IBCS Founder and Executive Director Emeritus, Dr. Robert Eugene Davis of Rockmart, Georgia passed away on Tuesday morning, July 5, 2011 at Redmond Medical Center in Rome, Georgia. From his birth on October 10, 1929 until his death on Tuesday, Dr. Davis made a profound impact on his community and this world. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia to John Isreal and Dorothy (Eckols) Davis and was the oldest of two boys. His mother was a beautiful and vivacious lady; his father a pioneer of what would later be known as the Frito-Lay Company. Bob was a precocious child, quick to learn and completely dedicated to helping out in his fathers business. At age four, while standing on a box to be tall enough to reach the counter, he began spreading peanut butter on crackers and folding them into neat packaging. At age 12, Bob moved with his family to his father's family farm in Rockmart, Georgia, so that his younger brother, who had been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, could have the benefits of country living. He quickly made a place for himself in this small community Dr. Davis attended Rockmart High School where he played football, earned his Eagle Scout and was a member of the Beta Club, and Tri-Hi-Y. At 130 pounds and wearing glasses, he was an unlikely football participant, but nonetheless determined to get his man. The night of the Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlanta, it was a play-off game that delayed him that one fateful day from attending the Tri-Hi-Y meeting where many other youths died. He began his extensive education at Georgia Tech in 1947 with a goal of becoming an aeronautical engineer, bringing to life those pen and ink airplanes that head been drawing all through World War II. After one year, he transferred to Emory University Medical School where he earned his doctorate in dentistry in 1950. After graduating from dental school in 1954, he married Kitty Hughes a nursing student at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta and was immediately shipped off to Africa with the US Air Force. A captain in the U. S. Air Force, he served as a medical officer with the strategic Air Command during the Korean Conflict in French Morocco. The years went by and Dr. Bob earned his residency at the Veteran’s Hospital and Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA and received his board certified degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957. During this time, he had enlarged his family by four ...all energetic boys. Life was full.
Dr. Davis had a private practice in St. Petersburg, FL from 1959-1963 and became the first oral surgeon in Rome, GA in 1963. Upon his retirement in 1995, he moved from Rome to Rockmart to restore his old family homestead.
He was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Xi Psi Phi Professional Fraternity, the American Dental Association, Floyd County Dental Society, Northwest District Dental Society, Georgia Dental Association, Southeastern Society of Oral Surgeons, the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (diplomat), the Georgia Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the Georgia Academy of Dentistry (President, 1983), Boy Scouts of America, Sons of the American Revolution, Polk County Farmers Club, the Rome Rotary Club and many other professional organizations. He was a staff member at Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center where he served at served as Chief of Staff in 1978. Dr. Davis was a member and deacon of Rockmart First Baptist Church where he served on many committees, taught an adult Sunday school class and was a member of the choir. In 1968, Dr. Bob discovered some little faces in the Atlanta airport and his life took on another twist. He had no idea these little characters were about to change his life, but they did. You know most of the rest of the story. Dr. Bob wrote his first Imagical World of Bossons, publishing it just before the death of his beloved Kitty who died in 1983 of breast cancer. The founding of the International Bossons Collectors Society in 1980 and the travel involved with his book signing was a welcomed solace. In 1984, Dr. Bob met Kathy and the two married in 1986, just in time for his new bride to attend the first IBCS meeting. Getting her to love Bossons proved more difficult than getting her to fall in love with him, but he was tenacious. It wasn't long before he had Kathy involved in his beloved hobby. Dr. Bob published the second Imagical World of Bossons in 1994, and supported IBCS with his time and talents for 20 years publishing Bossons Briefs and initiating annual international meetings in 1986, which continue today. The 2011 meeting held in Atlanta, honored Dr. Davis for his dedication and lifetime contributions to Bossons collectors worldwide. He spent years of genealogical study research in preparing a third book, An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Isreal Pickens Family. He was President of the Davis Family Reunion Committee and received honors for his dedicated service in June.
Dr. Davis was preceded in death by his mother, his father, his first wife Kathleen Hughes Davis his brother John Richard Davis. He is survived by his wife Kathy Perdue Davis, sons Robert Scott Davis (Debbie) of Rome, John Eric Davis (Janet) of Dawsonville, Richard Frederick Davis of Rockmart, Bruce Alan Davis of Rockmart, Brent S. Hayes of Roswell and Kristen Marotte (Paul) of Atlanta. He was the beloved grandfather of 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Attendees at this year’s annual meeting in Atlanta were blessed that Dr. Bob and Kathy made the trip from Rockmart to give us all the opportunity to visit and spend some time with them. The friendships that resulted from Dr. Bob’s vision with IBCS are immeasurable and we are a family because of him. He was a wonderful man and very dear friend. God bless Dr. Robert E. Davis.