The accomplishments of Charles "Terry" Davis III are many.
He worked for President Ronald Reagan. He started his own business. He was married for 44 years. He was the father of three and the grandfather of five. He was a city councilman. He helped light the stage for actors. He was a Ford executive. The list could go on and on.
A third-generation Grosse Pointer, Davis was passionate about government and community involvement, his widow, Susan Davis, said. Government is not to be confused with politics, she said, noting how he truly cared about how his decisions impacted residents and neighbors.
Terry Davis died Aug. 14 from heart failure. Those who knew him well were aware that he had been dealing with medical issues but his death was unexpected, his wife said.
At 68, Davis was as active as ever as a member of a multitude of organizations, one of which he even started. He loved spending time with his grandchildren and still held his passion for government. He attended his last city council meeting less than a week before he died.
His wife describes Davis as kind and intelligent.
"He was the smartest man I knew," Susan Davis said. "He was incredibly kind."
The couple met through mutual friends and married within the same year, she said. Susan Davis is well-known for her role as a director with Grosse Pointe Theatre—a passion the couple shared. Any show Susan directed, Terry Davis worked the lighting production for the actors, she said. Most recently the couple worked and The King and I together, she said.
Davis was proud of the accomplishments the current Grosse Pointe Farms City Council had achieved—both financially and in projects, Susan Davis said. He felt the council had made very sound financial decisions, a topic near and dear to the financial planner, she said.
He was also very proud of the Farms Community Center at Pier Park. Not only did he like the building but he was proud that it was a project that could be shared by everyone, Susan Davis said.
First elected to the Farms city council in 2001, Davis sought and won reelection in 2005 and 2009. He served on the Parking and Traffic Committee, the General Employees and Public Safety Retirement System Committee and was the chairman of the Budget and Audit Committee.
Farms Mayor James Farquhar said Davis will be greatly missed.
"It's neat to have people trust you," Farquhar said of being an elected official. "He took that responsibility seriously. He wanted to make sure he was making all the right decisions for the people. It'll be a loss for our city."
Davis also tossed himself into the 2010 Republican primary for the 1st District House seat. He lost to Janice Dumouchelle but certainly was proud of his run and campaign, said Mike Trudel, who served on his election committee. Trudel also worked with Davis through the Grosse Pointe Theatre; as an actor Davis lit up on stage.
"He always had a smile on his face. He was a happy and supportive person," Trudel said. "He was a hard worker." Trudel always appreciated Davis' feedback, which he gave in a respectful manner and only after being well-informed on the particular topic in question.
Davis' role in government began when he was in college in the 1960s, when he was the College Republicans chair for the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, Susan Davis said. Later, he would head up the campaign for the state of Michigan in Ronald Reagan's presidential election, she said.
After he was elected, her husband worked in Washington, D.C. as the Associate Administrator for the General Services Administration—the business arm of the White House that oversaw federal buildings, the federal fleet of vehicles, office supplies and more. He was also responsible for the Federal Protective Service, which was a branch of security for all of the federal buildings.
"He was very proud of the opportunities," Susan Davis said.
Upon returning to the Grosse Pointes, Davis worked as the Chief Financial Officer for Ford Land during the construction of the Ren Cen downtown. He was active during construction with the project as well as when officials began recruiting shops and businesses to move in, Susan Davis said.
As a managing partner of his own firm, housed in the Punch and Judy building on the Hill, Davis enjoyed helping his clients, many of whom came to him with serious financial problems, Susan Davis said.
His most recent political efforts involved a drive held at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial for the Tea Party, in which thousands drove up, purchased an envelope with an empty tea bag to be sent to Washington D.C., his wife said. He was proud of the drive and the response it garnered, sher said.
Survived by three adult children, Susan Davis said one of her late husband's greatest passions was attending their games and meets when they were young. They played field hockey, soccer and other sports, she said.
Davis played golf and tennis and grew up sailing with his father. He had recently purchased a boat to enjoy sailing more in his spare time, but didn't get much chance to use it, Susan Davis said.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; his three children, Charles "Chip" Davis IV, Susan Grace Kendrick and Jonathon Pomeroy Straut Davis; his five grandchildren, Charles "Tristan" Davis V, Kaiden, Tremain, Kathryn Grace and Logan; and his sister Elizabeth "Buffy" Davis, of Florida.
A memorial service is planned for 4 p.m. Sat. Aug. 27 at . Rep. Tim Bledsoe advertised the memorial in his weekly newsletter to constituents and Grosse Pointe Theatre members received a notice via email Saturday of the service.