W. Javan Davis
1941 - 2020
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William Javan Davis


William Javan (Jay) Davis died on October 8, 2020 of complication from PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. He was born in Charlotte on April 18, 1941 to the late Javan and Margaret Smith Davis.

Jay was in the last graduation class of Central High School in Charlotte. He attended Charlotte College and graduated from Appalachian State Teachers College in 1964 where he met his future wife Beth. After teaching English and Social Studies in Delaware, he worked as a Negotiator for Delaware State Education Association and New York Education Association. He was a Bargaining and Training Specialist for California Teachers Association for the last twenty years of his career. After retirement he moved back to NC and settled in Rougemont in Northern Durham County where he enjoyed gardening and bird watching.

Jay was a member of Duke Memorial United Methodist Church. He loved the services and music. In Rougemont he was a member of Rougemont Ruritans. He especially enjoyed the camaraderie of stirring stew at Brunswick Stew making time and making homemade peach ice cream for the Ice Cream Social.

Jay was an advocate for social justice, the homeless, and those who are marginalized. He was active participant in the Moral Monday movement.

Jay enjoyed going to the cottage on the Neuse River at Janiero/Dawson Creek, near Oriental. Reading, visiting neighbors, and walking his dog Molly were among his activities there. He was also fond of a small, dog friendly oceanfront rental cottage in South Nags Head. He spent many enjoyable times at his sister's beautiful mountain house in Burnsville. It reminded him of the trips to the Murphy area he took growing up to visit his father's relatives. His love of a good story and the famous Davis wit stems from this background. He loved music, books, and animals. Jay loved to travel and one highlight was a week at a cooking school in Tuscany. He always enjoyed cooking for guest and is remembered for his shrimp and grits at the Christmas gatherings he hosted every year.

Jay is survived by his wife of 52 years, Elizabeth (Beth) Stevens Davis, his sister, Jane Davis Rourk of Durham, his niece, Caroline Davis Rourk of Durham, his nephew, Peter Rourk and wife, Karen of Cedar Grove, his niece Elizabeth Rourk Hayden and husband, John of Louisville, and his grandnephew, Davis Rourk of Charlotte.

Memorials may be made to Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, 504 W. Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC 27701.

The Davis family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Crematory. Online condolences: www.hallwynne.com; select obituaries.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The News and Observer & Herald Sun on Oct. 13, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
October 18, 2020
I am heartbroken. Working with Bill at CTA was a pleasure, and I looked forward to teaming with him. He was highly intelligent, well read, a wise sage. He always took the high road---often unpaved. We at CTA were blessed to have known him and had his as our colleague. My deepest sympathies to Beth and his family. I am so glad he was able to retire to NC.
Ruthmary Cradler
October 18, 2020
Bill's wit and creativity are unmatched. His commitment to social justice always in the forefront. And, he was full of fun.
Carolyn DeBrower
October 17, 2020
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Gene Morgan
October 15, 2020
He was a good man. Rest In Peace!
Gene Morgan
October 15, 2020
Jay married my grad school roommate and, except for the hiatus during their years in California, our lives have been entwined ever since. Theirs was a storybook romance and devoted marriage. He pampered Beth and openly proclaimed his love.
Jay had always been a man of his convictions and a champion of liberal causes. He was opinionated in the best sense of the word, extraordinarily well read, and witty. I’ll remember his hearty laugh and his hearty gourmet dinners. Though we only saw each other a couple of times a year, he will be so missed.
Ginger Kauppi
October 14, 2020
In CA, we knew him as Bill. He was a tough teacher advocate for the California Teachers Association, and I knew him best as a member of the bargaining team that I was also a part of, representing our fellow CTA staff members in negotiating our own terms and conditions of employment. Rest 8n Peace, Bill!
Bill Harju
October 13, 2020
I remember Javan fondly from our days at Central High School in Charlotte. Wish I had known he and Beth were nearby since I live in Raleigh now. Peace.
Arleen Higgins
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