Saturday, April 11, 2020
1:00 PM EDT
Near intersection of 32nd St. and Graafschap Rd.
Holland, MI 49423
The gathering is an outdoor graveside service with no tent. The family welcomes those attending to view from their vehicles and/or keep a safe distance from each other and the family as recommended due to the COVID-19 virus.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Commemorative Air Force, Dallas Executive Airport
PO Box 764769
Dallas, TX 75376
Life Story / Obituary
Fred Davis, age 97, passed away on April 4, 2020 at the American House assisted living facility in Jenison, MI.
Fred was born on August 30, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Ernest Bates and Julia G. Bates (Broderick). Julia died less than a month after Fred was born and he was raised by his Aunt, Nellie B. Davis (Bates) and her husband Ernest E. Davis.
In 1941 he met and married Martha Louise Davis (Bloomer) in Howard, Indiana. The couple welcomed their only child, Linda Carol Davis (Gras) in November of 1942. Fred worked for the H. E. Morse Company in Holland, Michigan as a machinist until 1977 when he left the company and founded Ottawa Gage with several business partners. Fred’s wife of 48 years died at their home in Holland on Dec. 1, 1990.
Fred had several passions. In his younger years he was an amateur rock collector, displaying polished and tumbled rocks, gemstones, coral, and petrified wood in display cabinets at his home. His greatest passion became aircraft, specifically the aircraft of World War II. Fred joined the Confederate Air Force (now the Commemorative Air Force) and spent many winters in Arizona, restoring vintage war aircraft into flying shape. His abilities as a machinist and his skill at diagnosing and solving problems made him invaluable to the group. After retiring from actively working on aircraft he continued to meticulously build accurate models, many of which were later donated to a senior living facility that housed many retired pilots.
After the death of his wife, Fred devoted himself to service at the Holland Hospice facility by doing gardening, yardwork, snow removal, and anything else they needed help with. During his final years, Fred resided at the American House facility in Jenison, Michigan where he was active during the outdoor months, trimming trees and bushes, helping with yardwork and landscaping, and making friends wherever he went. Anyone and everyone who met him was amazed at the drive and work ethic he had, especially for a man of his years and with having had both knees replaced, a fractured vertebrae in his back, and eventually a broken neck, all of which he recovered from and continued to work as long as he was able.
Fred was preceded in death by his mother Julia Bates (Broderick), father Ernest Bates, aunt Nellie B. Davis and her husband Ernest F. Davis, his brother Paul Bates, sister Nellie Myrtle Bates, half-brother James Bates, and his daughter Linda Carol Davis (Gras). He is survived by his great nephew Barry Bates and his wife Cathy Bates (Pierce), grandchildren Cassandra Gras and Robert Gras, and great-grandchildren Deanna Gras and Tristan Gras.
Graveside services will be 1:00 pm, Saturday, April 11, 2020 at Graafschap Cemetery, located near the intersection of 32nd Street and Graafschap Road in Holland. Rev. Dr. Jonathan Brownson will preside at the committal service.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Commemorative Air Force in Fred’s name. Their mailing address is Commemorative Air Force, Dallas Executive Airport, P.O. Box 764769, Dallas, TX 75376. Arrangements are by Dykstra Funeral Homes – Mulder Chapel.