Mr. James Lanier Davis, Sr., 92, died Tuesday, April 30, at Brookdale Assisted Living in Burlington, NC. Lanier was born in 1926, in Roanoke Rapids, NC. He joined the US Navy after graduating high school and served in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, he attended UNC-Chapel Hill, earning a BA in business administration, but, more importantly for his future, studied music performance. He married Ann Beebe and started his family in New York City, where he performed on Broadway with some of the best, Andy Griffith, Rudy Vallee, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, and Lauren Bacall are a few of the friends he made while singing and dancing on stage. He retired to his home in Norwood, NJ, and for the last two years lived in Hillsborough, NC, near his son and daughters, and close to his ancestral land on Old NC 86.
Lanier was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Walker Davis, Sr. and Mattie Alma Garrett Davis; his brother, Charles Walker Davis, Jr.; his sister, Carolyn Davis Moren; and his daughter, Katharine Davis Bouton.
Lanier is survived by his wife, Ann Beebe Davis; son, James Lanier Davis, Jr. and wife Lynn; three daughters, Priscilla Davis Brooks and husband David, Polly Ann Davis, and Jan Beebe Davis; and son-in-law, Webster Lee Bouton. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Services were held Saturday, May 4, at Union Grove United Methodist Church, 6407 Union Grove Church Rd., Hillsborough, NC 27278.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Union Grove United Methodist Church (UGUMC).
The Davis family is under the care of Walker's Funeral Home of Hillsborough.