Live Oak —
Russell W. Davis
July 1, 1930 - March 2, 2014
Russell Wayne Davis of Lake City, Fla., passed away March 2, 2014, of natural causes. He was 83. Russell was a strong, quiet, intelligent and enormously competent and kind man. He valued honor, honesty and strength of character, and strove to demonstrate those traits himself and cultivate them in those close to him. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and loved life, the company of friends, an occasional glass of brandy, and sharing stories, to the continuing enjoyment of those in his company.
Russell lived a long and fulfilling life, though his lifespan fell short of that of his famous ancestor, “Devil” John Davis, who lived to see his 112th birthday and was the oldest man in America at the time of his death.
Russell was born July 1, 1930, in Sabina, Ohio, to Harley and Edna Davis. He and his siblings, Dale, Maxine and Lavonne, attended school in the Ceasarcreek Township School District, and Russell graduated from high school with high honors in 1948. All three predeceased him, and another brother, Gerald, drowned as a child.
Russell married Barbara Lee Larrick in 1954, and completed a two-year tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Europe before his Honorable Discharge in 1961. He worked as a mechanic early in his career, and spent nearly 20 years working for Frigidaire in Dayton, Ohio.
Russell, Barbara and their two daughters, Debra and Sandra, moved in 1966 to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where Russell bought a marine construction company, Broward Piling, Inc., in Pompano Beach, Fla. He ran the successful business until he retired to Live Oak, Fla., in the late 70s and built an expansive and beautiful home of his own design, recognized as the most energy efficient house in Suwannee County at the time. An eloquent writer, he wrote a pointed and sometimes political column in the late 1990s and early 2000s for the Suwannee Democrat, which brought him both approbation from the appreciative and ire from the irritated subjects of his wit. He was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Live Oak, selling many a Christmas tree on cold winter nights to raise funds for the less fortunate. After he and his wife divorced in 2000, he moved to Lake City, where he raised his cherished grandson, Ryan Davis, and lived the rest of his life.