The English Language, despite its richness and splendor, will never fully convey the depth our love nor the weight of our loss as we invite you to recapture the wonderful memory of our beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend, Mr. Jerry Davis.
Born to Billie and Melissa Richardson Davis on April 24, 1959, in the Berkley section of Norfolk, Virginia, Jerry was the third of four children. The family later moved to Chesapeake, Virginia where he attended Indian River High School. A very smart young man with a very keen aptitude for mathematics and logistics, Jerry successfully completed an apprenticeship program to become a professional first-class rigger at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation, requiring him to proficiently plan, assemble, remove, replace various rigging tasks. From June of 1987 to March of 1990, he continued his employment as a professional rigger at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, requiring him to plan, layout, assemble, repair, and install complex weight handling gear and various standing and running rigging devices. He often planned very delicate and precise moves from confined areas aboard ships, having mathematically computed the weight of the materials to be moved beforehand. In addition to that, he also carried out all work assignments safely and responsibly, avoiding damage to very expensive equipment and needless injury to other personnel as they were docking and undocking ships. From October of 1990 to July 1995, Jerry continued to demonstrate his expertise which required him to remove and replace heavy and technical components of engines, generators, turbines, pumps, boilers, structural shapes, and plates from one location to other designated locations. He also expertly worked underwater, handling shafts, propellers, bow thrusters, etc. Moving to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard from August 1995 to July 1999, he continued performing the very same duties and responsibilities until March of 2000. And, from March 2000 to September 2010, he worked as a professional rigger for NAVFAC MIDLANT specializing in the operation of cranes, which included the maneuvering of heavy equipment for proper placement to include the utilization of chair hoist, other manual heavy lift equipment, signal and crane rigging.
He became responsible for crane rigging throughout the Hampton Roads region on ships, buildings, and compounds, and also handled ordinance equipment including torpedoes and ammunition on various ships.
Promoted to supervisory capacity based on his skill and proficiency, Jerry came the Transportation Project Coordinator (Cranes) as a GS-1601-09 KPP: GS-10 for NAVFAC MIDLANT from September 10, 2010 to March 13, 2021. As the coordinator of this specialized unit for operating cranes, Jerry was responsible for overseeing the accomplishments of the production schedule for the Mid-Atlantic Region to include Navy ships, foreign, visiting ships, and all outlaying areas by providing crane and rigging service upon request—working with ship personnel in a customer friendly atmosphere; Working with customers and commands to discuss and interpret policies in terms of establishing objectives; Coordinating with Port Operations, Crane and Rigging supervisors, work leaders of all changes in work schedules, work add-ons, and handling any potential problems; Using transportation MAXIMO database program, which was used to input and retrieve data, create queries, and produce daily schedules and monthly reports as needed by customers, as well as, to the Commander, Port Operations on actual job costs, and justification for overtime and hours worked; Coordinating services for the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and other support groups by phone in meetings while on job surveys, using his expertise and experience as a Rigger to determine the best and the most effective size crane and type of rigging gear needed to accomplish specified given tasks; Routinely quoting rates for cranes, conveyors, manlifts, forklifts, and floating cranes; Demonstrating knowledge of procedures for brow replacement, wind restrictions, and basic rigging procedures from P-307 requirements; Scheduling requested services for ships at sea by reading and answering their LOGRECS; Coordinating homegoing plans, brow, shore power removal; Working with base police and dock masters to prevent pier congestion; Coordinating with Port Ops Tug control to schedule services to move floating cranes and barges to ships for work; Showing a keen knowledge of pier restrictions and limitations at Naval Station, Norfolk with regard to weight limits, pile cap locations, and patch areas; and Conversing with customers and Navy officers about capabilities and safe crane operations.
Distinguishing himself as highly competent at performing his job as coordinator during his tenure as a Federal employee, Jerry was considered a very bright, kind-hearted, and cheerful young man. Easily making friends, Jerry was a warm-hearted and out-going young man who made others feel welcome and at home in his presence. He was well-known for his signature chicken wings and his classic coconut cake, which he often shared with his crew, bringing in enough for everyone to feast and to enjoy one of his many talents.
