Robert J. Davis Jr., 85, of North Canton, passed away Monday, Dec. 24, 2012, peacefully at home with his beloved wife of 62 years and ultimate caregiver, Wanda (Park) Davis.
He was born on July 25, 1927, in East Rochester, to the late Robert J. Sr. and Alice (Lippincott) Davis. Bob graduated from Minerva High School in the class of 1945, earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University in 1949, after serving in the U. S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Mercer APB39-Hospital Corps during WWII. Bob went on to earn an M.A. from the University of Akron in 1972.
He began his working career at the age of eight as a milk boy for his grandfather's Lippincott Dairy and held numerous jobs throughout his youth, such as U.S. Postman, OSU Hospital Orderly, Phi Mu Sorority House Boy, and OSU Baker Hall bus boy, where he met the love of his life, Wanda. After college, he worked at Minerva Wax Paper Co. and then began his 42 year career with The Ford Motor Co. He retired from Ford's Canton Forge Plant in 1992, retiring as Manager of Human Resources. Bob spent his final years with Ford Motor supervising the closing of the Canton Forge Plant, ensuring other employment for all who did not retire.
He was honored by being elected into the Minerva High School Hall of Fame for his numerous civic services. His service included serving on Boards of Directors for groups such as United Way of Central Stark County, Community Rehabilitation Clinic, United Cerebral Palsy, Stark County Board of Mental Retardation, and as Presidents for Ford Toastmasters Club, Canton Junior Chamber of Commerce, North Canton Clearmount School PTA, and Ford Salaried Retirees Luncheon Club. He served as a Deacon at Christ United Presbyterian Church and as an Elder at Northminister Presbyterian Church where he and Wanda have been members since 1960.
He was a great advocate for those who could not speak for themselves, serving on various boards for the Developmentally Disabled. Most recently, he served on the Board at GentleBrook Hartville Meadows, where his youngest daughter Polly Anna resides. He and Wanda were honored for their service to Hartville in November.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother, Joe. He is survived by his wife, Wanda, whom he married May 20, 1950; his children, Wendy Davis-Hoover (Robert) Hoover of Cincinnati, Heidi (J. Timothy) Wrigley of Indianapolis, Ind., Gigi (Daniel) Bilkert of Ashland, and Polly Anna Davis of Hartville; grandchildren who loved and will miss him are Desiree (Shawn) Jarvis of Franklin, Ind., Deanna Wrigley of Indianapolis, Ind., Bobby Wrigley of Hellertown, Pa., Annah Bilkert of Midland, Mich., Brooke Hoover of Pensacola, Fla., Liz Bilkert of Wheaton, Ill., and Kara Bilkert of Ashland.
The family wishes to express a special "thank you" to the doctors, nurses, and technicians who helped him continue his life, which they cherished each day.
Funeral services were held Dec. 29, in the Reed Funeral Home, North Canton, with the Rev. Dr. Daniel Bilkert officiating. Burial was in the North Lawn Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers Bob requested that donations be made to GentleBrooks Hartville Meadows Home of Hartville, Ohio.