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Gene Ray Davis

Gene Ray Davis passed away Feb. 5, 2023, on his 84th birthday. 

 

He was born Feb. 5, 1939, in Gastonia, to Boyd and Lila Davis. 

 

He graduated from Ashley High School (class of 1957) and married his high school sweetheart from Bessemer City High School, the late Sarah Thomas Davis, on March 31, 1958. They settled in Charlotte, where they raised three daughters, Terri, Tammi and Kim.

 

After 54 years of marriage to Sarah, Gene found love again with Rachel Armstrong Davis of Asheboro, also a 1957 graduate of Ashley High School. Rachel had a 52-year marriage to the late Louis Armstrong and raised their two children, Walker and Amy, in Asheboro. Theirs was a testament to rebuilding a beautiful active life after suffering great loss.

 

Gene joined the US Navy after high school. He and Sarah spent their first year of marriage in Monterey California, where he was selected to study the Polish language at the Defense Language Institute, one of the most prestigious language programs recognized worldwide. Gene graduated first in his class and went on to work for the National Security Agency (NSA) in Bethesda, MD, translating Polish. He also served on the USS Essex, which was part of the famous US Naval Blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was a Golden Gloves boxer in the Navy and lead singer in a ’50s band that appeared on the Jimmy Dean show.

 

Gene transitioned to Charlotte from the Navy into a very successful career in sales. He enjoyed over 15 years at Rick Hendricks City Chevrolet and proceeded to open the doors of Gene Davis Realty and Consulting, a 40-year-old successful business. Gene was most proud of receiving his CCIM designation, considered the gold standard for commercial real estate professionals.

 

Gene was a charismatic person who was passionate about life. Faith and family were his highest priority. He was a storyteller, a writer, singer/songwriter, lover of good books, strong political debates, the family photographer, and an avid gardener who invited neighbors to enjoy the bountiful produce he grew and shared in his award-winning roses and flower gardens. He treasured time with his children and ultimately grandchildren, sharing his love for travel, singing, gardening, photographing every event, and encouraged people to "stop and smell the roses.”

 

Gene loved his Lord and Savior and was always willing to share his faith, especially through his actions and intense study of the Bible. He was a giver to anyone in need and quietly helped many people over his lifetime. Gene never let a US military person walk out of a restaurant without anonymously paying for their meal. In his church communities, he served with fervor as a member of church counsels and Sunday Schools, receiving recognition for his leadership. Over the past several years he was very active at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, where he became Senior Warden and instrumental in the Pastor selection committee.

 

Gene loved his family more than anything on this earth. He was so proud that his daughters were the first college graduates in his family. He doted on his grandchildren, never missing any special event and was fondly referred to as Mr. MGM at many sporting events. He loved to travel and took his grandchildren to such places as Disney World, Washington, New York and Europe. He saw the Holy Land, the pyramids of Egypt, the Eiffel Tower and Rome!

 

Gene was preceded in death by his first wife, Sarah T. Davis, his brothers Buddy, Bobby and Jimmy, and sister Carolyn.

 

Gene is survived by his wife of 9.5 years, Rachel A. Davis; his daughter Terri, her husband Peter, and their daughter Michelle; his daughter Tammi, her husband Russell, their sons Steven, and Kevin and wife Allison; his daughter Kim, and her daughters, Courtney and husband David, Brittany and husband Alex, and Maddison; five great-grandchildren; his sister, Janice and her husband Jim of Detroit; his step-children, Walker and his wife Gina and their daughter Emily Hilyard and her husband Richard; step-daughter, Amy and her husband Peter and their son Louis.

 

Funeral services were held Feb. 11 at The Church of The Good Shepherd.  Burial was in in Evergreen Cemetery in Belmont.

 

In leu of flowers, please make donations to Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, memorials@stjude.org.

 

Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro is serving the family.