I thought it would be fitting to copy the memorial that I did for him that was read at his funeral. I typed this about 5:00 AM Saturday morning after he had passed away. I didn't know that it would be read at his funeral nor that twenty years later, it would still be so accurate of the great memories we have of him.
Joseph Carl Davis
Carl came to Texas when he was 14. His stepfather and his family were painters, so he learned painting at a very early age. He also learned you had to work for what you get. When he got his first car, he was not allowed to drive it until he got insurance for it. He had to earn the money before this would happen. He learned work ethics at a very young age in life.
We met at Lake Texoma as teens. I thought he was the cutest guy I had ever met, and he knew then there was something special about me. We did not date at this time. After I graduated from high school, Diana and I moved to Gainesville for work and college. Rick and Diana were dating. Rick felt sorry for me being in Gainesville with no one to date, so he asked Carl to go to Gainesville to date me. Never did he realize that that was the beginning of a great love story. Carl was drinking and smoking at this time. He realized immediately that there was something different about our lifestyle, and he wanted what we had. He stopped drinking immediately. It took longer to break the nicotine habit; he did trade the cigarettes for chewing tobacco. When he had children later in life, he saw the importance to give this habit up. He said with God’s help and a lot of chewing gum any one can give it up. His message is do not start!
Rick didn’t realize by taking Carl to Gainesville that he was developing a new relationship that would be so binding and permanent. The Davises and Fergusons did everything together from that date on. Carl even taught Rick to sand, putty, and other painters’ tasks. Rick was always there to help when he got in a bind.
From the first date, that was it. Carl lived in Dallas, and I lived in Gainesville and then Denton. He came nightly for a home-cooked meal.
Marriage – We were too poor for an engagement ring because we had to have a transmission for the work truck.
We married at a very young age. We had just turned 20 and 23. We honeymooned at Beaver’s Bend State Park in the back of the paint truck with a camper shell. We were young and in love. Through the years when we visited Eureka Springs, we would still go back to our honeymoon spot.
Carl loved my daddy. It was a new lifestyle – hunting stories, farming, and cows. When we moved to Gunter, he got his first three cows. Peaches died this last summer. He had her for 18 years. He learned a love for the land and cattle. He watched cows for hours at the breakfast table as they grazed.
The children – He was a great father. From the time Greg was born, he always did the night feeding and put him to bed. He did the same with Chad. As the boys got older he carried on the same tradition of putting the boys to bed every night and saying their prayers together. He had d a strong faith in God, and he wanted the boys to see this. He loved Jenna and Justin, also. On weekends and summers, if they were not around, he would ask where they were.
He knew his business well. He was a very successful painter. People would literally wait a year or two on him just to have him paint their house. Usually the people who didn’t have the patience would end up calling and complain about the other painters. He knew colors. He could match or do anything, He had a critical eye and was always looking and critiquing. He could paint anything. He never learned to say “No!” and that is why he had to work so hard, He always said there might be a day when he needed that person, so he tried to keep everyone happy, He might go to two or three places in a day, He died doing what de did best. The spray gun was still in his hand.
He wanted the boys to learn his work ethics. He had started taking them to work this last summer, He wanted them to learn the trade, but he wanted them to go to college. He wanted the painting to be on the side or something to fall back to.
He worked hard but never, never complained, He might work 21 or more days straight without a day off, But he found time for going out to eat and church. He felt bad about working on Sunday mornings, but he would try to be there on Sunday nights when he did, He was never too tired to go out to eat, He may have worked 12 hours a day, but all he needed was a shower and he was ready to go to Sherman.
He was a good person. Not only did he not complain, he did not get upset. Very few people ever saw him mad. The boys, with bouncing basketballs in house while he was watching TV, would sometimes irritate him. But in life in general, he was a very laid back person, He did not live by a clock. He was always late, because he did not rush. He did not talk about people. He was a very positive person.
He loved music. He worked to the radio, He sang in the choir, and he loved to go to musicals. He loved the music shows in the Ozarks. He had a great ear for music, He knew who was on tune and who was off – ME!
He loved his farm -the cows, the grass, and the hay. When he first planted the grass out there, he went every day to see if it was growing. He took the family to see his grass. Someone finally told him it would be months before he ever saw his blue-stem grass. He got his lake built this year.
He provided for us well, but he never had money with him. He died with 36 cents on him. His favorite line was – “no money.”
He loved to go to stores. He was a shopper whether it was for groceries or a new shirt. We would always go to the grocery store after eating out on Saturday nights. He loved to walk malls and go to Wal-Mart. What a match for me!
He liked children and teenagers. He enjoyed all the senior activities, the banquets, the proms, the senior trips, the concessions stands, the FHA parties, and outings. He missed this with my new job.
He loved to travel and see God’s country, although the Ozark Mountains were always his favorite. He loved amusement parks, and we went to many.
He this last year picked up a new sport with the boys. He developed a love for golf, and he even bought a set of clubs.
He loved the church and God. He tried the other side of life, and he knew that true life was only found with a relationship with God. He had a strong faith in God. He always gave his success as a painter to God. He believed in giving God his portion.
He was a family man and he loved me. I was his best friend. There was nothing he would not do for me. He was close to being a perfect husband. He would rather be with us than anything or anyone else. He would always set with me at ballgames or where ever we were. He was a good husband. We made the bed together every morning. We said a husband and wife who share this - will share everything and will stay together.
He loved the simple things in life – cows, grass, music, God and family, He had a big heart, and he never tried to impress anyone. He worked hard, but he played hard. He truly enjoyed life. There are no regrets.
If he had a few last words, it would be to tell you to live your life as this was your last day so that you don’t have any regrets. He would also say to have a strong relationship with God and have strong family ties.
Written by Marilyn Davis January 18, 1997