Walter Sears Davison, Jr,
Kirksville – Walter Sears Davison, Jr, 89, from Kirksville, Missouri, returned home to his heavenly father on Friday, October 1, 2021 at Knox County Nursing Home in Edina, Missouri, where he was residing following a stroke.
Son of Walter Sears and Mary Christina (Ombarger) Davison, he was born October 3, 1931 in Gibbs, Missouri. He was the youngest of six children, four of whom predeceased him in death; Faye (Elmer) Perry of Wichita, KS; Margaret (Chris) Christianson of Colorado Springs, CO; Rosalee (Carl) Coy of Kirksville, MO; and Thomas (Velda) Davison of Columbia, MO. On May 26, 1962, he married Ellen Margaret Kirkpatrick and she predeceased him in death on January 11, 2000.
Walter grew up on the family farm east of Millard, MO, attending one-room schools in Millard and Prairie View before graduating from Kirksville Senior High School in 1949. Walter then graduated from the University of Missouri and obtained two bachelor’s degrees in Agriculture (1957) and Engineering (1959). In addition to agriculture, he has been a licensed professional engineer and dedicated public servant throughout his working life. He served in the United States Army, Missouri National Guard, and Army Reserve. His military credits included basic training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and at the Guided Missile Serviceman School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1954, he was also a crew member of the first Nike underground missile system at the White Sands Proving Grounds in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Walter’s career as a civil engineer began as a land surveyor. He worked in northeast Missouri for the US Agriculture and Soil Conservation Service, then moved into the public service. He was a municipal engineer and director of public works for the town of Clinton, Missouri from 1973 to 1978, before retiring as director of public works for the town of Kirksville in 1995. During his tenure, Walter was became the co-namesake of the D-squared award. , the highest honor bestowed on outstanding engineers by the Missouri chapter of the American Public Works Association. He benefited from many years of APWA activities and, while a member of the Missouri Chapter, held various leadership positions, including President, from 1979 to 1981.
Upon retirement, Walter devoted his time to volunteering and giving back to the community through the causes he loved: the Adair County Historical Society, the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program and the Locals of the Sons of the American Revolution and the American Legion. He was an avid genealogist and family archivist, contributing to countless family histories beyond his own, as well as the author of “Thomas Caldwell Davison, A Book on Genealogy”. At family reunions and get-togethers, Walter could be counted on to bring photos, newspaper clippings, and lots of interesting family history information to share.
Walter was also a member of the First United Methodist Church in Kirksville. It was a quiet faith expressed by a patient and generous love for his family and a concern for his friends. He was a truly loving father who exemplified and deserved respect in all of his actions. The memories he created through his service, family trips, farm work, music and time in the community will be forever cherished by those who knew and loved him.
Walter is survived by one sister, Mary Lou (Jerry) Slawson, of LaPlata, MO; her children John (Lois) Davison and Jane Davison; four granddaughters Emily (David) Hyland, Meggan (Adam) Henry, Indyanna Louder and Haven Louder; three great-grandchildren Hannah and Ben Hyland of Belfast, Ireland, and Isaac Henry of Kirksville, Missouri; and several nieces and nephews with whom he loved to talk and laugh.
Walter is survived by his wife of 10 years and his loving partner, Reta Glasgow Davison of Edina, Missouri. Together they shared the twilight years, enjoying many happy moments with family and friends in the area. They loved to dance, visit garage sales and listen to country music.
The funeral will be on Monday, October 4 at 11 a.m. at the Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home in Kirksville. Visits with the family will start one hour before at 10:00 a.m. Guests are respectfully requested to wear masks.
Memorials are suggested at the Adair County Historical Society in lieu of gifts or flowers.
Arrangements are in the care of Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home.
Posted by Kirksville Daily Express October 1-6, 2021.