Robert J. “Bob” Davis, 87, died on Tuesday morning in Maryville.
Davis, who was born Nov. 30, 1923, was preceded in death by his wife and partner, Lula Belle Eggers Davis.
Bob Davis was born in the Prospect community of Blount County. His father was a farmer, and, for a time, Bob worked on the family farm. He later joined the Army, and served during World War II in the European theater. Bob returned home and went to college on the GI Bill, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee Tech University. He was awarded his Masters Degree in Education from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt in Nashville.
Bob Davis married the love of his life, Lula Belle Eggers, in May of 1953. Bob was a graduate of Everett High School, where he later taught history. He became principal of Everett in 1958, and, at that time, was the youngest principal in the state of Tennessee. He served in this capacity until the school closed its doors in 1977. He returned to the classroom at Heritage High School in 1977, where he served for a brief stint as a history instructor.
In 1982, Bob became Blount County’s seventh county executive, which is a position now called County Mayor. During his tenure as county executive (now County Mayor) such major corporations as Denso and Rubbermaid opened facilities in Blount County, creating thousands of jobs.
Between them, Bob and Lula Davis touched numerous families in this area. He was an active member at First Baptist Church, Maryville, where Bob served as chairman of the deacons and as a Sunday School teacher. He was involved in numerous philanthropic causes in Blount County.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Katella and Joe Davis; his stepmother, Mae Davis; his brother Andrew and sister Jodie; and nephews Andy and Jeff Davis.
He is survived by his three adult children and their spouses, Sharon Davis Freeman (Joe), Rebecca Davis Stegmann (Jeff), and Robert Joseph, “Bob” Davis. Jr. (Linda).
Bob Davis also has six grandchildren, Lindsey, Charley (Terry), Becky, John, Ashton and Reese, and five great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind brother-in-law Steve Carrier, sisters-in-law Allie Davis, Rusty Cross, Marie Eggers and Betty Eggers, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
The family is receiving friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Smith Trinity Chapel on Thursday, Aug. 11. Bob’s celebration of life and memorial service will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, at First Baptist Church, Maryville. Graveside service will follow with military honors at Grandview Cemetery. Dr. Clarence Sexton, pastor at Temple Hills Baptist Church, will be officiating.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Wounded Warriors, which benefits military families, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517, or to a charity of your choice.