James L. "Sheriff" Davis

NEWPORT NEWS - James L. Davis, better known to his cohorts on the C&O and later CSX Railroad as 'Sheriff,' passed away
at his home on Sept. 17, 2004. Born in Halifax County, Va., on May 31, 1922, he was the first of ten children of dirt poor, tobacco
farmers who thought things couldn't get any worse-then came the Great Depression. Family circumstances and economics dictated
that he leave home in his mid-teens so he soon found himself in Franklin Roosevelt's CCC helping to construct the Skyline Drive.
One fateful day, on a whim, he hopped in the back of a truck headed to Newport News. Shortly after his arrival he met the love
of his life, a beautiful 18-year-old switchboard operator from South Carolina, Alyne Tate. The two were soon wed and with God
as the centerpiece of their relationship they enjoyed 59 years of living life as one. Like so many others of his generation who had
known truly tough times, James loved laughter. He had a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humor always careful to make himself
the butt of his jokes and foil in his stories. He will be greatly missed by all who enjoyed his unique wit and engaging personality,
especially his children, Malcolm Davis and wife, Polly, Rex Davis and wife, Gail, and Vickie Davis and his grandchildren, Michelle
and Wayne Davis and Kandi Sampson. James was preceded in death by his cherished wife, Alyne, and by two brothers, Thomas
and George. He is survived by brothers, Raymond Davis of Richmond, Va., and Wayland Davis of Rustburg, Va., and sisters, Dorothy
Gomes of Fayetteville, N.C., Almina Alexander of Kirbyville, Texas, Margie English of Hendersonville, N.C., Coretta Matherly
of Collegedale, Tenn., and Louise Yankelevitz of Brookeville, Md. James was a member of Parkview Baptist Church where he and
Alyne served their Lord and worshiped together every Sunday. Today they are reunited as a couple, face to face with their heavenly
Father. It would be their wish that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to their beloved Parkview Baptist Church. The
family will receive friends from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Peninsula Funeral Home. Services will be conducted at 11 a.m.
on Thursday, Sept. 23, at Parkview Baptist Church, Hilton Blvd., Newport News, by the Rev. Lawrence J. Biermann and Dr. R. Furman Kenney.

Published in the Daily Press from 9/18/2004 - 9/21/2004.

The eldest with such a sense of humor, the stories of growing up and always the spectator shoes. Childhood memories, yes, but all the sweeter with the memories of all the fun times we had as children at reunions, at Lake Lure, and then later the weddings. Uncle James and Aunt Alyne are together again now, and unrestrained by the tight bonds that this life holds us to. May you feel the strength of God's love and sense the joy that Uncle James and Aunt Alyne must be celebrating now. Our prayers are with each of you.
Love, Nona, Biff & John
Nona Hicks (Fredericksburg, VA ) - September 21, 2004
During my weekly phone visit with my dad and sister, I found out that James Davis (father of Malcolm and Rex Davis) had passed away.
My parents were good friends with the Davis' and my father will really miss Mr. Davis. He was a very good man and I have many fond
memories of him while spending a big part of my youth at the Davis's house.
Tom Oxner  (AR) - September 21, 2004
To Malcolm, Polly & Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Malcolm, some of my earliest memories of your Dad are when I would see him in your backyard at 626-73rd St. when we were kids. (We lived
at 625-72nd).
Mark & Miriam Waggoner
Mark Waggoner (Hampton, VA ) - September 20, 2004
I have nothing but the happiest memories of my Uncle James. He was a delightful story teller, a gracious host, and a gentleman. My heart goes out to his children who have had to say goodbye to their beautiful mother and now their father. What a reunion they will all have in heaven! Love, Kaye
Kaye Culberson (Arden, NC ) - September 20, 2004
Thoughts and prayers go out to your loved ones. Thank you for being such a wonderful neighbor and friend to my family (The Woody's). May you rest in peace. God bless you.
Robyn Goerdt (Bonham, TX ) - September 19, 2004
To Malcolm, Rex, Vickie and family,
You all had parents that you can certainly be proud to honor. We loved both of them and a privilege to know them. Your father was the best "postman" ever.
We will miss him.
Alice & Richard
Richard & Alice Moore (Danville, VA ) - September 18, 2004
ERNEST REID (NEWPORT NEWS, VA ) - September 18, 2004
You will be greatly missed by my children and me. You were a wonderful neighbor and friend for the past 15 years.  May you rest in the arms
of the Lord now.
Everetta Woody (Newport News, VA ) - September 18, 2004