Joe Davis, 96, passed away peacefully Saturday night.
The obituary as it appears in the local Frederick newspaper
On Saturday October 25, 2008, Frederick County’s oldest Eagle Scout, Joseph J. Davis, Sr., passed away at age 96. “Uncle Joe” was a lifetime Boy Scout, having entered the Scouting program in 1924 at age 12 in Troop 39 of Manchester, NY and served as a volunteer and professional until his death – over 84 years later. Along the way he received many rewards and honors. He earned his Eagle Scout badge in 1928 and had it presented to him by James E. West, Scouting’s first national Scout Executive. He was awarded the District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver Award and, appropriately enough, the James E. West Award. Additionally he was only the second man in Frederick County to be awarded the Distinguished Eagle Award. His last Scouting honor was the Silver Sage award from the Philmont Staff Association.
Joe first came to Frederick County in 1935 upon his graduation from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry. He worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps for three years in the Frederick Watershed area. It was while working for the CCCs, that Joe met and married the former Viola Rice who predeceased him in 1981. He subsequently moved to the Garret County CCC projects where he and Viola had their son Jack who predeceased his father in August of this year. Joe was also predeceased by his father, John Davis, mother Lena Nader Davis and his sister Mary Davis.
In 1943, Joe left the CCCs and began to work with the Boy Scouts of America in Philadelphia. After Philadelphia, he was transferred to Washington, D.C., then Roanoke VA, Chicago, and, finally, his ultimate assignment as Director of Camping at Philmont, the BSA’s 175,000 acre ranch near Cimarron, New Mexico. He retired to Frederick in 1976 and has been active with the Boy Scouts, the Association for the Advancement of Retired People, Meals on Wheels, the Literacy Council and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick.
He is survived by two grandsons; Sean Davis of Denver, CO and Keith Davis of Oakland, CA and a Great-granddaughter, Alyssa Davis of Mandeville, Louisiana. In addition he leaves several nieces and a nephew: Linda Sundergill, Allen Wachter, Johnna Lee Kennedy and Gerry Ann Houck of Frederick, as well as Yvonne Magaha and Charles “Buddy” May both in Florida. He also is survived by his God-daughter Betty Ross of New York State.
A memorial service is planned for 10:00 am, Saturday November 15, 2008 at Evangelical Lutheran Church, Frederick. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Joe’s name to the Frederick County Boy Scouts of America Friends of Scouting campaign or to the Evangelical Lutheran Church Building Miracles Capital Campaign. Checks for ELC should be sent directly to the church at 31 E. Church St., Frederick, MD 21701 and checks for the Boy Scouts should be made to “BSA-NCAC” and sent care of Linda Sundergill, 7015 Sundays Lane, Frederick, Maryland 21702.
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