Davis, "Bill" as he was known, was
the second born child to Rose Marie and William
Davis on December 9, 1927 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.
He was one of seven children, (one little girl
was lost) leaving three boys and three girls.
His Sisters were Rose Marie, Catherine, and
Dorothy and his Brothers were Harry and Jim.
(All of my Aunts and Uncles remain and live
in Michigan or Florida).
Times were very
hard growing up during the great depression. Daddy
started picking coal before he was old enough
to work. His Father worked in the coal mines of
Pennsylvania. He graduated from Ypsilanti High
School (Michigan) in 1945 and when he was finally
old enough, he went to work for Mayer Fletcher
Photography in Ypsilanti where the family had
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during peace time
and served as a Photographer stationed in San
Francisco, California until he was honorably
When he returned to Michigan, Bill would later
work for Preston Tucker at The Tucker Automobile
Factory. Many of you know the story of Mr. Tucker
if you saw the movie "Tucker, A Man and His
Dream". Although the job was short-lived,
Bills interest in cars, especially the Tucker,
would remain with him through the years until
his untimely passing.
1948 Tucker Automobile
When Mr. Tucker
was put out of business by the "Big Three" automakers,
Bill went to work for a company called Smith,
Hinchman & Grylls Aeronautical Ice Research Lab
located in Willow Run, Michigan. He was employed
as a Purchasing Agent.
Then, in 1956, Bill
was offered a position with Glen L. Martin Company
which was later Martin Marietta Aerospace and
is now Lockheed-Martin Company in Denver, Colorado.
He would remain with Martin Marietta until his
retirement some 33 years later.
In late 1952 while working there, he would meet
a young woman by the name of Dolores Anne Sloss
who was employed as a Technical Typist. They went
on their first date in May of 1953 and were united
in marriage on August 8th, 1953, just 3 months
~ Visit Mom's
Page Here ~
During the first five years of marriage, they
remained in Ypsilanti and Bill went to work for
Fingerle Hollister Wood Lumber Company as a Salesman.
on numerous projects in his years in aerospace
beginning with the Titan Missiles and then the
Viking Lander, followed by the Space Shuttle,
and Peacekeeper Missile Projects. He was Manager
of Program Planning and was highly respected
by his peers
(and of course his family!).
Bills work at
Martin Marietta began in Denver, but just a
few months after going to work for them, he
was transferred to Vandenberg Air Force Base
in Lompoc, California. They would settle in
nearby Santa Maria.
Ten years later, he would return to Denver for
a project that lasted an additional four years.
In March of 1972, he was again transferred,
this time to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was
here that he was on the External Tank Project
for NASA's Space Shuttle Program. He located
in Slidell, Louisiana, a suburb across Lake
Pontchartrain and commuted until 1976.
It was in 1976
that the company once again transferred him -
happily he returned to Santa Maria. Bill would
remain there until his retirement.
This was Bill's dream ~ to retire in California.
In his leisure time, he enjoyed refurbishing
automobiles and had a passion for golf. He had
longed to return to the climate and friends
he had left behind on the Golden Coast.
Bill had purchased a 1948 Packard Clipper while
living in Louisiana and upon retirement, he completed
the restoration of it. It was his pride and joy.
He also restored a 1967 Mustang which he completed
shortly before he passed away.
When he wasn't working on the cars, he was teeing
up at the Santa Maria Country Club where he served
as an officer for several years. He loved the
game! He took my Mother to Hawaii on an annual
golf trip for several years.
The Santa Maria Country Club
Very suddenly, on January 15th,
of 2001 as he had just celebrated his 74th Birthday,
Bill became ill and was hospitalized with what
they thought to be pneumonia. This came as a
big surprise because Daddy had always been blessed
with excellent health. He seldom caught a head
Bill left behind, his loving wife
Dolores who was happily married to him for 49
years and their two children, Denise (myself)
and Michael. He was also survived by his 5 siblings
and a host of nieces and nephews. In addition,
he left virtually hundreds of friends and former
co-workers behind. We are all lost without him
and miss him with all of our hearts. We know he
is with God and the angels and are thankful that
he did not suffer for long.
A few days and many tests later, the real horror
came. He was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. It
was already in Stage 4 when it was found. He
would endure only two chemotherapy treatments
before he was called home by God on March 29th,
2001. Even in death, he was the most dignified
man I will ever know. He didn't want to impose
on anyone and died peacefully at home in his
own bed with his family with him.
Daddy was cremated and interred
in the Tower Of Light in the Memory Gardens
in Santa Maria. The memorial service was held
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2001 at 1:00pm. The services
were held on what would have been his Mother's
101st Birthday. The memorial card was especially
meaningful and read as follows:
God saw you getting tired,
And a cure was not to be;
So He put His arms around you,
And whispered "Come to Me."
With careful eyes we watched you,
We saw you pass away;
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hardworking hands at rest;
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.
A second service was held in
Ypsilanti, Michigan for the remainder of the
family and friends about a month later proving
that he touched the lives of many across the
Bill was very respected and
his life was filled with many accomplishments.
Our world is not the same without him and his
guidance and love.
We love you!
~ May you rest in peace ~
Taken in Las Vegas on the Occasion of
His 70th Birthday