Remembering Davis

Family Memories Two
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Sister Leslie:
"My memories of Davis are his quick laugh, patience, and easy smile. He needed all those things to be big brother to so many of us. Thank heavens he had his identical twin, David, to share the burden.

Davis was always helping Mom or Dad around the house or playing with one of us. He did all with a gentle style. He had a good sense of humor, but a bad sense of timing which meant he was accident prone. This was a great concern to us when he headed to Vietnam.

On March 20, 1966 I remember him giving me a hug and trying to explain that our Dad had passed away in the night. He was the anchor I hung onto while there was chaos all around.
The next day Davis took me, Laura, and John uptown to buy a kite. He explained why we weren't in school when the clerk questioned us. It almost ruined our moment of escape from such a harsh reality, but he handled it well. Soon we had that kite flying high when I asked Davis if he thought Dad could see the kite from heaven. He didn't hesitate a second but said,
'Sure Dad can see us just fine and he'll always be with us.'
That sure helped me through a rough time and 18 months later it helped me when we were told that Davis was killed.

I always wanted to know more about the time Davis spent in Vietnam, but there was never anyone to ask until 34 years later when we were contacted by Richard Pierce. I have been very thankful that he found us because I know now that Davis was not alone in a strange place, but surrounded by many fine friends. It is tough to hear some the information, but I feel I have been given a gift. The gift of knowing my brother a little better even after he's been gone so many years."
- Leslie Jones Simonson [December 12, 2001]

Niece Courtney:
"I never got to meet you, but I see you in my dad, your twin brother. I have learned alot about you and I know that you are a great man; I just want you to know how proud I am to say that you are my Uncle. Even though it hurts alot not to have known you I know I will know you one day.

You fought and died serving our country, and I, like alot of other people, will never forget that, we all love you Uncle Davis.
Your Niece ~ Courtney Jones"
Courtney Jones [October 10, 2001]

Davis sent these fancy silk pajamas to his youngest sister Laura as a gift.

Youngest Sister Laura:

"Although I was only 8 years old when Davis was killed I have several very clear memories of him.

The thing I remember the most was how kind and gentle he was. He must have been to give his little sister so many piggyback rides up and down the staircase without complaining. Davis, I have great faith you know how much we all love you and miss you.

Thanks so much to Rich for spending his time sharing with us. Of course, thank you to all who served on our behalf - may you never be forgotten."
- Laura Jones Butti [December 8, 2001]

Tribute from an eight year old: "Davis is dead. My dear brother. I loved him. Love, Laura".

Niece Lindsay:
"I have thought about you alot over the years, listening to my father (your twin) talk about how special you are. I don't think I fully understood what he meant until I met Rich.   He told us how much you meant to them and I finally found out how much you meant to everyone's life you touched. I sometimes wonder if you would be bald like my father now and if I could tell you apart.  I would have loved the chance to get to know you and see for myself how special you were. You mean alot to everyone you were around, and someday I will meet you and finally figure out what everyone else all ready knows.  You have a very special place in my heart and always will.  Till we meet...
Your Niece,
-Lindsay Jones [February 26, 2002]

Brother John:
"It's somewhat difficult to attribute memories to just Davis as I always thought of Davis and David not as a single person by any means, but certainly as always together.
I remember...
...Davis and David always talking about their paper routes and thought that was so 'grown up' especially since Davis delivered the Cleveland Press and had to get up really early for it. I remember thinking it was a big deal. One time, for some reason, Davis and I stayed at home alone, and since he had to get up early for his route, he was supposed to wake me and drop me off to Mom at Flora Horr's home. Well, I convinced him I was fine and stayed by myself though I'm sure he got in some trouble for allowing it.

...Playing army with Davis and David in the back yard on Forest St. especially after the big tree was cut down and how many great hiding places there were with the big sections of tree trunk strewn about the yard.

...Being taught to play baseball by them and eventually inheriting Davis's catcher's mitt and to this day, batting left handed thanks to southpaw, David.

...Davis teaching me how to use the power mower instead of the 'baby' reel type mower. (in retrospect, surprising our folks allowed this given Davis's propensity to accidents-losing a toe, calf stepping on foot, etc.)

...Being taught to ride a bike down the little 'hill' in the back yard.

...Davis and David helping me build many, many model cars and Davis making one into a 'funny' car but never understanding what was funny about it.

...Racing slot cars in the basement.

...The time the tornado hit and Dad, Davis, and David weren't home and how worried we all were. Then Davis and David going to Pittsfield to help reset headstones at the cemetery.

...One of my fondest memories was something that occurred frequently. Since I shared a bedroom with them, I remember falling asleep with them reading by the light of the old, fluorescent headboard light, with them speaking quietly to each other, and with the sound of Davis's pink AM clock/radio softly playing music (with a fair bit of static).

...At the funeral, my cousin and I 'stood guard' at the entry doors and would try to synchronize opening the double doors when people approached so we could effect a military flair.

...Larry Mellick playing taps at Davis's funeral and years later I played taps at his father's funeral.

Leslie just gave me a 2001 Christmas ornament and it, in part, said 'Rediscovering Davis'. I thought that was utterly perfect as while I, by no means had forgotten Davis, I hadn't thought of him much other than on May 9th and November 2nd each year.
It was truly a wonderful gift being contacted by Rich and learning what actually happened that night and that Davis touched so many other lives.
Love you brother."
- John Jones [December 30, 2001]


Youngest Brother Philip:
"I was five years old in 1967, and have only faint memories of Davis in life. I remember him holding me by the hands and swinging me between his legs like I was on a trapeze, getting higher in the air with each pass.

I remember the Minister and a Marine coming to the house and everybody crying. It reminded me of the year before when our Dad died.

Then the funeral, with the glass-topped coffin and Davis down inside. There was a living Marine there standing at attention in his dress blues, and I remember him never changing his expression but there were tears coming down his cheeks. Later I learned that it was Davis and David's boyhood friend Russ Sword. He also presented the flag to my Mom after the flag folding ceremony at the cemetery.

I remember somebody trying to console me and telling me that I was a mighty lucky little boy to have a United States Marine as my guardian angel. That made me proud.

I am so thankful to have met Rich and to know that he was there with Davis. Then to have Doc share with us - it is all truly a blessing. I have a profound respect for their service to this country, and the kindness of the gift that they have given us."
- Philip Jones [December 8, 2001]