Benjamin “Benny” Lee Davis, 78, of Galveston, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at UTMB Hospital, with his family by his side. He was born March 17, 1942, in Galveston, and graduated from Ball High School with the class of 1960. While at Ball High, Benny served as Class President during his sophomore and junior years, and Student Council President during his senior year. He also lettered in football. Benny went on to receive his B.S. in Political Science from the University of Houston and pursued graduate studies in educational administration at Sam Houston State University. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity at the University of Texas at Austin.
Benny married Kay Winchester on July 30, 1965 and began a dedicated career of public service, which included serving as an educator with the Galveston Independent School District; Personnel Director and Assistant City Manager with the City of Galveston; Civil Service Director for Galveston Police and Fire Departments; Human Resources Manager in Coalinga, CA; Human Resources Director for the Jefferson School District; and a rewarding career in commercial and residential real estate development. His proudest developments were Golf Shores Subdivision on Sydnor Bayou and his tract at Broadway and Seawall Blvd.
Throughout his life, Benny felt it important to participate actively in his community and make a difference wherever he could. He served as President of the Texas Human Resources Association; President of the Communities in Schools nonprofit; and Founding Sponsor of the Galveston Youth Boxing Club. He was also a member of the Galveston Country Club, Sunday Morning Coffee Club, President’s Cabinet at UTMB, Chancellor’s Counselor for the University of Texas System; and made many memories with the Knights of Momus. In 1997, Benny was honored for his contributions and dedication to the Galveston Youth Boxing Club. He was also an honorable member of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Colonels.
Benny was a true gentleman with a kind, caring, and fun-loving soul. He was honest, fair, patient, and even tempered. He left a wake of goodwill and fond memories with all who knew him. Humble and without pretense, Benny treated all with respect regardless of their background. Benny was an irreplaceable and loyal friend, and always offered an ear, drink, dollar, or word of wisdom whenever needed. He was proud to be BOI and loved Galveston, especially his little slice overlooking Stewart Beach. He always had a quiet pride about him but was never boastful. Benny always told those closest to not be sad for him when he was gone, as he lived a full and good life.
Benny was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Fredrick Davis, Jr.; mother, Lillian Davis; son, Benjamin Duke Davis; half-sister, Marian Istre and husband, Morris; half-brother, Bill Davis and wife, Jeanette; niece, Beverly Istre; nephew, Harry Forester, IV; and sister-in-law, Marcia Anne Wilcox.
Benny is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Kay Winchester Davis; son, Bradford Winchester Davis and daughter-in-law, Kristen Jeanne Davis; grandchildren, Brayden Winchester Davis (4) and Lillian Jean Davis (1); sister, Anne Forester and husband, Harry Forester, III; brother, Thomas Frederick Davis, III; and numerous beloved nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Funeral services and burial will be private.
Pallbearers will be Bradford Davis, John Sullivan, David O’Donohoe, Kelly Forester, Tommy Forester, and Robert McLauchlan.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Harry Forester, III, Arthur Wilcox, Eddie Barr, Gerald Sullivan, and Michael Davis.
In lieu of flowers, the family would request donations to the Benjamin Duke Davis STEM scholarship at Trinity Episcopal School.