Jerry Wayne Davis was born June 4, 1943, to Wayne and Mary (Karpuk) Davis in Butler, MO. He spent his childhood and school years in Adrian and was a graduate of the class of 1961. After high school, Jerry attended college at the University of Missouri at Rolla where he received both his undergraduate and then his master’s degree in Civil Engineering.
After graduation he worked for PPG Chemicals and Shell in Texas. Then moved to Green Construction Co. in Iowa. He then traveled to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska where he was employed by Banister Construction Co. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia where he was employed by Aramco from 1977 until he retired in 1996. At the time of his retirement, Jerry was a Senior Project Manager responsible for the design and construction of all major cross-country pipelines in Saudi Arabia. He had professional engineering registrations in 8 states.
Jerry travelled internationally while living in Saudi Arabia and visited over 50 countries. On one notable trip he and his son, Doug, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Jerry loved sharing stories of his travels and adventures. His grandson, Jake, dubbed him “Indiana Jones.”
Jerry was active throughout his life in several clubs and organizations. He started young joining the Adrian Boy Scouts and was a member of the Mic-O-Say Tribe. He unfortunately was unable to complete his final badge to earn Eagle Scout due to a broken arm. He participated in sports all through high school and was the first recipient of the Jimmy Sexton Award. While he was at the Rolla School of Mines he played football for the Miners and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Later in life, he was a participant in the Crescent Hill Masonic Lodge #368, the Adrian Optimist and the Bates County Mizzou Club.
Upon retirement, Jerry returned to Adrian where he enjoyed “city farming” attending to 80 acres of prairie grass and flowers near Freeman. He also enjoyed Chiefs and Mizzou football games and tinkering in his shed. He was an avid outdoorsman, he loved hunting deer and turkey on his family farm. Over the last 30+ years he took multiple trips to South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska and Canada with his brother, Ritchie, and friends, who lovingly nicknamed him “Dwayne” on one of their hunting excursions and “Big Fish” on their fishing trip to Canada. One of the hunting trophies Jerry was most proud of was a six-foot black bear from the Gulf of Alaska.
Jerry was married to his wife, Debbie, on June 9, 2010. Their favorite hobby was traveling throughout the United States and Canada. His favorite destination was Alaska and they drove their camper there several times. In September of 2021, they moved into the home they built together east of Adrian.
Jerry lived a very full life and had experiences most dream of. He could be a little salty at times, earning him another nickname, “Grumpy Grandpappy.” But he will be remembered most for his encyclopedic knowledge, quirky sense of humor and generosity.
Jerry Wayne Davis is preceded in death by father, Wayne Davis and mother, Mary Karpuk Davis. He is survived by his wife, Debbie Davis, Adrian, MO; daughter, Kristen (Stephen) Burns, Adrian, MO; son, Douglas (Valeigh) Davis, Frisco, TX; step-daughter, Dr. Janette (Brian) McVey, Columbia MO; brother, Ritchie Davis, Adrian, MO; 8 grandchildren: Nora Burns, Jake Burns, Parker Davis, Campbell Davis, Hunter Davis, Aven McVey , Brennan McVey; and his faithful dog, BJ.