Thomas J. Davis



OBIT ISL-DavisflagWILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. and MOUNT DESERT — Thomas J. Davis, of Williamsville, N.Y., and Mount Desert, died Sunday, March 20, 2016, after a long illness. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., July 11, 1922, he was 93.

He was an educator, a musician, a poet. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education in 1942 from Buffalo State Teachers College and a master’s degree in administration from the University of Rochester. He served in the Army’s Literacy Unit at Fort Ontario during World War II. It was during WWII that he met his first wife, Betty Walker. He was a supervising principal of Harlem Road and Smallwood Drive elementary schools in Amherst, N.Y., until his retirement in 1978.

The Amherst Alumni Association honored him as a Distinguished Emeritus Educator. A 60-year member of the Amherst Central Lions Club, he received Lions International’s highest honor, the Melvin Jones Fellow Award for Humanitarian Service. He also sang for 60 years with the Amherst Male Glee Club. Since 1974, Tom spent his summers at his chalet in the woods in Somesville. It was there that he captured many of his happiest memories.

His first wife, of 38 years, Betty Walker Davis, died in 1984. In 1985, he married the former Dorothy Flemming. Surviving in addition to his wife are daughter Jan Davis Marshall and son-in-law Robin Marshall of Mount Desert; and daughter Susan Davis Belanger and son-in-law Paul Belanger of Madison, Ohio; granddaughter, Erin Marshall (Richard) Cyr of Carver, Mass.; and two great-granddaughters, Madison and Lillian, who both lit up his eyes.

He will be remembered for a lifetime of accomplishments, songs, and stories. By nature, he was gregarious, with a strong social conscience, integrity and compassion. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. April 1, 2016, in Christ United Methodist Church, Snyder, N.Y.

If desired, donations in Tom’s name may be made to the Amherst Central Lions Club, 202 Ferndale Avenue, Tonawanda, NY 14217 or to Alstrom Syndrome International (www.alstrom.org).

Know when to pay your respects.