Fred E. Davis, 88, of Clinton, formerly of Sedalia, died Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.
He was born July 17, 1925, in DeKalb, Mo., a son of the late David Emerson and Honor L. (Easter) Davis. On Aug. 11, 1950, in Clarksdale, Mo., he married Margie Ann Ketchem, who survives of the home.
Mr. Davis was raised and educated in DeKalb. He attended Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, where he earned his bachelors and masters degrees. He did his post-graduate work at Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich. He served his country honorably in the Army Air Corp during World War II flying 26 missions as a B-24 tail gunner.
He was the founding president of State Fair Community College, serving from 1967 until his retirement in 1984. After retiring he served as interim president of East Central, Three Rivers, and Ozarks Technical Community Colleges. He was the first director of Missouri Community Colleges. It was under his direction the first 13 community college districts were formed in Missouri. He was past president of the Missouri Association of Community Colleges. In 1990, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri Association of Community Colleges; in 1992, the Commissioner of Education presented him with the State of Missouri Pioneer in Education award; and in 1997, he was selected as Distinguished Alumni of Northwest Missouri State University. Mr. Davis was the first recipient of the Mel Carnahan Hall of Fame Award in 2004.
He served as past member and president of the Sedalia Rotary Club and past president of the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of United Methodist Church, Clinton. He was a member of the Clinton Elks Club and the Henry County Historical Society.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Thomas Guy Davis, and his wife, Joyce, of St. Charles; a daughter, Jane Ann Luper, and her husband, Joe, of Newbury Park, Calif.; two brothers, Harry V. Davis, of Leavenworth, Kan., and Roy R. Davis, of Clinton; three grandchildren, Jackson Davis Luper, Ellen Leslie Davis and Jacob Thomas Davis; several nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and a host of friends.
Mr. Davis was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Waiva Jenkins; and four brothers, Marvin, Frank, John and Bill Davis.
Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27 at McLaughlin Funeral Chapel in Sedalia.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at United Methodist Church in Clinton with the Dr. David Maggi officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 1 pm until service time. Inurnment will take place at a later date at St. Joseph Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Joseph.
The family suggests memorial contributions to SFCC Foundation in care of McLaughlin Funeral Chapel. Condolences may be offered online at www.mclaughlinfuneralchapel.com.