May 28, 1941 - March 26, 2018
Baby boy Davis (actual name on birth certificate for many years) was born May 28, 1941 to John Henry and Bonnell Davis in Dallas, TX. A descendant of one of the first ten families to settle Dallas (then known as Peters Colony) during land grants, this tall, soft spoken Texan grew up a good Garland boy who wore a pale blue Bermuda tux to his senior prom. A Garland Owl (class of 1959), Navy Veteran (radioman/1st. class petty officer), and East Texas State University graduate (double major), Johnny enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved the water and never passed up opportunities to head to the lake to fish or ski (which he taught all the kids.) Rumor has it that he could barefoot (which might not seem such a feat as he wore size 14 shoes.) He definitely got his money’s worth when getting salon pedicures with his wife though. Annual Port Aransas fishing trips were a favorite for 20 years. His biggest catch was a 300 lb. guy on the other side of the boat when their lines tangled underneath. He was a cleverly disguised pool shark. Many a young hotshot pool player challenged him at the house only to find out they sadly underestimated him. He was never one to brag or show off though. As a result he had a darn good poker face. He relished the many trips to meet up with brother-in-law, Dr. John, in Vegas where they’d play marathon poker tournaments (once for 27 hours straight.) During one stay (and in 115 degree heat), they decided to play golf. On the way Johnny commented that it was especially hot in the car. Maybe because the seat heater was turned on? They laughed about that one for quite some time! For years, he enjoyed weekly Bible study, followed by golf and dinner with a group of local life-long friends. He absolutely loved bingo (rumor has it sister Carol is afflicted as well.) Wife Jolene would often “predict” where Johnny had been during that day. He was always amazed until she confessed it was his fluorescent, bingo marker stained hands that gave him away. His memory was stunningly remarkable as well. In 1981, he mastered the game, Simon that Jolene brought home, after only 2 hours. Level 4, sequence of 32 lighted buttons repeated in rapid succession; mastered. To this Jolene replied, “Well, I just wasted $24.95”. An accomplished horseman (along with son Todd), they spent many years breaking horses at mother-in-law Carroll’s ranch in Rockwall. She often failed to mention that some horses they got on had never been ridden before. That certainly made for a wild ride! Johnny loved pulling pranks and enjoyed being on the receiving end as well. We laughed uncontrollably recounting the time he got a new car and noticed our neighbor, and friend, Tony honking and waving while driving in front of our house in the very same car. Took a moment to realize that it was the same Ford that was parked in our garage! (Not to mention the time they put a Baby Ruth in a discarded toilet behind the neighbor’s house.) Johnny spent almost his entire working career in the electronics industry. Upon retiring from Amphenol in 1997, his wife Jolene told him that his new job from that day forward was to enjoy every day to the fullest. And he most certainly did. John was a rare find. He made it a point to not let anyone down. Warm, gracious, calm, compassionate, loving, patient, dependable, trustworthy and above all else, very honest. A great role model who led by example. He loved his family and friends deeply and never passed up an opportunity to mentor all the children in the family. And it’s very obvious that he lives on through all of them. One of Johnny’s greatest gifts was his ability to communicate with people. And with ease. He knew people from all walks of life and appreciated all. He believed we can learn something from everyone we meet. Never judgmental and always willing to help someone in need. Solid advice was happily offered if asked for.
Charming best describes his personality. Once during a trip to Boston, three women approached him in a restaurant as he was asking for directions. His wife overheard them saying they loved his accent and asked where was he from, all the while touching his arms. Jolene laughed, asking why he didn’t get them to pay the check, as they probably would have. It was always wonderful when Johnny was confused for someone famous, which happened often. Terry Bradshaw? Barry Switzer? Tommy Lee Jones? We’d be told of an hour long wait arriving at a restaurant, only to be seated at a table immediately with impeccable service to follow. No doubt they thought the credit card reading John Davis was a cover. During a trip to Carmel, Johnny was greeted by several well know actors and asked if he was working on any current projects.
Annual New Orleans parades were a big favorite too. Athletic Big John caught more than the family’s share of beads. And a few cabbages too! For many years we enjoyed weekly visits to his Mom’s house, where she’d fix the most fabulous vegetables from her garden. This was promptly followed by a nap on her bed. Saturday’s at Daddy’s consisted of watching Westerns, reading National Enquirer, drinking a Coke and eating a Hershey bar followed by a trip to Furr’s Buffet. Nirvana. Johnny and niece Arianna loved watching movies and SpongeBob together. Since infancy, she was always seated to his left on the sofa. No one dare ask if they could sit by him, all knowing the answer. She also called shotgun when he drove. Mutual adoration best describes their relationship. He and lucky wife Jolene (married 36 years) often joked that they were both so spoiled that no one else would want either of them, as they took such great care of each other.
The Davis house has always been filled with family, friends, awesome brunches, bbq cookouts, impromptu gatherings, holiday celebrations, outrageous laughter and enormous love. A fantastic cook, Johnny could mess up a kitchen. Famous for his chili, baked potato soup, bbq brisket, hot spaghetti and chicken enchiladas. And the tamales? Phenomenal! He was his wife’s daily source of amusement as she covertly took silly pictures of him then texting them to his cell. He’d always reply with a wry, little grin. This wonderful man (on his red Toro riding lawn mower) recently reduced a 20 lb. concrete mushroom to a bucket full of fist sized rubble. Quite a feat! Our Big John. A most precious man. A man of incredible faith and conviction. Wise, strong, and fiercely loyal. Decent and kind. A man of his word. A truly beautiful human being inside and out. A giant among men. A wonderful husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and great friend. John and Jolene spent 38 fantastic years together. As life slowed, sitting out back with a cup of coffee enjoying the sunrise or sunset was as fulfilling as previous travels around the world. A new norm was created. Beauty can be found in most every place you look. You just have to be willing to see.
Our giant among men moved from our earthly realm on March 26, 2018 after a lengthy illness. Remarkable still, he never complained. God left him with us for as long as he could. Thank you very much! Our hearts are truly broken but we feel his presence still. No need to say goodbye as we’ll be together always. Watching over us, he’ll forever be our protector. Some measure human worth upon this earth by monetary means or acquiring a lofty profession. The truest measure is actually the contribution that one makes to others for the time God allows us to remain on this earth. Thank you, to such a phenomenal man for all the lives you changed for the better, simply by being you.
A Celebration of Johnny’s Life will be held at the Rowlett Community Center, 5300 Main St. in Rowlett on Sunday, May 6 @ 2:00 P.M.
All our love, wife Jolene Emerine Davis, mother Bonnie Childers, sons Wade and Todd Davis, grandson T.J. Davis (Eric), mini-me niece/main sidekick Arianna Canfield, brothers-in-law Chad and Chip Canfield, sisters Joan Willeford (Glen) and Carol Burke (Arnie), brother Mike Davis (Judy), Mother-in-law Carroll Canfield and Father-in-law, John Emerine (Terri), sister-in-law Elizabeth Bahrenburg (Jeff), brothers-in-law Jason Emerine (Bridget), Dr. John Emerine (Dawn) and James Emerine, numerous nieces, nephews and many wonderful friends…
Arrangements under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.