William T Davis
March 23, 1935 - February 12, 2021
William T. Davis was born March 23, 1935 to the late Horace and Vancie Davis. Gifted with wit, courage, and athleticism, William joined the Air Force at the age of 18, and for 20 years he defended his country. When his service wound down, he found himself in Middletown, and there he met the love of his life, Phyllis Davis.
William, Thomas, Dave, Pop, Papa - he had many names to the people who loved him, yet they would all describe him similarly: a jazz-lover, an intellect, a grand storyteller, a sarcastic comedian, an African-American historian, a talented baseball player and a lifelong fan … and quite the charmer.
William T. Davis had the ability to be ever-present in a conversation and, yet, somehow outside of it – constantly turning it around, critiquing it, weighing what was practical versus impractical, sharing his opinion but rarely holding judgment.
His success was self-made, propelled by an unyielding work ethic, and his battles (like his words) were carefully chosen.
One could not deny that he was a proud man, and sometimes a fiery one. And though the flame faded to an ember with age; the pride – of who he was, what he had accomplished, and how he supported - never faltered.
He was also wise. Like all wise men, the passage of time brought him introspection – the ability to see his own humanity, to own his mistakes, to share his flaws, and to invite all of us to grow with him.
On February 12th, 2021, William T. Davis went gently into that dark night - the way of all mankind. We lost him - at 85 yet still too soon - a passing that was preceded by the death of his beautiful wife Phyllis less than 48 hours prior.
Today we lay these two glorious souls to rest. Gone but never forgotten, left to cherish the memory are seven children: Andrea Starr, Venture White, Tara Butler, Robyn Doucet, Maurice Davis, William Davis Jr, and Timothe Davis; his grandchildren: Libra Harold, Bashir Folsom, Tiffani Butler, Phillip Doucet, Baker White, Marie Doucet, Marcus Butler and Velvet White; not to mention in-laws, nieces, and great-grandchildren.
Playing one of his favorites roles, that of a scribe, Pop once wrote, "Who will mourn for the Old Man that died too soon? Who will remember the Old Man with kindness in their hearts? Who will one day recognize that his life was filled with pain? Who will one day forgive him for only being a man?"
We do, Pop. Because you were far more than a man. You were a Giant. And even now, we look up to you in awe.
Arrangements by Ralston-Lippincott-Hasbrouck-Ingrassia F.H. Inc. 343-6023.
Published in Times Herald-Record from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2021.