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Phillip Howard Davis   

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2023 at 3:49 pm

Phillip Howard Davis, 86, of Lewisburg, Tenn., passed peacefully at home with family by his side on October 16, 2023. Phil was born December 10, 1936, in Columbia, Tenn. He graduated from Marshall County High School in 1955, where he served as class president all four years and voted “Mr. MCHS.” Phil graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1959 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. He was an ROTC student and a member of the Epsilon Pi Honor Society.

Phil is predeceased by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard C. Davis of Lewisburg, Tenn. and his daughter-in-law, Bunki Bankaitis-Davis.

Survivors include his devoted wife of over 65 years, Lannie Davis (aka Sarah Lanier Morgan, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. H. A. Morgan, Jr., of Lewisburg, Tenn.), his children Phillip Howard Davis, Jr., of Bellingham, Wash., Jon Morgan Davis & Mary-Margaret Banner of Charlotte, NC, Elizabeth Davis Boles & Brian Boles of Nashville, Tenn., and his grandchildren Armen Alexander Davis of Bellingham, Wash., Mia Katherine Davis & Josephine Lanier Davis of Charlotte, NC, and Patricia Mary Boles of Nashville, Tenn.

In 1959, Phil and family moved to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where Phil served, was promoted and honorably discharged as Captain, US Army. After five years working for Arnold Research Organization in Tullahoma, Tenn., Phil accepted a job with IBM and relocated the family to Chapel Hill, NC. Chapel Hill quickly became the place the Davises would always consider “home,” and produced five UNC Tar Heel fans, the most avid being Phil Davis. His entire family enjoyed Tar Heel sports, music & arts, and benefited educationally, living in this gem of a college town. Phil worked for IBM in the notable Research Triangle Park from 1966-1992. The Davises have been dedicated members of University United Methodist Church, located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, since 1966. Phil will have a memorial plaque in the church’s garden.

Phil was deeply involved in his children’s lives and activities. He and Lannie never missed a sporting event, ballet recital, or concert, and Phil never passed up an opportunity to serve as a parent board member for the high school band, Boy Scouts, and more. Phil Davis was the kind of man who should have been declared Father of The Year, every year!

A lesser-known fact about Phil is his impressive accomplishments as a musician. He was a remarkably good drummer who racked up performances with the likes of The Everly Brothers, Pat Boone, and Brenda Lee, all by his early twenties. As testament to where his priorities lay, he declined the opportunity to tour with his favorite Nashville recording artist, Poppa John Gordy, to remain at home with his growing family.

The world was a better place because Phil Davis was in it. He will be profoundly missed. A memorial service for Phil was at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church, Lewisburg, Tenn.

The family has asked for contributions in Phil’s honor be made to:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation, Inc. (EIN: 59-1711424) for “The Bunki Bankaitis-Davis Memorial Scholarship” (656393). A link to make a tax-deductible contribution can be found at The Foundation can be reached at 919-537-3818 to make a gift over the phone or to obtain a mailing address.

Bills-McGaugh & Hamilton Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to assist the family with the arrangements. Condolences may be extended online at