|Birth: ||May 26, 1924|
|Death: ||Jul. 3, 2006|
Willie Ray Davis
May 26, 1924 - July 3, 2006
An African American Legend Retired Captain Willie Ray Davis was the third of 10 children born to the loving and devoted marriage of Reverend Silas Leonard Davis and Mrs. Willia Cora Thompson Davis at St. John (Caldwell County), Texas.
Willie Ray acknowledged Christ at the age of eight under the pastorate of the late Reverend J. A. Kemple, St. James Baptist Church, in Seguin.
Ray received formal education in Seguin, San Antonio and Austin public schools. Davis played football as "Panther Davis" with the mighty Yellow Jackets" for Anderson High School, Austin. There he met his soul mate, Aldene Loretta Holmes during their junior year. It was love at first sight. On February 22, 1946 they were united in holy matrimony. Ray and Aldene celebrated over 60 years of marriage. They have one daughter, Cora Jean Davis-Wright.
Willie Ray was inducted into the United States Navy, June 3, 1943 where he served as a Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class. Ray returned to his hometown after courageously serving his country, honorably discharged, December 4, 1945.
Inspired by local civil rights leaders and his all-time hero, the late great Jackie Robinson, Willie Ray dared to go where no African American in the State of Texas had ever gone. Ray was one of the first three African American cadets hired by the City of Austin Fire Department in 1952. Determined to excel as a firefighter in spite of fierce opposition, Ray rose to the rank of Lieutenant, and soon after, Captain-the first in and for the city of Austin and the state of Texas.
The city of Austin saluted the 50th anniversary of his hiring and was inspired by his "Pass The Torch" speech that challenged the city to recruit more African American men and women firefighters. Soon after, the city opened the first "Pass The Torch Academy", created specifically to aggressively recruit African Americans and other minorities across the country to the Austin Fire Department.
Willie Ray Davis leaves to cherish his memory, a very devoted wife, Aldene Loretta Homes Davis; daughter, Cora Davis Wright and husband, Reverend Melvin Wright, Jr.; grandsons Robert Earl "Trey" Sheppard, III. and Colin Blake "C-Dubb" Wright; sisters, Ogereda M. Bowman, Dallas Texas, Vessie V. Tutt, Cedar Creek, Texas, Scottie L. Ivory, Teresia D. Lewis, and Barbara J. Dotson, all of Austin, Texas; brother, Dr. Floyd A. Davis, also of Austin, and numerous relatives and friends.
Willie Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Reverend and Mrs. S. L. Davis; brothers, James Davis and Reverend O. D Davis; and sisters, Calasca Murphy and Valena Simmons.
Funeral Services were held Saturday, July 8, 2006 at the St. James Baptist Church, 3417 East Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Interment followed at the Evergreen Cemetery, 3304 E. 12th Street. [Based on an obituary published in the Austin American-Statesman on 7/7/2006.]
Created by: John Christeson
Record added: Jul 07, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14844700
A World War II veteran who was inducted into the United States Navy, June 3, 1943 where he served as a Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class.|
Added: Jul. 7, 2006