After spending his final days surrounded by his children, Jack Dwight Davis passed away Sunday, October 18th at approximately 7:00 a.m. at the age of 87.
Jack was born on September 14th, 1933 in the East end of Mishawaka. His Dad, Leo, stoked the boilers at the Twin Branch Power plant. His mother, Mable, took care of six children, two of which she lost at a very young age. Nothing in his early childhood foreshadowed the path of his 87-year life.
He graduated from Mishawaka High School in 1951. Focused on industrial arts, his first jobs were at Wyco Products and South Bend Drafting where he operated machines and worked on design projects, respectively. Through work association, Neff Engineering hired Jack as a hydraulic sales engineer, which became a stepping-stone to managing Hydro Systems (Fort Wayne), and finally a transfer to sales/leadership responsibility at Hydro Block, Division of Neff Engineering. He parted ways with the Neff organization in 1975. In March of 1976, he incorporated Daman Products Co, Inc. Mishawaka, Indiana.
Daman Products was a great source of pride for him. The early days were fraught with problems born out of starting a business with little money to invest, banks denying loans necessary to purchase equipment, no appreciable manufacturing experience, no orders, and no customers. There was no reason to expect the company would survive. But through persistence, shear guts, and driven by the fear of failure, operations slowly improved.
Today, Daman Products Co., Inc employs nearly 150 people in a culture that values respect and appreciation for all that have and do contribute to Daman's success. Throughout Daman's years, they have been nationally recognized. The most prestigious of which was the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Award - Great Lakes Region presented by the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. Jack was also proud of his Key to the City of Mishawaka given in honor of Daman's economic impact.
But most important in his business life was taking care of his employees. Having worked with his hands early in life, Jack always appreciated the people on the front line that designed and built Daman's products. In his mind's eye, he saw himself as a working person. He never forgot his humble beginnings.
That is what Jack did. This is who Dad was...
Dad enjoyed all modes of transportation. In fact, he loved travelling in general. Be it by land, air, or sea he was happiest on the go. With his wife Phyllis Davis, they enjoyed travelling the world, touring the country, and hosting friends and family in their homes.
Dad was a collector of classic cars and motor vehicles. Throughout his life he owned and operated an airplane, and multiple boats, busses and RV's. He has piloted his boat around Michigan, down the entirety of the Mississippi River, and across the Gulf of Mexico. He even trimmed a few trees taking off from the old Sportsman Airfield. His favorite was to enter a classic car in the Mishawaka Memorial Day parade and let friends and family members be a part of it.
Dad admired Abraham Lincoln and worked hard to emulate his character. He was a man of honesty, stoicism, and values. He had a soft strength, was always fair, and was always available when needed.
Christmas was Dad's favorite holiday. He will be remembered most for his festive sweaters, humorous gift exchanges, and teasing (tormenting?) all the Grandkids. His smile was wide and permanent throughout the Holidays.
If you know Dad, you probably have a nickname. He was famous for giving nicknames, especially to his grandkids. He even had a few monikers of his own...JD, Lucky Lindy, Jacob, Jocko, Pops and Padre are publishable.
Jack is preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, his parents Leo and Mable, his brothers Duane and Larry, his sisters Joellen (Fleming) and Marilyn (Pavuls), his Grandson Jared Linsky, his nephew Jeff Hall and his brothers-in-law Robert Lerner, John Hall, and Jim Estes.
Surviving are Jack's sister Colleen Lerner (Robert) and in-laws Adrejs Pavuls (Marilyn), Wayne Fleming (Joellen), Bill and Connie Franks, and Kim Estes.
All of his children survive him as well; Larry M. Davis (Libby Mountsier), Favorite Daughter Terri L. Linsky (Mike), J. Michael Davis (Connie), Ryan D. Davis (Sarah) and Bradley S. Davis.
Surviving Grandchildren are; Nicole Davis Riordan (Pete), Patrick Davis (Marie), Dane Davis, Michael Linsky (Erikka), Kelly Dennin (Scott), Heather Davis (Joe) Michael Davis (Jackie), Brian Davis (Jen Weldy), Kimberly Hensley, Kenneth Whitaker (Angela Jones), Simon Davis, Marnie Davis, Jack Davis, and Jayden Davis.
Surviving Great Grandchildren are; Nathalie Riordan, Claire Riordan, Moises Gomez, Virginia Gomez, Lauren Linsky, Kyle Linsky, Julia Linsky, Addyson Linsky, Aubrey Linsky. Also, Taylor Davis Redman, Scarlett Davis, Archer Davis, Beau Davis, Olivia Hensley, Elijah Hensley, Rachel Hensley, and Nathaniel Whitaker. And a surviving Great, Great Grandchild Alexander Whitaker.
Surviving nieces and nephews are; Kent and Rob Lerner, John Hall, Andrejs and Andra Pavuls, Troy, Trent, and Todd Franks, Melissa, Steven, Jerry, and Raymond Estes.
Dad was our families' lighthouse, standing strong no matter the storm. The light he emitted touched many in the town he was born in and lived in for 87 years. He will always be remembered for the opportunities he provided for his family, friends, and the community. Even though the light may have dimmed, he will forever shine in the hearts of those who knew him.
God's Speed Good Man!
Visitation for Jack will be on Friday, October 23, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Palmer Funeral Homes - Bubb Chapel, 3910 N. Main Street, Mishawaka. Funeral services will take place on Saturday, October 24, at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Mishawaka, 201 East Third Street, Mishawaka where there will also be one hour of visitation prior to the services, Pastor Rick Taylor will officiate the services. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Mishawaka. Online condolences can be made at palmerfuneralhomes.com
A celebration of life will be held for Jack and Phyllis at St. Joseph Farm, 52682 Currant Rd., Granger, IN 46530 on Saturday, October 24 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM. All are welcome.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jack D. Davis, please visit our floral store.