Cover photo for James  Terrell  Davis, Sr.'s Obituary
James  Terrell  Davis, Sr. Profile Photo
1924 James 2021

James Terrell Davis, Sr.

May 29, 1924 — May 14, 2021

James Terrell Davis, Sr. of Decatur passed away in the early morning hours of May 14, 2021, just 15 days shy of his 97th birthday. An Atlanta native, James lived in the Adamsville neighborhood during the Great Depression, later moving to Park Drive near Piedmont Park.

At the age of 15, he met his future wife, Viola Mae Bensley whose family had just moved into the neighborhood from Baltimore. James often recounted the story of their meeting. He was devoted to Mae throughout their 66 years of marriage. She died in 2010. Together, James and Mae raised three children: Terry, James Jr. (Jim), and Mark.

Immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, James enlisted in the Navy at age 17, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. While on leave in Newport News, VA in 1943, he and Mae were married. Following the war, he earned his college degree from Emory University and worked for GMAC until his retirement in 1984. He lived in the same house in Decatur from 1959 until two years ago, when he moved into assisted living.

Later in life, James and Mae became active members of St. Thomas More Catholic Church. James is survived by his daughter Terry Davis Followill and his daughter-in-law Karyl Kuhn Davis, his grandchildren Ansley Davis Murphey (Marshall), Jimmy Davis, Zack Davis (Mara), Nick Davis (Jillian), Catherine Followill, Peter Followill (Crystal), and eight great grandchildren who knew him as Papa.

James loved talking with both friends and strangers and had a special gift for making people laugh. He enjoyed watching UGA, Georgia Tech, and Falcons football games. His family and friends will always remember him for his kindness, sense of humor, and unflappable gratitude and optimism.

A family funeral mass will be held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Decatur.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Terrell Davis, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 4

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree