James Edward Davis was born on April 25, 1954 in Bastrop, Louisiana to the union of Katherine and Killion Davis. He spent his early years in Bastrop where he enjoyed growing up with his six siblings – four brothers and two sisters. He often got into mischief - like disturbing wasp nests and getting stung. As fiercely as his mother cared for her children, she was also a
strong disciplinarian. Needless to say, James was frequently disciplined for his antics. He learned a lot about farming and animals spending time with favorite Uncles Shorty and Rush.
He was also a firsthand witness to racism in Louisiana. When he and his siblings worked to help his mother make a living, white landowners unsuccessfully tried to pay her less than what she earned.
When James was 12, he moved with his mother to St. Louis, and later to Kansas City when he was 14. A year later, he relocated to Oakland, California where his two older brothers Killion and Donnie lived. At this time, he was also reunited with his father. He ultimately graduated from Berkeley High School in 1972. One of his first jobs in Oakland was with the Caterpillar Tractor company where he worked until he returned to Kansas City. Back in Kansas City as an adult, he decided that he wanted to work for Pepsi Cola and persistently showed up there every day until he was hired. He drove a forklift for the company for 35 years. In 1992, James was blessed with the birth of his only child Katheryn, named after his beloved mother. Katheryn has since graced his life with four beautiful grandchildren: Zayden, and Zoeii; and twins Zuri and Zane. Sadly, Zane passed away as an infant.
In 1997, he married Charmainne Etoile Johnson, a loving union that has blossomed into more than 26 years. Charmainne and James have shared countless enjoyable activities including gardening, league bowling, cruising, recreational gambling, fishing and time with their grandchildren.
James was well loved by his in-laws and took several trips with them. His father-in-law Frederick Johnson, was always anxious to talk to and go places him. He had a lot of respect for James’ ability to just look at something and know how to fix it. His mother-in-law Anna Marie Johnson, would frequently send him back to Kansas City with freshly baked cinnamon rolls. This
would garner quite a few comments from other airline passengers eager for him to share, which of course he did not.
James especially liked fishing. He broke the Lake Erie Yellow Perch record on a fishing trip with his father-in-law and fished on Lake Ontario catching Trout and King Salmon. He was a regular on Lake Perry in Kansas. He also enjoyed horse racing and frequent card and domino games with his brothers Butch and Vincent, and friends. James always looked forward to telephone calls with his sisters Versie and Shalley. He loved watching wildlife adventures on television and developed an encyclopedia-like recall about animals and nature. James did not meet strangers. He was always ready with a smile, quick jokes and
comical one-liners. He has acquired life-long, devoted friends on his journey with Pepsi Cola and everyday interactions who, along with his family, will forever cherish time spent with him. Charmainne, the love of his life, lovingly and proudly declared to him: “You are already a cancer survivor. In September of 2020, doctors predicted that you would have 6 months to a
year to live.” James persistently defied the medical odds.
James Edward Davis loved his wife, loved and was dedicated to his daughter and grandchildren, and enjoyed his life. He is predeceased by his parents, Killion Davis and Katheryn Davis, sister Versie Everett and grandson Zane Franklin. He leaves to celebrate his life, devoted wife Charmainne; daughter Katheryn, grandchildren Zayden, Zoeii and Zuri; siblings Donnie
(Linda) of Gault, California, Shalley Lee of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Killion (Evelyn) of Folsom, California, Willie “Butch”, and Vincent (Shirley); sister-in-law Cheryl Johnson of Cleveland, Ohio; as well as nieces, nephews, special Pepsi friends and many more, too numerous to mention by name.