Roger Davis

November 1, 1926 - December 4, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI

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Goodwill Industries International
15810 Indianola Drive
Rockville, MD 20855
(800) 466-3945
Web Site

Saint Agnes Acedemy
9000 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036
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Life Story / Obituary


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Roger P. Davis (90), passed away in Grand Rapids, Michigan on December 4, 2016. He was formerly of Pearland, Texas, at Country Place and a summer resident of Mystic Village, Charlevoix, Michigan.

He was born November 1, 1926 in Sioux City, Iowa the son of Perry L. Davis and Bess Taylor Davis. Roger was a U.S. Navy Seabee veteran of World War II, having served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. He participated in the Okinawa Campaign, the last battle of World War II, and the occupation of Japan.

He was a 1951 graduate of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa where he earned a B.S. Degree.

Roger has resided in Grand Rapids since 2011. Prior to moving to Grand Rapids his career had spanned 25 years as the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill Industries of El Paso, Goodwill Industries of Philadelphia and Goodwill Industries of Chicago. He had also served as a consultant to the United States Department of Health, Education & Welfare.

At both the Goodwills in Philadelphia and Chicago Roger took institutions in financial distress and turned them into thriving organizations ‘helping people to help themselves’. During this time he helped to redefine and expand the mission of Goodwill and the positive perceptions of the abilities of the physically, emotionally and economically challenged in our society. A lesson he learned while at Goodwill and put to good use in leadership problem solving was discussed in his book, “Seeing the Obvious”.

In 1980 he joined R.F. Dini & Associates of Houston as a Fund-Raising Consultant, managing financial campaigns for major education, cultural and health organizations.

Following his retirement in 1990 he became active in the Brazoria County, Texas Republican Party serving as an election judge, precinct chairman and in 1995 was appointed by the Brazoria County Commissioners Court to fill a vacancy as a Commissioner of Brazoria Drainage District No. 4. He was later elected in 1996 and in 2000 for two, four-year terms of office.

Roger was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, National Rifle Association and a student of the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies and a former member of Rotary. He had previously served as a Trustee of The Saint Agnes Academy Foundation, Houston, Texas and a Trustee of the Country Place Foundation. He was a member of the Great Books Society, and an active golfer, enjoyed biking, rafting and sailing model yachts.

Roger will be remembered by his family not as a perfect man, but as one who, at a critical time in his life, turned his direction and chose forgiveness and life. He constantly affirmed his children and grandchildren, taking great pleasure in their accomplishments large and small. He had a deep and hearty laugh and loved a great ‘yarn’. He was a voracious reader who never stopped learning and always, always looked forward.

He is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Perry LeVere Davis.

A life member of the Methodist Church, Roger is survived by his partner of 30 years, Elaine W. Gordon; his five children: Dallas Davis Hancock (Joe) of Peoria, Illinois; Thayer Davis (Pamela) of Palatine, Illinois; Taylor Davis (Pamela) of Bettendorf, Iowa; Grant Davis (Rachel) of Leesburg, Virginia; and Galen Davis (Delphine) of Eccques, France; and, eight grandchildren.

Following cremation the family will set a later date for a Remembrance Service.

In lieu of flowers gifts may be sent to one of choice or to Goodwill Industries International, Rockville, Maryland, or Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, Texas.