Bill Davis

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Services for William Owen “Bill” Davis, 89, of Ada, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church, Ada. A committal service will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Resthaven Cemetery in Shawnee. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Criswell Funeral Home, Ada.

On Sunday, March 8, 2020, William Owen “Bill” Davis was reunited with his wife, the love of his life, in paradise at the age of 89 years – just three months shy of his 90th birthday. Though he had been looking forward to celebrating his 90th with a big birthday party, our plans are not our own.

Bill was born June 5, 1930, in Independence, Kansas, to Lester and Nora (Willison) Davis – the younger identical twin by 20 minutes. Bill’s first home was a railroad boxcar. His father worked for the railway and there was a row of old boxcars lined up in which employees and their families could live. They remained in Kansas until 1940 when the family moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma.

In 1948, their junior year of high school, Bill and his twin brother Bob joined the U.S. Navy. They spent the next four years circling the globe on the U.S.S Juneau. He always said that the first two years were a vacation courtesy of Uncle Sam. After the five Sullivan brothers all perished in 1942 while serving aboard the same ship, the Navy wanted to separate siblings so no such tragedy could happen again. Bill’s mother, however, had other plans. She wrote a letter to the president and the Admiral of the Navy letting them know that her sons were going to serve on the same ship, so should something happen, they would be together.

They were allowed to serve on the same ship, but were to remain separated — one at each end. They proudly served their country until they were honorably discharged in 1952.

These years produced great stories that he never tired of telling. He once accidentally gave his wife a birthday card on their anniversary, but until the end he could tell you the address of a young woman he was sweet on during a stop in Rome in 1949. On one occasion during this time, his brother was in a hospital on base in Washington state. He hadn’t been allowed to eat much in the three months he was admitted and was hungry, so he talked Bill in to switching him places so he could go eat. They switched clothes and while his brother was out, medicine was brought around. He said they checked his mouth to make sure he swallowed them, and while he didn’t know what he took, said he couldn’t get too far from the head for a few days.

Upon his return to Shawnee, Oklahoma, he met Phyllis Moore, the love of his life. They were married in 1953 and remained so for 48 years until her death in 2001.

Beginning in 1970 at the age of 40, Bill spent three years as a civilian mechanic in Vietnam working on fighter helicopters. After Bill’s team repaired a helicopter, the pilot took him high up in the air and did a nosedive to reassure the pilot it was repaired correctly. When he returned, he moved his family to Ada, Oklahoma, where he began working at Solo Cup. He spent the next 19 years there until his retirement in 1992.

Not one to ever sit still, in 1996 he started working as the janitor at Rock Creek Baptist Church in Shawnee where he also attended. That lasted until 2005 when he finally retired for a second time.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law.

He will be loved, remembered and missed more than can be put into words by those who knew and loved him: His twin brother, Bob Davis and wife Agnes of Ada; son, Doug Davis and wife Diane of Ada, son, Dennis Davis and fiancé Renee Poche of Richmond, Texas; daughter, Darla Lee and husband Ken of Martinsburg, West Virginia; and sister-in-law, Yvonne Oliver of Shawnee.

Bill was the most loving and affectionate Papa to six grandchildren: Eric Davis, Leah Worcester, Zach Davis, Michael Davis, David Lee, and Allison Lee. He also got to enjoy his seven great-children: Eli Alvarez, Olivia Alvarez, Adrian Alvarez, William Lee, Walker Davis, and the first set of twins in our family since Bill and Bob in 81 years at the time of their birth eight years ago, Allie and Isabel Worcester. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Jerry Wells Internet Ministry, c/o Ada First Baptist Church, 521 S. Broadway, Ada, OK 74820.