Cover photo for James Jay Davis's Obituary
James Jay Davis Profile Photo

James Jay Davis

October 30, 1937 — March 15, 2024

Huntley

James Jay Davis

James Jay Davis, 86, died on March 15, 2024, at Huntley Springs in Huntley, IL. 

Born October 30, 1937 in Des Moines, Iowa, Jim – as family and friends knew him – grew up in a  two-story brick house set on nearly two acres just beyond the city limits where there was little  development and few neighbors – but lots of stray dogs and cats that made their way to the  front door where Jim’s mother, Rebecca (Becky), lovingly took them in. Jim’s caring affection for  animals surely grew from his mother’s example. From his father, A.G. (Jim), he absorbed his work ethic, having learned as a young boy how to successfully manage a newspaper delivery  route.  

Jim graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School, where he played football and was on the  bowling team, and went on to pursue a B.A. degree in Journalism at the University of Iowa as a  member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the University’s top flight bowling team. He  continued with graduate study, earning a Master’s in Business Administration. Jim also joined  the Army R.O.T.C., later serving in the Army and continuing as a member of the National Guard.  His college career made him a lifelong fan of Hawkeye sports; he followed football and  basketball avidly and, most recently, Caitlin Clark and Iowa women’s basketball. 

From Iowa City, his first job took him to Flint, MI as a Labor Relations Representative for General  Motors, and eventually to Battle Creek where he spent most of his professional life as a Division  Manager with Eaton, Yale, & Towne. It was there that Jim distinguished the Eaton community  as President of United Way of the Greater Battle Creek Area, pushing United Way over its  million dollar mark as the largest donor division. He also supported Junior Achievement, the  Community Hospital, and Battle Creek Unlimited. He completed his career moves with United  Steel and Wire prior to retirement. His work with Eaton involved travel to numerous countries,  cultivating an interest that he further pursued in retirement, along with the pleasure of gardening and his passion for golf.


Jim is survived by his two daughters and their spouses: Laura Davis Ruff and David Ruff of  Crystal Lake, IL and Annie Gregory and Paul Gregory of Grand Rapids, MI; four grandchildren,  Charles James Ruff, Becca Ruff, Alaina Gregory and Paul Gregory; his sister, Margo Figgins; his partner, Sally Pulford; and his two devoted feline companions, Peony and Aster. He will be  remembered by them for the family archives he diligently created, his ready financial advice,  and his generous spirit. 


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to the Animal House Shelter in Huntley, IL and to the S.U.I sports program.  
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Jay Davis, please visit our flower store.

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