IM3 - GARY DAVIS - US NAVY

     VIETNAM VETERAN

          Class of 1966

                          Submitted by Billy Hathorn, Class of 1966

 I was in Bay City on July 31 and visited the grave of my 1966 friend and classmate Gary Davis. Here are three photos of the grave, the cemetery sign, and a statue of Jesus.
 
He died coincidentally eight years ago today at the age of fifty-one.
 
Billy Hathorn 

Gary moved to Minden from Baker (East Baton Rouge Parish) with his parents and two brothers in 1962, because his father, Frank Ford Davis, obtained employment at the reopened LAAP. His mother, Martha Stanley Davis, later worked for Tucker Electric in Minden. Gary entered MHS in the fall of 1962. The family lived at the time within a stone's throw of the school gym in a rented house at the intersection of McIntyre and Marshall streets. Mrs. Baskerville, his biology teacher, lived behind him, and his friend Roger Grubbs lived across the street. They later bought a house on Sylvan Place, a small street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Broadway. They first attended Parkway Baptist Church and later First Baptist Church.

Gary was a hard-working student who played by the rules and spoke well of others. He was exceptionally reliable, dependable, and tender hearted. He was skilled in science and had originally planned to be a science teacher.  However, after graduation from MHS, he enrolled instead at the local trade school and studied instrumentation.

In 1968, he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in San Diego and Rota, Spain. Upon his discharge in 1972, he relocated to the Texas coastal area southwest of Houston, often using a motorcycle as his means of transportation. He also liked what is now called "oldies" music, and he had an extensive music collection. 

He married the love of his life, Janet, in the summer of 1975, whom he met in the area. They lived in Bay City, the seat of Matagorda County. Janet worked for the library. They had no children. Gary was employed for many years by the Armand Hammer Company, often putting in long hours and showing special dedication to his work. He had hoped to retire after the year 2010 in the Lufkin area.

Gary died of a sudden heart attack while on the job on a Sunday night, August 13, 2000. He was 51. Services were held in the local Methodist Church the following Wednesday afternoon, followed by burial in Bay City. The church was packed, a testimony to the many friends that he had made in Bay City over the years. Navy veterans offered a 15-gun salute for the ceremony, but Janet declined. He and Janet had celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary just days earlier, and she felt that the salute would have been too difficult for her to bear.

Other survivors were his two brothers, Mickey Davis (born 1950) and Rodney Davis (born 1957), both of Minden, a niece, and a special cousin, Melvin Stanley, since deceased. Gary's parents and other extended relatives are buried in Fryeburg in Bienville Parish.