On Wednesday night I lost my longtime friend Jack Davis of Bartow, FL.
After a long long battle Jack finally found peace when his life-partner, Jeff Clark, made the tough decision that Jack had suffered enough. It was the right thing to do.
“Jack Davis, 72, of Bartow passed away Wednesday, March 14, at Memorial Hospital of Tampa from complications of diabetes. Born July 14, 1939, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Jack was the son of the late John E. Davis, Sr. and Marian E. Davis of Bartow. He moved to Bartow with his parents from Clearwater, Florida in 1953, and graduated from Summerlin Institute in 1958. Jack retired from the Polk County Clerk of Courts office in 2003 after 40 years of service. After his retirement, Jack volunteered at the Bartow Chamber of Commerce as a Chamber Diplomat, and was named “Diplomat of the Year” in 2007. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Bartow. Jack is survived by his partner, Jeff Clark of Bartow; caregiver, Ruth Harrison of Bartow; cousin, Betty McDonald of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and cousin, Jimmy Davis of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Jack will be remembered fondly by his many friends and acquaintances for his outgoing personality, sense of humor, and his acts of kindness, generosity and compassion. He loved helping people, and was always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. Family will receive friends Sunday, March 18, 2012, from 4-6 PM at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. Funeral services will be held Monday, March 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 310 S. Broadway Ave, Bartow. Interment will follow at Bartow Wildwood Cemetery.”
Our friendship spanned decades. Jack was a career employee with the Polk County Clerk’s office and was well-known and respected by all of us in the local judicial system.
On a personal basis, Jack was instrumental in helping me make the ultimate transition from Bartow to New York City. He would look out after my Bartow house, until I finally sold it in 1998, and, for years and years, forwarded my mail to me on a weekly basis.
I am so glad that I was able to visit with him several times back in January when I was down there for the birth of my great-granddaughter Saylor Falletta. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to see Jack when I was at my 60th class reunion because he had been transferred to a hospital in Tampa.
As Jack’s health declined his life-partner, Jeff Clark, was always by his side, placing Jack’s needs and well-being above all other things. The love between these two was what made these difficult times bearable. Bless you Jeff!!
Rest In Peace my dear friend. I know you are in a better place.