Philip Davis, 91, formerly of Kerhonkson
OCT. 13, 1925 - OCT. 14, 2016
Philip Davis, 91, formerly of Arrowhead Farm, Kerhonkson, N.Y., died peacefully at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Margaret and Andy Smith, in Maryville, Tennessee, on Oct. 14, 2016.
Phil was born on Oct. 13, 1925 in Ellenville, N.Y., to the late Millard H. and Roswitha (Kudlich) Davis of Kerhonkson, N.Y.
He attended a oneroom schoolhouse and graduated from Kerhonkson High School, class of 1943. After high school, he joined the Army, serving honorably, and then entered Cornell University on the GI bill.
At Cornell, Phil joined the agricultural fraternity AGR, where he found and maintained lifelong friendships. “It was one of the best decisions of my life,” he said. His senior year at Cornell allowed him the opportunity to make another “best decision of my life” when he met his future wife, Mary Helen Pelton, whom he married in February 1953. They enjoyed 33 years of marriage until her death in 1986.
After graduating from Cornell, Phil went back to his father’s farm, working and improving the land and herd of Holstein cows. Phil loved the land, loved his farm and loved working hard. He also volunteered in numerous arenas, including the Town of Rochester Republican Club, Ulster County Cooperative Extension, Ulster County Farm Bureau, Accord Farmers Co-op, U.S. Holstein Association, New York DHIA and Dairylea. He was on the board of directors of the Eastern Breeders and was a charter member of the Accord Fire Department. For most of the 1970s he served as an Ulster County legislator. He was a member of the Rochester Reformed Church in Accord, N.Y., and then the Community Bible Church in Wawarsing, N.Y. Later, after he moved to Maryville, Tenn., he was a member of Grace Community Church.
In his retirement years, he did not retire. In Maryville, he volunteered at the Chilhowee Baptist Center, delivered meals-on-wheels, and every spring drove back to the farm to put in the garden. He traveled extensively throughout the United States, visiting with family and friends. He never met a stranger, and maintained his friendships faithfully. Phil earnestly shared his faith in Jesus Christ with all. When he was 83, he traveled to Papua, New Guinea, to minister along with the New Tribes Mission. Then, when he was 88, he went on a medical mission trip to Nigeria. In 2014, Phil fulfilled his dream of writing the memoirs of his father, Millard Davis. Phil loved the outdoors, hiking, fishing, bodysurfing and camping.
Phil was predeceased by his wife, Mary Helen Pelton Davis; his parents; his son, John Christopher, and his sister, Ann Davis Morgan.
He is survived by his children, Katherine (Allan) Brooke, Holly (Richard) Kinch, Margaret (Andrew) Smith, and Peter (Kay) Davis; 27 grandchildren, Alban (Marie), Philip (Cecilia), Priscilla, Sarah, and Thomas Brooke; Joshua, Caleb, James, Elisabeth, Christina (Ben VanDine), Mary (Jonathan Cerha), John, Judy and Rachel Kinch; Hannah, Gretchen (William Ghossein), Jacob, Lydia (Steven Irmeger), Abby, Dan and Ben Smith; Grace, Philip H. II, Katherine, Hans, Hope and Samuel Davis; two great-grandchildren, Emerson Brooke and Samuel Cerha; nieces Ellen Morgan and Mary (Scott) Williams; nephews William Lupton, John (Sue) Lupton, and Douglas (Theresa) Pelton; his brotherin-law, John (Berta) Pelton; and many dear cousins.
Visiting hours will be at Humiston Funeral Home, Kerhonkson, N.Y., from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21. Family and friends will gather for a graveside service held at Pine Bush Cemetery near the family farm at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, followed by a memorial service at Community Bible Church, Wawarsing, N.Y., at 4 p.m. A reception will be held at the home of Peter Davis, Arrowhead Farm, immediately following the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Bible Church, Wawarsing, N.Y., Grace Community Church, Maryville, Tenn., or World Orphans (https:// world orphans. kindful.com/i n-memory/ memorial- donation-margaret smith)