Jay Vernon Davis passed away June 19 at Hospice House in Odessa, Texas. He is preceded in death by his parents, Minnie Elizabeth and Jay Vernon Davis Sr.; sisters, Uldine Davis, Marjorie Davis, Christine Davis, and Melba Buckles; his brothers, Tyrus Davis, Jerry Davis, and his infant son Gregory Jay Davis. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Roylene Chandler Davis; Missey and David Head, Jana Davis, Mende Mays, Chana and Sal Holguin, Hamp and Sue Chandler, Hayley Chandler, Eric Holguin, Tiffani, Adam and Hayden Molina, Ed and Edna McAnally, Nell McCamey, Bette Lucky, many nephews and nieces, and numerous friends.
Jay attended elementary and high school in McCamey, Texas and enjoyed playing football at an early age. As a young boy he was allowed to play football with neighborhood friends with the stipulation that he " beat the sun down". He attended Southwest Junior College in Uvalde, Texas and was All Conference on both sides of the ball for two seasons and a 2nd team All American. He also excelled in basketball where he was 1st team All Conference. He accepted a scholarship offer to Tulane University in New Orleans where he started as a defensive end and linebacker. After graduating in 1953, he was offered positions with the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams but an injury in his senior year at Tulane precluded his professional career in football. He moved to Odessa in 1954 to coach football at Lamar Elementary School for one semester. He then moved to Crocket Junior High School to coach both football and basketball. After three years at Crockett he went to Ector High School, serving from 1957 to 1970. In later years he loved attending Ector reunions to reunite with former players, coaches, teachers and staff.
After earning a Master's degree from Sul Ross University, he went into school administration, serving as a principal at Goldsmith Elementary, Fannin Elementary, Milam Elementary, and Burnet Elementary. At all these schools, he was loved by the faculty and staff for his fairness, his leadership skills, and his gentle manner. He had a very special love for children and related easily to them. He retired from ECISD in 1989 after 36 years in education.
He had a special talent for telling stories and had a ready supply of jokes to any available listener. He claimed to know the high school mascot and alma mater for every school in Texas and was always ready to list them. Football remained his lifetime love and passion. In 1999 the Odessa American honored him as McCamey's Football Player of the 20th Century. Jay had a unique ability to adapt contentedly with any situation he found himself. He was a truly authentic person, unpretentious, and always positive. Jay was loved and will be missed by many lifelong friends dating back to his early elementary school years and continuing throughout his life.
He was a member of the McCamey Lion's Club and with his wife, Roylene Davis, volunteered in numerous community projects in McCamey.
Services will be held at East Side Baptist Church in McCamey, Texas, on Tuesday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m.