As a young man of 25 years old, Jerry accepted Christ as his personal Lord under the pastorship of the late Bishop L.E. Willis, Sr. Under the influence of his brother-in-love, Leon Peele, Jerry further developed his love of guitar music, becoming a very skilled lead and base guitarist, playing for the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ choir, under the direction of Thomas E. Davis, Jr. Jerry and Leon also played for the state choir of the Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction for several years until the death of Superintendent Thomas E. Davis, Sr., and his wife, Evangelistic Rosa Mae Davis. The Lord blessed Jerry during this interim period, to meet and to fall in love with the gracious, beautiful, and vivacious Diane Johnson, whom he later married and loved until his illness and death. She was the love of his life.
After his brother, Dr. Borbie L. Davis, became the Pastor of the Mount Zion Interdenominational Church, he played his bass guitar in the music department, a position in which he served faithfully during his tenure. After founding and establishing his own church, the Bibleway Evangelistic Temple Church of God in Christ, Pastor Davis joyfully welcomed members of his own family, who voluntarily decided to help build this branch of God’s kingdom in the earth. Jerry enthusiastically and faithfully served on the music staff as a bass guitarist with Brother Michael Robinson, organist, at Bibleway until his failing health and his transition to glory. He was as his dad used to say, “always Johnny on the spot,” in place and ready to serve the Lord by way of music on Sunday morning with his musical adjutant and side-kick, “Sweetie,” his lovely wife, Diane. And, he watched faithfully to see if his sisters were in attendance. If they were not, he called them promptly demanding that they give him an explanation as to their absenteeism based on Hebrews 10:35, which says “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.
Without question, he was a great man and a marvelous human being, especially as a family man. He was a loyal husband, lifetime best friend, lover, confidant, and excellent provider to his wife Diane Johnson Davis. His children also knew him as a great daddy, one who loved them unconditionally, provided for them generously and unselfishly. Apart from being a devoted and loving family man, Jerry also shared his time and talents with his siblings. In fact, the full range of talents and abilities was astounding. Jerry could do almost anything. He helped to remodel his brother’s bathroom and dining room, putting up molding, installing a new mirrors, cabinets, and fixtures. Amazed at what he could do to refurbish furniture, his siblings marveled at how new the living room furniture of our ancestral home looked after he sanded, re-stained, and polished it. It was not until after he married that we learned that he was paying very close attention tohis mother and father, who taught him very valuable lessons about family and home life. Jerry spoiled his wife Diane because he cooked and cleaned often as mom had taught him, when he and his brother always won the room-cleaning contest orchestra by her. He not only cooked, but he believed in maintaining a spotless house; and, he was always busy working on something, listening to gospel music and practicing on his base guitar, faithfully watering his gigantic plants which no one could grow as he did, for he had a green thumb, working on his yard, furniture refinishing, or some little mechanic work in his garage. Jerry also possessed a keen eye for fashion and design; he was a walking fashion plate, clean from head to toe and always dressed to the nines on Sunday morning. He worked so hard to make a wonderful life for himself, his kids, and his wife, we praise God for allowing Him to enjoy the desires of his heart -- the cars of his dreams—the Mercedes 500 S Class and the Mercedes Sports 500. Yes, we give God all of the glory for blessing him to obtain the desires of his heart! We also praise God that his suffering here has come to an end, and that the Lord has taken him unto Himself, where he enjoys the pleasures of heaven forever.
He leaves to cherish his memory, a beautiful and devoted wife, who faithfully served as his sole caretaker during his extended illness, Diane Johnson Davis; two lovely daughters to carry his legacy: Patice Davis and Jera Davis of Philadelphia, PA; two sisters, Mrs. Mary Nancy Peele of Portsmouth, Virginia, and Mrs. Maxine Davis Moore of Chesapeake, Virginia; and one brother, the Rev. Dr. Borbie L. Davis of Chesapeake, Virginia; one maternal uncle, Bennie Richardson (Jean)of Norfolk, Virginia; and two maternal aunts, Mrs Irene Griffin, and Mrs. Susan Moss (Donald ) of Norfolk, Virginia; one paternal aunt, Mrs. Christine Alston of Louisburg, NC; He also has a host of special in-laws: three sisters-in-law: Cynthia Lee, Cleo Riddick (Linwood), Mary Styles (Alex Styles); and three brothers-in-law: Granville Stukes, Michael Johnson, and Robert Johnson. Jerry also leaves a grand host of other grandnieces & nephews, cousins, relatives, and troops of friends.