Davis, Charles Bert, Jr.

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On Tuesday, January 19, 2016 Charles Bert Davis went to be with the Lord while in the loving presence of his wife of 66 years and his daughter. They tenderly held his hands and prayed him into eternal rest.

Born April 23, 1929 in Bluefield, West Virginia, Charlie was the son of Charles Bert Davis, Sr. and Pearl Estelle Lester Allison. He was preceded in death by his parents, his stepfather Lofton “Al” Allison, his sister Juanita “Nita” Davis Thacker and her husband, Harry Thacker.

A life-long musician, Charlie’s love and passion for music began in third grade when he started playing percussion instruments. He continued to play percussion in band through high school and graduated Beaver High School in 1948. From high school, he joined the US Navy and graduated from the Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C. before serving in the Navy Band aboard the Aircraft Carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt.

While in DC, he met a charming young lady from Pennsylvania who worked for the FBI. That chance meeting through a friend led to a wedding in August of 1950 when Charlie Davis married the love of his life, Louise Bush. To this union, three children were born, Deborah, Donald, and David.

Following military discharge, Charlie entered Concord College on the GI Bill and scholarship from Bluefield Symphony Orchestra. While at Concord, he participated in symphony, taught percussion classes, and played percussion in the marching band, with a group called the Concord Commanders, and in a top 40 band called The Mood Lenders. Concurrently, Charlie ran a television and radio repair business for two stores in Bluefield.

Charlie graduated Concord College in 1957 with a Bachelor’s degree in music and psychology and began his education career in Clifton Forge schools. Hired to direct band and supervise public school music when there was no band, no music, and no equipment, Charlie was asked by the superintendent to start a band. Charlie did that and more. He started a system-wide program of music education. Charlie asked the superintendent to purchase a new music book for every elementary student in the system. Funds were found, the books were purchased, and students practiced every night. By the end of that first year, students could sing most of the songs in the book.

While in Clifton Forge, Charlie participated in the Roanoke Symphony, served as Minister of Music at Clifton Forge Baptist Church and was chosen to play percussion in the All American Band Directors Band in Chicago.

In 1960, Charlie was hired as band director at Dublin High School. He led the Duke band on to receive superior ratings in multiple competitions. Under his direction, the Duke band was chosen to represent the Lions of Virginia at the International Lions Convention Parade in New York City.

Charlie earned a Masters degree in education administration from Virginia Tech, taking classes at VA Tech, UVA, and Radford College. He moved from directing the Dublin High School band to be the assistant principal and later the principal at Dublin High School.

When Dublin High School and Pulaski High School merged to form Pulaski County High School in 1974, Charlie moved to the central office as Director of Vocational Education where he worked to develop the vocational and technical programs at Pulaski County High School. Two years after it opened, the PCHS vocational program was one of the most successful programs in Virginia.

While working for Pulaski County School system, Charlie played in the Otey Warren band in Roanoke and later with the Old Pros at NRCC. Charlie eventually became the director of the Old Pros. Through a decade of his dedicated leadership, the band prospered playing locally as well as in North Carolina.

Charlie retired from the Pulaski County School System in 1991 and embarked on the ultimate retirement project, one that allowed him to do all the hands-on construction he had dreamed of doing, and, as he liked to say, it kept him off the streets. He spent the next two years building a house designed by his son David, an architect. Many of his school personnel friends retired around the same time, and they joined forces to do the wiring, roofing, raising walls, and flooring, making it a group project.

Charlie continued painting the house, changing windows, and developing a miniature orchard until the last couple of years. An avid gardener, Charlie loved his tomatoes. He started them inside beginning early February. There was an annual silent competition among his pals to see who would get the first tomato.

In retirement, he continued to be involved in music, playing in his band with a group of friends and conducting sing–alongs at Dublin United Methodist church where he was a member since 1960.

Charlie was a well-rounded, intelligent, renaissance man. He excelled at leadership and music, as well as car, home, and appliance repair, technology and electronics, building projects, and the art of gardening. He had an eye for beauty and a keen sense of humor.

Charlie Davis was a Lifetime member of the Dublin Lions Club, in active membership for over 50 years. He loved volunteering at the fair with the Lion Dog stand and cherished his friendships forged over the years of community action and service.

Charlie Davis will be greatly missed. He is survived by the love of his life, Louise Bush Davis, three children and their spouses: Deborah Davis Allen (Garry) of Richmond, Va, Dr. Donald L. Davis DDS (Sharon) of Troy NC, and David L. Davis (Rita) of Durham, NC, two grandchildren: Kay Allen of Fairfax, VA, and Dr. Greg Davis of Washington DC, an uncle, John Thomas of Bluefield, a cousin, Ann Johnson (Johnny) of Bluefield, nieces, Pat Cox and Nancy Bailey (Steve) of Bluefield, a community of faithful friends and neighbors and his furry friend, Minnie.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Dublin United Methodist Church. A Celebration of Life Service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the church, conducted by Rev. Don Hanshew and Rev. Richard Patterson, Sr. A private internment will be held at the Veterans Cemetery in Dublin. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dublin United Methodist Church or Carilion Hospice NRV. Seagle Funeral Home of Pulaski will provide funeral services.

Thank you to the dedicated and gracious service of the doctors, nurses, and staff of Carilion Hospice NRV and Carilion Medical Center NRV. A special thanks goes to Dr. Uzair Wyne, Dr. Greg Still, and Dr. Scott Brandau who have been both friends and dedicated physicians. The family also gives thanks, with full hearts, to the extended family of Dublin United Methodist Church for their love, support and commitment through the years.