James W. Davis Jr.

14 entries
  • "A true gentleman who will be sadly missed. Your Irish..."
    - Aisling Knipe
  • "May God's comfort and peace be with you in this time of..."
    - Elise Piet Eschenbach
  • "Grandpa Jim words can't express the sorrow I feel in losing..."
    - Jose Saldana
  • "Marian,Elise,Grace and Peter, You are in our thoughts and..."
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James Willard Davis Jr., 83, of Westminster, died Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, at home. He was born in Baltimore and was the son of the late James Willard Sr. and Elise Piet Davis. He was the husband of Grace Mercer. He graduated high school at 16 and then attended Loyola College in Baltimore for two years. In 1944 he entered the Jesuit order and took solemn vows in 1947. He received two years of monastic life, two years of classical studies and then three years of scholastic and modern philosophy at Woodstock College. He amicably left the order in 1952 and enlisted for three years in the Army as a crypto-analyst serving in Korea. He entered Georgetown University Law School in the fall of 1955 and graduated cum laude in June 1958. He clerked in the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling, then was hired as an associate attorney. He took a leave of absence from the firm in 1960 to work with the United States Commission on Civil Rights, where he was an assistant special attorney. In the early 1960's, he traveled incognito, as a General Services Administration inspector, for the commission in Mississippi and Alabama and worked with Dr. Martin L. King, NAACP attorney Medgar Evers and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. In 1963 he returned to Maryland and began practicing law in Westminster. He was active in politics as a Democrat. He formed his own law firm in 1985 and retired from Davis, Murphy and Stone in 1999. He was an active parishioner of St. John Catholic Church in Westminster. He was instrumental in the establishment of a refuge and prayer community, Resurrection Farm. He took a leave from his law practice to study Spanish in Mexico for 16 weeks. In 2002 he moved to the Yucatan for a year to develop his language skills. After returning to Carroll County, he developed a ministry to the Mexican workers as an ombudsman. He arranged for local doctors and attorneys as needed, acted as translator, and he enlisted the help of other Spanish-speaking volunteers. In 2005 he moved to Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, where he enjoyed traveling and attending the opera. In the fall of 2010, he moved back to Westminster to be with his family. Surviving, in addition to his wife, are son and daughter-in-law James W. III and Amy Heebner Davis; daughters Marian E. Davis and Elise P. Davis; grandchildren Christopher, Malinda, Saralynn and Peter Davis; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Harry Shirley Davis; and a nephew, Eric Davis. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Haight Funeral Home & Chapel, 6416 Sykesville Road, Sykesville. A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday at St. John Catholic Church, 43 Monroe St., Westminster. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Human Services Programs of Carroll County (HSP), P.O. Box 489, Westminster, MD 21158. Sign this guest book online at www.carrollcountytimes.com.

Published in Carroll County Times on Feb. 20, 2011
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