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Life Story / Obituary
Although he enjoyed numerous experiences throughout his life, there was nothing that was more near and dear to the heart of Morris “Mike” Davis than his beloved family. He was a man of honor and courage with unwavering strength and convictions with a fun-loving spirit and contagious zest for life. Mike was a longtime resident of the community he loved, and through his warm and approachable demeanor he was the sort of person whom everyone seemed to know. He took great pride in everything he did, and he gave everything he did his all as well. An outdoorsman through and through, Mike found peace and contentment in the thick cover of the woods. He will be forever missed while the timeless legacy he created is carried on by the generations who follow in his footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were deeply entrenched in the throes of WWII. Those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods such as coffee, tin, paper, and sugar while victory gardens were planted to lessen the demand on the nation’s food supply. Manufacturing was focused on supporting the war effort, and loved ones gathered around radios to await the latest news from the front lines. It was during this eventful time that Morris “Mike” Davis made his arrival on April 2, 1944, in Highland Park, Michigan. He was the older of two boys in his family, and he was raised in the family home in nearby Plymouth alongside his brother, Lyle, who was four years younger. Born while his father was serving in the Army overseas, Morris was supposed to be named Mike, not Morris, which is how he would usually be known. As a civilian his father worked as a welder who built railroad cars while his mother was a cosmetologist.
In many ways Mike was a young man of his generation. He looked forward to hunting trips to Tippy Dam with his father and brother, and his love for hunting remained with him throughout his entire life. The Davis family often took trips to Missouri to visit extended family. Mike attended local schools, and while in high school he played football for a time, but his football career proved to be short lived as he suffered a clavicle injury that left him unable to play. It was during his formative years that Mike established his strong work ethic picking fruits and vegetables on a local farm, and he also worked at Riverside Arena where he loved to roller skate. Mike also loved fast cars and Harley-Davidsons like so many other young teens, and he went on to graduate from high school on June 14, 1962.
As a young man Mike enlisted in the Army where he was trained in electronic warfare and jammed communication signals. He was sent to Germany, and on his way his boat was hit by another United States aircraft carrier and sank on what was Mike’s 21st birthday. Thankfully, everyone survived. Mike spent much of his time serving in Germany and earned the rank of staff sergeant before being honorably discharged on April 30, 1970. He used the skills he learned in the military and became an electrician, following in the footsteps of his grandfather. Mike made a career in the industry and was a proud union worker who was a member of IBEW local 58 for more than 30 years. He was a great success in his work and retired as a journeyman.
First and foremost in Mike’s life was always his family. It was while roller skating at Riverside Arena that he met the love of his life. Her name was Shirl, and sparks flew right from the start. Soon, the couple soon found themselves deeply in love. They were married a bit later, and together they welcomed three children including Jesse, Jamie, and Lisa into their hearts and home. In everything he did Mike was fully devoted to his family, and with a door that was always open he welcomed in some of his children’s friends when they needed a place to stay. For the rest of his life Mike considered the days that each of his children were born to be the best days of his life. Later on, things only got better when three grandchildren came along, and they were the light of his life.
Throughout Mike’s life he was always a bustle of activity. He was an enthusiastic outdoorsman who basically declared opening day to be a national holiday in the Davis household. Mike’s best buddies were always his hunting dogs, especially Hamlet. A true outdoorsman, he also enjoyed fishing and camping. Mike was talented, too, as he kept busy building and shooting guns, woodworking, and horn carving, and he also used his time and skills as a Boy Scout leader while his sons were in the program. A history buff, Mike loved historical reenactments with family and friends, doing things like shooting muzzleloaders and drinking by the fire, even at Williamsburg. He loved dressing up and stepping into the lives of different characters, and he was quite authentic when it came to historical figures as he loved reading about history. Mike inspired the construction of the block house at WWCCA while drinking around campfire. Traveling was a favorite pastime, and his travels took him to both Disneyland and Disney World, to England with his family, and on a second honeymoon aboard a Hawaiian cruise in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. When relaxing, Mike enjoyed watching John Wayne movies, and he rarely missed Sunday night football. A man of many gifts and talents, he also played the Indian flute.
A salt of the earth sort of man, Morris “Mike” Davis believed in working hard and in making his own way. He had a rough and tough side to him, but his heart was as gentle as they come. Mike loved to tease and had numerous fun-filled practical jokes to his credit as he loved making sure that others enjoyed life as much as he did. There was nothing like a meal of “mooing” steak and potatoes or spending the day in the great outdoors in Mike’s book, yet it was when surrounded by the love of his family that he was in all his glory. Honorable, patriotic, independent, and strong, he was a blessing in the lives of many and will be deeply missed.
Morris “Mike” Davis died on March 1, 2015. Mike’s family includes his loving wife, Shirl of 34 years; children, Jesse, Jamie, and Lisa; grandchildren, Scott, Blake, and Leah; his Aunt Annalee Davis; and many cousins. Mike was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Lyle. Family will receive friends Wednesday 2-9 p.m. at Neely-Turowski Life Story Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile Road (between Middle Belt and Merriman) and Friday 11-12 p.m. where a funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m. Interment at Parkview Cemetery. Please use the links to the right to sign the guestbook, share a memory, or upload a photo.