He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, selfless service, legal acumen, thirst for knowledge, love of history, sense of humor (including the story about his “Texas Ranger” belt buckle) and passion for roadsters (especially Mazda Miatas, of which he owned two). A long-time resident of Johnson City, the 77-year old was born in Memphis, TN.
Lee was an active member of Central Church of Christ in Johnson City. He also was active in the community, including as a long-time member of the Rotary Club of Johnson City (where he served as a Director and President) and a former member of the Rotary Club of Mountain City, TN (where he served as President), the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, and the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission (where he served as Chairman). He was involved in the ETSU Foundation (Director), Boy Scouts of America (Sequoyah Council and Troop 78), Tipton-Haynes Historical Association (Director), Johnson City Medical Center Hospital Foundation (Director), and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Lee was life-long learner who studied accounting and real estate at Memphis State University (B.B.A. Cum Laude 1964) and then attended law school at Vanderbilt University (J.D. 1967) on academic scholarship. He was an attorney, certified public accountant, real estate broker and certified specialist in estate law. In retirement, he attended auto mechanic school, in part so he could work on his Miatas.
Lee was an avid professional. After stints with a “Big 8” accounting firm and a publicly-owned real estate developer, Lee entered the private practice of law in 1974 in Mountain City, TN. In 1978, he moved his practice to Johnson City, where he practiced in various capacities until his retirement from Hunter, Smith & Davis in 2014. His practice focused on estate planning and probate, real estate, and business and tax matters. He was active in the American, Tennessee, and Washington County Bar Associations, the Tri-Cities Estate Planning Council (where he served as President), and the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (where he served as a Director, Secretary, and President).
Lee will be remembered by his loving wife of 53 years, Carla (nee Gates); sons, Tripp of Alpharetta, GA, and Jeff (Gretchen) of Arlington, VA; daughter, Ginger Anderson of Brentwood, TN; and four grandchildren, Sierra Anderson, and Coleman, Caleb and Naomi Davis. He also will be remembered by his sister, Kay Finley of Lavaca, AR; his brother, Bill Davis of Memphis, TN; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family. He was preceded in death by his mother, Kathryn Bell Davis; his father, Walter Lee Davis; and his sister, Linda Dulin.
Lee was extremely accomplished and received numerous awards, honors and accolades during his lifetime. However, he remained humble and did not want be the center of attention. Accordingly, at his request, there will not be a funeral service, although it is certain that many will celebrate Lee’s life. Memorial donations may be made to Central Church of Christ in Johnson City, TN, The Rotary Foundation, or The MDS Foundation, Inc.
Memories and condolences may be shared via www.morrisbaker.com.
Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 E. Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, is serving the Davis family. (423) 282 – 1521.