At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Plainfield Baptist Church
1750 Woodworth St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Civil Air Patrol Local Squadron MI-190
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of George Davis, words such as hardworking, positive, and friendly come to mind, however, perhaps the word that paints the most vivid picture of his life is adventurous. Born with a natural way with people, George lived all ninety-nine years of his life to the fullest! His wonderful collection of memories will be his greatest gift to all who knew and loved him.
The Roaring Twenties was a period of economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. Jazz music, as well as the automotive industry, were booming. With the media focused on sports heroes and movie figures, George and Esther (Teats) Davis eagerly welcomed home their own celebrity, their firstborn son, George William Jr., on January 6, 1923, in Iola, Kansas. Later joined by his younger siblings, Ruth and Robert, his birth brought his parents great joy.
During his childhood, George learned to appreciate the value of a hard day’s work. His family moved to North Muskegon when his father took a job with Continental Motors. George’s mother was a homemaker and tended to the traditional role of a mother during those times. As a family, they attended church and were expected to pitch in around the house. George’s father took him hunting and fishing often. On one of these trips, George found his first arrowhead at the age of nine which sparked a lifelong passion for collecting Native American artifacts. At the age of sixteen, he had a display at the Muskegon Museum. In addition to hunting and his quest for more artifacts, George also joined the Civil Air Patrol during his teen years.
After graduating with the Class of 1942 from North Muskegon High School, he enrolled in classes at the University of Michigan. His life took a different turn when he instead chose to enlist in the Army Air Corps in October 31, 1942. George proudly served three years during WWII in many areas including China, Burma, as well as India. He was formally discharged as a sergeant on October 31, 1945, and was awarded a good conduct medal and four bronze stars. A highlight was being awarded a gold congressional medal for his service in both the Civil Air Patrol and Army Air Corps much later in his life on November 12, 2015.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of his first bride, Patricia Strom. In 1948 George met Patricia while roller skating. They began dating, but George had plans to attend Fred Archer Photography School in Los Angeles. Eager to spend their lives together, Patricia met him in Arizona to get married. They lived in a small apartment on the Sunset Strip while George finished up his schooling. As soon as his coursework was completed, they moved back to Grand Rapids and lived with Patricia’s parents before building their own home on Comstock Blvd in 1949. Together they welcomed home two beautiful daughters, Linda and Kathleen.
George treasured his role as a father. He loved to take his family on camping trips in their camper trailer. They visited Canada, Mexico, as well as many of the Michigan state parks including those in the Upper Peninsula. A favorite spot was Pentwater. Many times these trips were planned around George’s archaeological digs or exploring areas for more of his artifacts. In 1963, a certain type of arrowhead was named after him. It was called the “Davis Point” and was listed as having an ovate blade shape as well as a slightly convex base. Also during this time, George appeared on Mort Neff's program, "Michigan Out of Doors". In 1965, George built the home where he would spend the rest of his days on Scenicview Drive NE. George and Patricia later divorced in 1968.
As a father, George was a strong provider. He worked for several companies but also did freelance photography for his own business, Distinctive Photography. He also explored other roles in photography working as a staff photographer with American Seating and Aves Advertising. In March of 1975, George joined the Wyoming Police Department. He was well respected in the community for his work and honed his craft over the years.
During his time at American Seating, he met Sondra Evans. They hit it off and joined in marriage on August 2, 1975, at the Central Reformed Church. She had been living as a single mother of three young boys; William, Kalvin, and Daniel. George became a special father figure in their lives. They were active members of Wealthy Street Baptist Church and later moved and became Wealthy Park Baptist then moved again becoming Plainfield Baptist Church. As a retiree, George served on a short-term mission trip to Leticia, Brazil where he helped with many projects for the missionaries there. He and Sondra even fished and caught piranha while they were visiting the area. George adored his grandchildren and enjoyed their visits over the years. As his family grew, so did his pride as there simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for each and every one of them. Loving and kind, he will surely be missed and fondly remembered for his countless gifts of love and acts of sacrifice.
George W. Davis, age 99, of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away at home surrounded by his family on October 29, 2022. George was a decorated veteran of the Army Air Corps having served in WWII. He was a member of Plainfield Baptist Church and after a long career as a photographer, retired from the Wyoming Police Department. His wife of 47 years survives as do his daughters, Linda (Jerry) Holmes of Zeeland, and Kathleen Hayden of Grand Rapids; step-sons, William (Laura) Evans of Jenison, Kalvin Evans of Texas, Daniel (Renee) Evans of Hastings; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; siblings, Robert Davis of Fort Scott, KS, Ruth Long of Detroit; former wife, Patricia Murphy of Grand Rapids; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, James Hayden; sister-in-law, Jeanne Davis, and brother-in-law, Robert Long. A funeral service will be held Saturday, November 5, 2022, at 3 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, Van Strien-Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. Friends may visit with the family beginning at 1 PM. The interment will be in Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to Faith Hospice, Plainfield Baptist Church, or Local Squadron MI-190 of the Civil Air Patrol. To read more of George’s Life Story, leave a memory or condolence please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.