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Donald Ray Davis

July 18, 1933 ~ April 23, 2018 (age 84)

Donald Ray Davis, age 84, of Dozier, passed away peacefully with his family surrounding his bedside at Andalusia Hospital on Monday, April 23, 2018.

Don, as he was known by most friends and family, was born to Virgil and Jewel (Smith) Davis in 1933 in Butler County, Alabama.  He worked hard during his younger years helping the family with their farm.  He went into the Navy in 1953, serving 12 years before being medically retired.  In 1954, he married Peggy Clark of Dozier.  His Navy career saw him travel all over the world, and then  Don worked throughout the state of Florida in construction jobs, ending up in Pensacola where he served as a foreman for Fanning Construction until they moved to Dozier, AL to help with the care of his elderly mother-in-law.  Upon arriving in Alabama, he retired fully from a "regular" job, and concentrated then on helping his wife raise their three youngest children.  To keep himself busy, for several years, he would plant 10 acres of pea and butter beans and would then shell them in the two "custom-made" shellers he had in a shed in the family's back yard and had quite a following of customers with that.  He'd work from sun up until way after dark, and would often come in every night hoarse from talking so much.  Donald Ray never did meet a stranger.  The main thing Don is known for, however, is being a top-notch country musician.  He was best known for playing steel guitar.  He played in a variety of bands over his lifetime, but his most favorite "gig" was playing at the adult activity centers in Andalusia and Opp in the 90s and early 2000s.  He made many friends while up on those stages doing what he loved most in the world - entertaining folks with some good, old-time country music.  After he got older, however, his hands would no longer allow him to play his beloved guitars, and so, he traded that passion in for his other favorite activity - going to the casinos in Biloxi and Atmore.

Donald Ray is survived by his sweetheart and life partner of the past 16 years, Thelma Williamson of Gantt; his children:  Tom Davis of Dozier, Julie Davis Anderson of Andalusia, Susan (David) Fowler of Rose Hill, and Steven (Dana) Davis of Rose Hill; his grandchildren, Lucas Monahan, Emily Fowler, Kristen Davis, Sam Fowler and Maggie Anderson; Thelma's daughters, Janice Williamson of Crestview, FL and Carolyn Williamson (Denny) Nall of Fairhope, AL; and his niece, Dina Davis Gonzalez of Madison, AL; his nephews,  Joe Davis of Andalusia, and David Davis of Texas; his best friend of over 60 years,  Bill Bell of Wilmington, NC and Bill's daughter Debra Bell.    He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Peggy Clark Davis, and his oldest daughter, Kathy Davis.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Five Points Road in Rose Hill with Rev. Derwood Cleland officiating.  The family asks that this not be a sad occasion because, if you knew Don, he'd much rather hear lots of stories and laughter going on than to be surrounded by tears and sadness.  The family will receive friends from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. at the church, as well.  We invite you to visit the webpage created for Don at and share your memories and words of encouragement with the family there.  

The children and grandchildren of Donald Ray Davis wish to take this opportunity to thank Dr. JoAnne Smith for her compassion and care of Don during the past year and for helping us through this last week especially; the 2nd floor nurses at Andalusia Health for keeping him comfortable during his stay there last week (Dree, most especially); the ICU Department at Andalusia Health (Lee, Tina & Cassie) for their amazing care and compassion during these final days.   And lastly, to Comfort Care Hospice for making daddy's last day as comfortable as it could possibly be.   There are no words that can express our gratitude to all of of those very special people.

Keahey Funeral Home of Andalusia is in charge of arrangements.  Memorialization is by cremation.  The final disposition of his ashes will be at Good Hope Cemetery in Dozier in a private ceremony with only his immediate family in attendance.

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