DAVIS, Melvin "Gene", passed away on Wednesday, June 20th 2012 at Liza's Place, Wheeling, W.Va. after a long and courageous journey through Alzheimer's. He was born on September 19th 1936, the son of the late Emma Ruth (Halliday) and Leroy Ellsworth Davis.
Loved ones who passed before Gene included his wife, Linda Kay (Howell), his sister Josephine Davis and his son-in laws, Mark Millbert and David Mandich.
Gene loved his family. They were the center of his world. He was so proud of his daughters and grandchildren and never missed a chance to let them know it. He will be greatly missed by his four daughters and sons-in-law; Sherry (Basil) Coutant of Bexley, Ohio, Amy (George) Haggerty of Bellaire, Ohio, Dee Dee (Mark) Carlier of Beallsville, Ohio and Michelle (Matt) Millbert-Reven of St. Clairsville, Ohio of his unconditional love, the lessons he taught them and his words of wisdom such as "If you girls work together, you can do anything," will keep him forever in their hearts.
He left behind five grandchildren whom he loved very much; Tyler Mandich, Tanner Mandich, Katharine Coutant, Takota Haggerty and Ridge Davis Reven. He would have been so proud watching his great-granddaughter, Ashton Mandich turn one next month.
He will also be remembered by his brother Ronald "Ronnie" Davis and sisters; Barbara (Dick) Guenther and Jan (Bob) Frees, by dozens of nieces and nephews and many, many relatives, neighbors, coworkers and friends.
Gene was born and raised "on the hill" in Bellaire, Ohio and was always proud to be a "Big Red." In the 1960's he ran two Mobil service stations in Bellaire often working 90+ hours a week to support his young family. Later he worked as a millwright at Ormet Corporation of Hannibal, Ohio for over 30 years. He often spoke of the men who worked there with friendship and respect for doing jobs that were very hard physical work.
From his earliest years, Gene always loved nature. He was happiest when outside walking the hills and woods. He loved animals. For many years he kept cows and sheep and always a pony or two for his girls. He grew a garden that was the envy of all who saw it. He built dozens of bird feeders and fed the birds year around.
In addition to loving nature, Gene was very good with his hands. He worked on engines and machines his whole life. Gene and Linda enjoyed going to yard sales and flea markets. After he retired, he built his own workshop where he repaired and restored old furniture.
Gene also genuinely liked people, especially children. Three generations of children who grew up "on the hill" knew him as "Pappy Gene". He was never too busy to talk to a child; to fix a bicycle, to listen to a problem.
Gene was a good neighbor. He was always willing to help those who needed help. Over the years, he helped friends and neighbors fix cars, make hay, repair roofs and much more.
Gene was also "ornery" as he called it. He loved to laugh and enjoyed practical jokes. His humor, though occasionally "off color" was never petty or mean spirited. He was a true optimist, and lived each day to its fullest. Like his hero, John Wayne, he faced life straight with "his boots on".
Gene spent his last three years living at Sunrise of Bexley in Columbus, Ohio near his eldest daughter. The wonderful staff and residents there came to be a "second" family to Gene and he spent many happy hours feeding birds, talking to visitors and walking the center's dog, Chuck.
Friends will be received on Friday from 4-8 pm at Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Home & Crematory 441 37th Street Bellaire and also from 10 am until time of services Saturday at 11 am with Minister Bradley Johnston officiating. Burial follows in Belmont County Memorial Park Cemetery, St. Clairsville.
Share your thoughts and memories of Gene with his family at www.altmeyer.com