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James Walter Davis, Jr

May 27, 1922 ~ February 8, 2018 (age 95)
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James Walter Davis, Jr., 95, of Reedsville, ascended to heaven on Thursday, February 8, 2018 son of the late James Walter Davis and Neva (DeVault) Davis.  Jim was born in Baxter, WV; the oldest of five children on May 27, 1922.


Jim is survived by his wife, Pauline (Liston) Davis; son, James Allison Davis; grandson, Noah Allison Davis Simshauser; great grandson, Silas James Davis Simshauser; sister, Nancy Davis Lynch.  Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Betty Davis Kretoski, Jack E. Davis and Robert “Shark” Davis.


Jim was the big brother to a small family; he worked with his parents selling local produce and going to school in newly developed “New Deal” town of Arthurdale.  He involved himself in school, sports and family.  Perhaps his only real craft was neatly designed wood products.  He developed real wood carpentry skills in making cabinets and lamps.  Jim was born at Baxter, near the golf course at “White Day Creek”; he caddied for ice and lunch money.  He enjoyed family life at the West Virginia home near Fairmont.


On the hill, Y road overlooked the Arthurdale valley, where he met his lifelong love Pauline (the school valedictorian and first Buckwheat Festival Queen candidate) when she was fifteen.  After graduating and trying the local work, including coalmining, he moved to Washington, DC and worked at the war building; as a page to capital and walked to work from his home on E. Capital Street. (Dining on with the Roosevelts on occasion and having the Arthurdale connection, he sat next to the president). 


When the time came to serve his country, he enlisted in the Navy.  His Naval flight training was in Pensacola and other places led Jim to fly the Kingfisher Reconnaissance Seaplane off the USS Salt Lake City Destroyer in the South Seas.  Iwo Jima and Nagasaki among other islands and seas were where the war was fought; he was flying until the very end.  It was not bombing that Lieutenant JG Davis was doing but spotting targets and with nothing but a radio, a rear gunner, and a handgun for the worst-case scenario.


At the end of the war, he returned to Arthurdale to marry his sweetheart, Polly.  They first lived in the apartment on the second floor of the Arthurdale house next to the Center where Polly worked during the war.  Jim went to WVU until he was recruited by the State Police.  He also went to school in Charleston and began work in Elkins and Moorefield as a WV State Trooper. Soon after his son Jimmy was born, he left for a job as a Claims Adjuster for Nationwide Insurance; this led Jim to Parkersburg, Vienna from 1954-1960 and then to home office in Columbus, OH.  In 1963, he transferred with Nationwide to Memphis; where he managed the South Central Region until the early 1980’s. 


Continuing his life of golf, he enjoyed walking the course more than ever.  He continued walking, gardening with Polly and teaching Sunday school; which led him back to Reedsville, WV.  Before moving back to Reedsville, Jim taught Sunday school at Parkersburg Methodist, Grove City, OH, and Grace United Methodist Church, Memphis, TN.   On New Year’s Eve, 1945, Jim and Polly found a Justice of the Peace and got their marriage license officiated at the Methodist Church.  They have lived in Reedsville, since 1992 when his grandson, Noah, was born.


Private inurnment will be at the Arthurdale Cemetery.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.


Online condolences may be sent to  Morgan Funeral Home is honored to assist the Davis family.

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