Howard Ryerson Davis, Jr., of Sandy Springs, Georgia died at Northside Hospital surrounded by his family of complications related to pneumonia and Parkinson's disease on February 2, 2013. He was 89 years old. Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois December 20, 1923 to Howard and Lydia Davis. He was a 1942 graduate of Chicago's Fenger High School where he was an Army ROTC cadet. Growing up he developed a lifelong interest in electronics, technology and sound design as well as his lifelong affection for classical music and sang in opera productions. He joined the Navy in 1943, where he trained as a Seabee, radio operator and later worked on the Navy's Link trainer system. He was selected for the V-12 commissioning program and attended Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He married Shirley Peterson Davis, a registered nurse on December 23, 1946 in Chicago. After the war, he joined the 3M Company as a sales engineer and relocated to Holland in Western Michigan where all five children were born. There he built his growing family a unique, contemporary home in a beautiful woodland setting that became known locally as the "Glass House." He was active in the community and served as the President of the Ottawa County School Board in the early 60's where he played a key role overseeing the construction of the county's modern combined junior and senior high school, West Ottawa High School. In 1965, he was transferred to Atlanta area to open up a new sales region for the 3M Corporation. Once again, he personally oversaw every detail in the construction of a new home and moved the family to Sandy Springs. Classical music was always playing at the Davis home and he instilled in his children his love of classical music by taking them to operas and to the symphony from an early age. He eventually combined his love of classical music with his technical, acoustics and design skills and and founded his own company, Davis Audio, providing professional audio systems to Atlanta area churches, concert halls and council chambers. He was a member of the Fulton County Grand Jury Association and a member of the Gideon's International, an evangelical organization dedicated to distributing Bibles worldwide. He also enjoyed reading the newspaper for the blind on Georgia public radio. In 1992, he sold his audio business, Shirley retired from Northside Hospital and they moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina where they were active members of the Providence Presbyterian Church. They enjoyed the year round vacation setting and walks on the beach with their dogs. Howard was also able to indulge his love for classical music as an officer and member of the Hilton Head Island Chorale Society. He is survived by Shirley Peterson Davis, his wife of 67 years, his sons Howard R. Davis III; David W. Davis and his wife Donna Davis of Sandy Springs, GA; Gregory Karl Davis, all living in Sandy Springs; his daughters Cindi Davis Warren and her husband Roger William Warren of Fairfax Station, VA; and Kristina Davis Partin and her husband Harold Partin of Hawkinsville, GA. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jennifer Warren of Boston, Mass; William Warren and his wife Courtney Warren of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Harold "Hap" Partin and his wife Pui of Orlando, Florida; Stephen Partin of Hawkinsville, GA; Rebecca Partin of Fairfax, Virginia; Joseph David Warren of Fairfax Station, Virginia; and Dora Mae Davis of Sandy Springs, Georgia. In addition, he is survived by his younger brother, Robert Davis and his wife Gwen of Mokena, Illinois and his younger sister Mickey Baumgartner and her husband Jerry Baumgartner of Lake Ozark, Missouri. He was preceded in death by his brother Richard Davis of Stuart, FL and his sister Carolyn Davis Spender of Lansing, IL. His remains will be cremated and the family will hold a memorial service on February 23, 2013 at 2:00 at Mt. Vernon Towers, 300 Johnson Ferry Rd., NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328.
Published in The Island Packet from Feb. 7 to Mar. 7, 2013