Sam Davis Jr. (1922 - 2014)

Obituary
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Sam Walkup Davis, Jr., passed away Thursday, the 1st of May, 2014. He was 92. Sam was the beloved husband and best friend of his one and only love of 65 years "and that's not long enough", the late Ann Ebert Davis. Sam was the loving father of Julie (Arlen) Driscoll, Jeffrey (Lisa) Davis, and Jan (Christopher) Robinson. He was proud grandfather to Kelly (Geoffrey) Mohr, Andrew (Katie) Driscoll, Christine Robinson, Katelyn (Brad) Baroch, Allison (Brent) Frazier, Alexander Driscoll, and Rebecca (Kyle) Jahnke. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and daughter, Julie. Sam was a proud graduate of The University of Texas, a Marine Aviator during WWII, a member of the Harris County Democratic Executive Committee, and served as a member of the Administrative Boards of St. Lukes as well as Memorial Drive United Methodist Churches. He served on the Board of Heights State Bank, the Board of Trustees of the Texas Law review, was a member of the American, Texas and Houston Bar Associations. He worked at the internationally known law firm Vinson & Elkins his entire career. In 1970 Sam negotiated the original contract with the Lombardi family authorizing the Rotary Club of Houston to establish the Rotary Lombardi Award. Sam was an original co-founder of the Rotary Lombardi Award, which annually goes to the college football lineman who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the "Discipline" of Vince Lombardi. The Rotary Lombardi Award has become the centerpiece of the club and far and away is recognized worldwide as the greatest annual event in Rotary history. In 1974 Sam became president of the Rotary Club of Houston. At the time of Sam's presidency, the club was the largest Rotary Club in the world. Current members state, "Sam was a great man who exemplified the Rotary motto Service Above Self." Sam was one of the first non-physicians to be elected to the board of the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. In addition, he created the Rotary Club's first "Blood Awareness Day", June 26, 1975. Sam will be fondly remembered by family and friends as a loving father and grandfather, distinguished lawyer, dedicated Rotarian, champion of social and environmental consciousness, lover of Jesus, and the second best dancer at the University of Texas. A Celebration of Life will be conducted at 2:00 PM (note change of time) on Monday, the 16th of June, in the Chapel of Chapelwood United Methodist Church, 11140 Greenbay Street in Houston. Parking Lot A is closest to the Chapel. Immediately following, all are invited to join the family during a reception to be held at the church. In honor of Sam's love of UT and his flamboyant style, please feel free to wear burnt orange or a nontraditional outfit to his Celebration. Inquiries can be made to jandavisrobinson@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests with gratitude that contributions in Sam's memory be directed to the church or , or consider a donation of a unit of blood, the gift of life, to the blood center of choice.

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Published in Houston Chronicle on June 8, 2014
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