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James Irvin Davis

James Irvin Davis, fondly known as “James I.”, was born to Frank and Ruth Davis on November 17, 1943, in Morton, Mississippi. He died Jan. 1, 2024 at the age of 80. He was a talented athlete who loved playing sports and received scholarships to play football at Pearl River Junior College in Mississippi and then to Livingston State College – now the University of West Alabama (UWA). While at Livingston he served as football team captain, president of the “L” Club and was elected as Mr. Livingston State College. After graduating, James I. embarked on a career of coaching, teaching, and school administration that spanned fifty years in places such as Thomasville High School, Columbia High School in Mississippi, Marion Military Institute, Livingston University, Francis Marion High School, and Riverside Junior High School. He has a special place in his heart for Southern Academy where he spent nineteen years coaching football, basketball, and golf, teaching math and serving as headmaster. Some of the highlights of his time there included coaching the girls basketball team to its first ever state championship and being a part of the coaching staff for several AISA state football championships. After retiring from school administration, he pastored five churches on the Mt. Hermon charge including Mt. Hermon, Pleasant Valley, Mt. Carmel, Liberty and Ramey’s Chapel United Methodist churches. Aside from his love of sports and working with kids, he was passionate about the game of golf and looked forward to Tuesday golf outings with former college buddies.

He was a Godly man who was dedicated to serving the Lord, his community and family. James I. is survived by his wife Mary Jo and two daughters, Anna Mary Harrison and Jamye Litty (Landon); four granddaughters Anne Burt Harrison, Amelia Harrison, Mary Nelson Litty, and Anna James Litty; two grandsons, James “Jay” Harrison, and Davis Litty. He is also survived by his sister, Luann Watts (Mike); four nephews and one niece.

Services were held on Friday, January 5, 2023 at Mt. Hermon Methodist Church at 1:00 pm with the Rev. Steve Vernon and the Rev. Doug Jolly officiating, Magnolia Chapel South directing. Visitation was held at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial followed at Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Greg Davis, Steve Davis, Jeff Watts, Matt Baltz, Landon Litty, and Burt Harrison. Honorary pallbearers were Louise McBride, John Mc- Cants, Alfred Harless, Jack Hazelrig, Tim Smith, Joey Smithson, Bob Taylor, Bill Henry, and Shaun Bonds.


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