Roy Merrill Davis

July 24, 1924 ~ May 5, 2020 (age 95)


The family of Dr. Roy "Bud" Davis shares the sad news of his passing on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at his home, the Vineyard Assisted Living Community in Kalamazoo, surrounded by many who loved him.

Bud was born to Edith and Leland (Lee) Davis on July 24, 1924, and raised in Hartford with his sister, Wilma, spending most of his years on Linden Street, the location of his parents’ floral business and home. He learned to drive early so he could help his father with deliveries, and always claimed that was the beginning of his love affair with cars. He also credited his love of movies to sister, Wilma, who let him tag along with her to see the latest showing at the Heart Theatre on Main Street.

In 1942, Bud’s graduation from Hartford High School was the kickoff for several long and successful careers. First, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and became a pilot. He graduated from flight training as a 2nd Lt. on Aug 4, 1944, and was stationed in India and Burma, one of the youngest pilots in his outfit to fly the Hump in WWII.

After the war ended, Bud married his high school sweetheart, Marion Kling, who had graduated from nurses’ training. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Western Michigan University. These degrees led to his second career which included teaching at Watervliet High School, as well as at St. Joseph High School and at Lake Michigan College.

Bud continued his education at Yale University on a John Hay Fellowship, which was followed by a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he taught while completing his degree. He also taught literature and writing in Ann Arbor Public Schools, and remained active in training English teachers for the U of M.

Marion and Bud lived in Ann Arbor until retirement, when they returned home to Hartford where Bud continued his third career as a writer. He had been writing a feature column for “The Tri-City Record” since 1985 and leaves behind several as yet unpublished stories. He also leaves a yet unpublished book, “The End of the Line (Flying the Hump in WWII).” Bud’s three published books include “Student and Teacher Perceptions of a Peak Learning Experience,” “Paw Paw River Times and People," and “Paw Paw River Days & Nights."

Most important to Bud were his people! Those who preceded him in death include his wife and Chief Accountant, Marion; his oldest daughter, Deb Connor; and his sister, Wilma Weston. Surviving family members include: Gary (Deb) Connor of Farmington, Rebecca (Jim) Steele of Kalamazoo, Rob Davis of Hartford and Laurel (Jim) Jelenek of Holt; grandchildren: Catherine Connor of Northville, Dr. Michael (Beth) Connor of Portland, Ore., Danielle (Michael) Aschenbrener of Denver, Kristy (Rob) Davila of San Antonio, Heather Banks of New Baltimore and Kelly (Brad) Chandler of Lansing; great-grandchildren: Maxwell Aschenbrener, Valentina Aschenbrener, Emma Davila, Davis Davila, Alexander Bell and Landon Chandler; many nieces and nephews; and all of the wonderful staff at Vineyard Assisted Living.

Due to current social distancing restrictions, Bud will be laid to rest next to Marion with a small private graveside service in Maple Hill Cemetery. There will be a Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life luncheon later this summer for all who wish to attend. The family has entrusted Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at

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