James Donald “Donny” Davis, 88, Palmyra, Mo., passed away at 12:19 a.m., Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, at Hannibal Regional Hospital in Hannibal, Mo.
James was born Feb. 12, 1934, in Hannibal, to John Russell and Alma Faye (Gibbs) Davis. He was married to Dora Nadine Puls on June 30, 1962, in Ewing, Mo. She preceded him in death on May 21, 1997.
Survivors include his children, A. Jeffrey Davis (J. Pearl), Nadine Louise Davis, B. Eric Davis (Mary), Christopher Lynn Davis, Scott Andrew Davis (Judy Moss); grandchildren, J. Rhys Davis (Jenni), Ariana Battaglio, Xzavier Battaglio, and Caleb Cason; and great-grandchildren, Vivian and Huckleberry Davis.
James was preceded in death by his parents, John and Alma Faye Davis; wife, Dora Nadine Davis; sister, Virginia (Bob) Ford; and brother, Bill Davis (Judy).
James served his country by joining the United States Army in March of 1956. He served as a helicopter mechanic in Germany until 1959.
During his career he spent many years working as a lab tech at Buckhorn Rubber in Hannibal. He also worked for Electric Wheel and Moorman’s in Quincy, Ill.
Donny was a member of the Masonic Brotherhood. James also served as a chaplain at Hannibal Regional Hospital for over 20 years.
James was the founding member of the Palmyra Activities Committee and loved to help kids find that sport they could love. He coached every sport available to the kids, served as a Boy Scout troop leader and helped in the 4-H community.
He was passionate about coaching and mentoring the youth of Palmyra. He knew the importance of keeping our kids active in sports and would do all he could to support that goal.
James and his wife loved to travel to Vegas whenever they could, and later, he took wonderful trips to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands that he very much enjoyed.
James was a lifetime fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, always fondly remembering the “legends” of Ozzie Smith, “the best defensive shortstop of all time” and outfielder and first baseman “Stan the Man” Stanley Musial, and, of course, Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks. Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams was his favorite quarterback to watch during his 12 seasons in the NFL.
James made an impact on so many and will be fondly remembered by all, for the contributions he made to our kids’ lives.
James was a member of First Baptist Church in Palmyra.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 4, at First Baptist Church in Palmyra. Pastor John Simpson will officiate. Burial with full military honors, performed by Boots-Dickson American Legion Post #174, will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Palmyra.
Pallbearers will be Mike Puls, Mark Ford, Melvin David Redd II, Paul Brown, Ronnie Puls and Troy Brown.
Honorary pallbearers will be grandsons Rhys Davis, Xzavier Battaglio, and Caleb Cason.
Friends and family are invited to James’ Life Celebration and visitation that will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3, at Lewis Brothers Funeral Chapel.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Shriners Hospital.
Online condolences may be shared, and video tribute viewed at www.LewisBrothersFuneralChapel.com.