Elwood James Davis, 86, died Sunday morning, Feb. 3 at home after more than 10 years of declining health.
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Elwood was a perfectionist who loved growing things, including flowers and vegetables, and he could repair almost anything, be it a tricycle, a tractor or an airplane engine.
A World War II veteran, Elwood flew B17 bombers and trained their crews. He was also a tail gunner and navigator, and one of only two survivors of a B17 crash near Keesler Field, Alaska in 1945.
Baseball was a favorite past-time when he was a teenager. He was invited to try out with the Detroit Tigers as a pitcher when he left the Air Corps, but he opted to come home to Graham and start a family instead.
Farming was his favorite career and he continued to farm after he joined Sears-Roebuck. His career with Sears lasted until retirement and spanned a wide variety of jobs including floor sales, facility maintenance, store security and appliance repair. He worked out of the Burlington, Greensboro and Durham stores and kids knew him as "Mr. Sears Man."
A life-long reader and student, Elwood also taught Sunday School and loved to experiment with new varieties of tobacco, corn, peanuts or potatoes or whatever the Ag Extension Dept. at North Carolina State University had to offer.
In later years he enjoyed saltwater fishing, growing peanuts to give to friends, selling flowers and vegetables at the Farmers' Market and taking short car trips with his buddy, Boyd Perry, whom he met at Sears.
Mr. Davis is survived by his wife, Otelier Adams Davis, of the home; children, Joan Guilkey (David) of Chapel Hill, Gayle Davis of Hillsborough and Randy Davis of the home; granddaughter, Karen of Louisville, Ky.; sisters-in-law, Mary Belle Davis of Graham and Marie Long Davis of Greensboro; nephew, Ray Davis of McLeansville; and niece, Sharon Barfield of Conway, S.C.
The service honoring Elwood will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at Concord United Methodist Church, 4462 E. Greensboro-Chapel Hill Road, Graham, N.C. 27253, with David King, Pastor, officiating. Visitation and fellowship will begin at 1 p.m. at the church followed by the service. Friends are invited to visit in the Fellowship Hall immediately after the service and later at the home, 4573 E. Greensboro- Chapel Hill Road.
Memorial gifts to Concord United Methodist Church or Hospice and Palliative Care of Alamance-Caswell, 918 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215, would be appreciated.
McClure Funeral Service in Graham is in charge of arrangements.
Messages for the family may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the home.
Online condolences may be sent to www:mcclurefuneralservice.net
Published in TheTimesNews.com from Feb. 5 to Feb. 6, 2013