. He enjoyed the many friendships he developed at Twin Oaks Country Club, Royal Order of Jesters, Abou Ben Adhem Shrine in which he was a member of the White Mustang Unit, and Elks Lodge 409.
His career included teaching at West Plains and working many years as a salesman where he was awarded many Best Sales awards. He was known as someone who could “sell ice to an Eskimo.” At the time of his death, he owned Bill Davis Homes and Rentals, a business he thoroughly enjoyed.
He was interviewed for a May 24, 2017, story in the Ozark County Times about the historic Davis-Grisham cabin on the North Fork of the White River after it was badly damaged by the epic flood of April 29-30, 2017. He told the Times the cabin was built by his grandfather, the late Dean Davis, and four friends; Mr. Davis believed they were all World War I veterans. The sturdy, 1,800-square-foot cabin with three bedrooms and a three-foot-high stone foundation plus a stone fireplace was finished in 1939 on the point of land where Spring Creek flows into the North Fork of the White River. Today it’s about a mile south of Blair Bridge.
Mr. Davis said last year that, in the beloved cabin’s 78 years, he was aware of water seriously threatening the cabin only three times before the 2017 flood. He told the Times he feared the flood had damaged the cabin beyond repair. It was then owned by Davis and the descendants of Jerry Grisham, who had married the daughter of Howard Kellett, one of the original friends who built the cabin. The damaged building has been left as it was after the flood, Lois Davis said Monday.
Survivors include his loving wife, Lois; his twin children, Michael Kyle Davis of Springfield and Keri Davis Hess and husband Peter and their son John William “Will,” of Huntington, Vermont; Lois’s children, Greg Blair and wife Teresa, and Bryan Blair, all of Springfield, and Greg’s sons, Geoff and Tyler Blair; extended family, including his special cousin Deana Golden and husband Morley of Sun Valley, Idaho, and her children, Hollyn and Brinkley, Dale Roper and wife Shirley, Becky Farmer, Jeri and Sue Roper, Jana Setzer and husband Mike and families, and Deborah Davila and her son Issac.
He was preceded in death by Diane Davis, the mother of his children; and his son, Matthew S. Davis.
Mr. Davis’ ashes will be spread at the family’s beloved river cabin on the North Fork, where he spent so many fun times in his youth and as an adult partying with friends.
Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, Springfield, directors.