William Davis Jr.

Obituary of William B. Davis Jr.

William B. Davis Jr. Vancouver, Washington October 26, 1928 ~ December 20, 2020 William Birchard, Davis Jr. October 26, 1928 - December 20, 2020 William “Bill” passed away peacefully in Vancouver, Washington at the age of 92. Bill was born in Bremerton, Washington, to Lindalee (Sigler-Miller) and William Birchard Davis, Sr. but spent most of his childhood in Waltham, Massachusetts. Bill and his brother fell in love with baseball, spending many summers attending both Red Sox and Braves games and also playing on multiple little league teams around the Boston area. In 1945, his brother and mother left Massachusetts and moved to Seattle, Washington where Bill attended Roosevelt High School and was a star pitcher. In the Fall of 1946, Bill enrolled at the University of Washington with aspirations to study aeronautical engineering so he could follow in his father’s footsteps to become a pilot as well as play baseball. In 1949, Bill left UW to enter the US Navy Flight Training Command at Pensacola, Florida. While in Pensacola, Bill continued playing baseball and even pitched his first no-hitter! He earned his wings in 1951 and fought in the Korean War, flying AD Skyraiders after attending Fighter Weapons Training at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego, California. In 1955, he returned to the University of Washington to finish his Bachelor’s degree. Bill was hired out of college by Northrop Aircraft and entered the Navy reserves. After a couple of years, Bill went back to active duty, flying and instructing in the Navy and taking multiple missions around the world. In 1959, he met the love of his life, Cora Ann Kelly from Corpus Christi, Texas. They were married in May of 1960 and lived all over the country as Bill continued to serve, eventually during Vietnam, flying A-4 Skyhawks aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. Bill retired from active duty in 1966 and returned to his career as an engineer, next with McDonnell Aircraft piloting the F-4 Phantom. In 1967, Bill was accepted into the Edwards Air Force Base Test Pilot School, where he flew the F104 Starfighter, one of fastest airplanes of its time, then became a regional test pilot for the Federal Aviation Administration out of JFK, New York. Bill and Cora welcomed their first child, a son, Robert McNair, III. In 1973, the FAA promoted Bill to the Washington DC headquarters as a test pilot/engineer for the Eastern Region. It was there that they welcomed their second child, a daughter, Elizabeth Kelly. Bill always longed to return to the Seattle area, and when an opportunity to work at Boeing came, they moved across the country and started a life there. Bill worked as a test pilot engineer for Boeing for fifteen years, with his final project being the certification of the Boeing 777. Bill had taken up golf in his 20’s and played as much as possible during his working and retired years. Over his years playing golf, he had five hole-in-ones! He also loved to tinker with cars, including his 1958 Plymouth Fury that also traveled the country with him and Cora Ann, and gardened, made wine and fired up a mean barbecue. Bill was a generous, loving and supportive husband, father, brother, son, friend and neighbor. He was the kind of guy to stop and help the stranger on the side of the road with a flat, loan out tools and a hand to the neighbor building a new deck, dress up as Santa for the neighborhood kids and slip $20 into the pocket of his kids or grandkids when they left after a visit. He is preceded in death by his mother Lindalee and father William, Sr. and is survived by his brother, Robert McNair Davis, Jr of Edmonds, Washington, his loving wife of 60 years, Cora Ann of Vancouver, Washington, his son Robert “Bobby” Davis (Rebecca) of Glendale, Arizona, daughter Elizabeth Martin (Michael) of Portland, Oregon, three beautiful grandchildren Macy Ann Martin, Liam McNair Ruiz Davis and Jack Davis Martin, and several nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will take place when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at the University of Washington College of Engineering. Condolences can be left at https://cascadiacremation.com/tribute/details/2691/William-Davis- Jr/condolences.html#content-start
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