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Obituaries for Wed., April 25, 2018

DONALD RAY DAVIS

Donald Ray Davis, age 84, of Dozier, passed away peacefully with his family surrounding his bedside at Andalusia Hospital on Mon., April 23, 2018.

Don, as he was known by most friends and family, was born to Virgil and Jewel (Smith) Davis in 1933, in Butler County, Alabama. He worked hard during his younger years helping the family with their farm. He went into the Navy in 1953, serving 12 years before being medically retired. In 1954, he married Peggy Clark of Dozier. His Navy career saw him travel all over the world. Don worked throughout the state of Florida in construction jobs, ending up in Pensacola where he served as a foreman for Fanning Construction until they moved to Dozier to help with the care of his elderly mother-in-law. Upon arriving in Alabama, he retired fully from a “regular” job and concentrated then on helping his wife raise their three youngest children. To keep himself busy, for several years, he would plant 10 acres of pea and butter beans and would then shell them in the two “custom-made” shellers he had in a shed in the family’s backyard. He made quite a following of customers with that. He’d work from sun up until way after dark and would often come in every night hoarse from talking so much. Donald Ray never did meet a stranger. The main thing Don is known for, however, is being a top-notch country musician. He was steel guitar player. He played in a variety of bands over his lifetime, but his most favorite “gig” was playing at the adult activity centers in Andalusia and Opp in the 90s and early 2000s. He made many friends while up on those stages doing what he loved most in the world – entertaining folks with some good, old-time country music. After he got older, however, his hands would no longer allow him to play his beloved guitars, and so, he traded that passion in for his other favorite activity – going to the casinos in Biloxi and Atmore.

Donald Ray is survived by his sweetheart and life partner of the past 16 years, Thelma Williamson of Gantt; his children, Tom Davis of Dozier, Julie Davis Anderson of Andalusia, Susan (David) Fowler of Rose Hill, and Steven (Dana) Davis of Rose Hill; his grandchildren, Lucas Monahan, Emily Fowler, Kristen Davis, Sam Fowler and Maggie Anderson; Thelma’s daughters, Janice Williamson of Crestview and Carolyn Williamson (Denny) Nall of Fairhope; his niece, Dina Davis Gonzalez of Madison; his nephews, Joe Davis of Andalusia and David Davis of Texas; his best friend of over 60 years, Bill Bell of Wilmington, N.C., and Bill’s daughter, Debra Bell.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Peggy Clark Davis; and his oldest daughter, Kathy Davis.

A celebration of life service will be held 11 a.m. on Sat., April 28, 2018, at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, withPoints Road in Rose Hill with the Rev. Derwood Cleland officiating. The family asks that this not be a sad occasion because, if you knew Don, he’d much rather hear lots of stories and laughter going on than to be surrounded by tears and sadness. A webpage has been created for Don at www.keaheyfuneralhome.com, and friends and family members are invited to share memories and words of encouragement.

The children and grandchildren of Donald Ray Davis wish to take this opportunity to thank Dr. JoAnne Smith for her compassion and care of Don during the past year and for helping us through this last week especially; the second floor nurses at Andalusia Health for keeping him comfortable during his stay there last week; the ICU Department at Andalusia Health (Lee, Tina & Cassie) for their amazing care and compassion during these final days. Lastly, to Comfort Care Hospice for making daddy’s last day as comfortable as it could possibly be. There are no words that can express our gratitude to all of of those very special people.

Keahey Funeral Home of Andalusia is in charge of arrangements. Memorialization is by cremation.