In Memory

William A. (Bill) Davis

William A. (Bill) Davis

WILLIAM BILL A. DAVIS JR., 69, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Born in Morris, Minn., Bill graduated from North Side High School and Purdue University. He retired from GTE Data Services - Verizon and was a substitute teacher with Fort Wayne Community Schools. Bill was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Surviving are his wife, Jean Ryder Davis of Fort Wayne; mother, Anna Davis of Fort Wayne; brothers, John (Shirley) Davis of Fort Wayne, Stephen (Marna) Davis of Huntertown, Doug (Carla) Davis and Michael (Jeannie) Davis, both of Fort Wayne; brother-in-law, Robert (Marilyn) Ryder of Perrysburg, Ohio; sister-in-law, Janice Lothamer of Fort Wayne; and several - nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, William. A celebration of Bills life is 11 a.m. Monday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 3425 Crescent Ave., with memorial calling one hour prior. The Rev. Dr. thomas Ahlersmeyer officiating. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or Holy Cross Lutheran School. To sign the online guestbook, visit


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03/25/14 07:06 AM #5    

James L. Fretz

Total shock after having just seen and visited with Bill at the reunion.  I only knew Bill through high school but considered him a true friend. 

03/25/14 02:55 PM #6    

Barry N. Donovan

I am sorry to hear Bill Davis passed away. I didn't meet him until I got to North Side. I want to say he was on the freshman football team, but I'd have to dig out the olde pictures to be sure. I am sure about one thing, his smile hit you in the halls of the Dome before I had a chance to say "hi" to him. That smirk in his Senior picture was always on his face. He always seemed to be thinking of something funny.  He was a very nice guy, and I am sorry he's gone too soon.

03/25/14 04:16 PM #7    

Steven C. Esterline

I was so unbelievably shocked and deeply saddened at hearing of Bill's passing.  He and I seemingly attended every class together, ate lunch together, and enjoyed events together.  Bill and I have been emailing each other every couple of weeks for the past year and a half or since the NSHS website was established.  He was such a genuine, warm, and caring individual.  Over this time we shared memories of our baseball days at Hamilton Park, our time in classes at North, and of our athletic teams which we were members of.  Bill had such an unbelievably accurate memory of our days at North, teachers we enjoyed, classes we had, and events of which only he could remember the details.  Kathy Chezik (Haughey) and I had the pleasure of having lunch with Bill and Jean while we were in Ft. Wayne for the reunion and we are so happy that we have that memory of time spent with them.  I don’t know of a more genuinely sincere man than Bill and I’m so very sorry that his time here has ended.  Hope to see you again, wherever, Bill

03/25/14 05:30 PM #8    

Rodger A. Macy

I too consider Bill a good friend. The Franklin years, Boy Scouts, Little League, teammates in Colt League and NSHS.  We doubled with Bill and Jean at the Sr. Prom and the next day at the lake with the Esterline's and my parents.  After connecting up with him again at the 50th, it reminded us of some great memories. 

Bill was one of the good guys that always met you with a genuine smile or a joke. It saddens me that he is gone.

He will be remembered.

03/25/14 06:34 PM #9    

Kathryn A. Haughey (Chezik)

I knew Bill only slightly in high school, yet after just a short time with him at the reunion, I felt like I had known him my entire life. He was just that kind of guy. I saw the warmth, sincerity, and friendliness of which others have spoken. His detailed recollections of specific high school events, classes, and teachers were truly remarkable. His stories entertained us all, in his modest, self-effacing way, at several reunion events. He remembered the most minute details, and so, we have lost our unofficial historian as well as our friend. I hope that our memories of him will be as clear and lasting as his were of his NSHS experiences.

03/27/14 11:17 PM #10    

Claudia S. Ackley

Greatly saddened by the news of Bill's passing.  Chatted with him at the reunion and was hoping to see him at future reunions of Franklin alums.  God's speed my old friend.  Love and Light Claudia

03/28/14 01:19 PM #11    

Sally E. Roberts (Hanson)

I  am so sorry to hear of Bill's passing.  I'm glad I was able to join him and other friends from school for lunch, just recently at Cracker Barrel.  After just sitting with them all and being able to talk about wonderful times, it is hard to believe he's gone so soon.  He will be missed and I am so sorry for his family.   My deepest sympathy goes out to them.   Sally

04/02/14 12:32 PM #12    

John W. Ransburg

Very sorry to hear of Bill's passing.  It wasn't long ago that I had sent him a birthday greeting.  He was a very good person who always made you feel welcome and always had a warm and genuine smile.  As others have said, he had a remarkable memory for events and details about those events.  He will be missed by everyone who had the good fortune of knowing him.

05/30/15 12:29 AM #13    

Thomas E. Cross

I knew Bill since Franklin School as well.  Glad I got to see him on our 50th.  Bill was a genuine friend.  I was always a quiet almost a fly on the wall type.  But Bill he was a friend to all and had a good word and a smile for everyone.  A peach of a man who will be missed by many.  I'm glad to hear that several of the group from Franklin renewed and kept closer touch then I've been able to do.  My condolences to his family as well.  The world is a better place because of his friendship.  Best Regards my friend.  - Tom Cross

05/30/15 07:00 PM #14    

Michael F. Pletcher

As Bill's ship sails of into the sunset, I remember him to be a selfless man of integrity with compassion for all. Hard to find a caliber of man whose life was revered by so many. Rest in peace Bill, knowing that you became all you good be and left this world a better place because of the essence of whom you were. Mike

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