In Loving Memory

Jack R. Davidson

Decedent Image

December 8th, 1925 - April 12th, 2018

Visitation

Thursday, April 19th, 2018   10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Lenexa Baptist Church,
15320 W 87th St Pkwy,
Lenexa KS

Funeral

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Lenexa Baptist Church,
15320 W 87th St Pkwy,
Lenexa KS

Interment

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 at 1:30 PM

Corinth Cemetery,
8301 Mission Road,
Prairie Village Kansas

Obituary

Jack Randolph Davidson (Dad) was born December 8, 1925 to Wilbur and Eileen Davidson. The Davidsons resided in Mission, Kansas and they bore Jack’s older brother, Kenneth in 1923, and Jack and Jill (the twins) at home 2 years later. Jack attended Shawnee Mission Rural High School (now known as Shawnee Mission North) and was drafted into the United States Navy in 1944 just prior to his graduation. He received his diploma in advance of graduation, not attending the ceremony as they did at the time giving priority and expediency to the recruits into military service.

Jack served in the Pacific Theater during World War II aboard the USS Okaloosa, a Haskell class attack transport, having earned rank of Seaman First Class in his two year service. His awards included the Victory Medal, The American Campaign medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal (with 1 Star) , and the Philippine Liberation Campaign ribbon. Jack spoke briefly of the times of having defended his ship as it was attacked, and spending some time in a hurricane along with one other shipmate on lookout in the USS Okaloosa’s crows nest, apparently forgotten as the storm approached and the hatches were closed. He spoke of rescuing the hundreds of sick and surviving prisoners and homeless civilians from the sea while participating in the largest Naval Battle recorded in history at Lyte Gulf on October 23-26, 1944.

He recalled and spoke on rare occasion of the close buddies who lost their lives in his foxhole while it was overrun by the enemy on the beach one night, while he was taking his turn crawling to get coffee for his group. He said that God had protected him that night, but deeply saddened for his friends.

Jack always accepted his duties faithfully in service to his country and was honorably discharged from Naval service at the age of 21, in Norman, Oklahoma, June 5, 1946.

Jack moved back home after the war and started his career at General Motors in Fairfax, Kansas and he served in numerous roles at the largest car assembly plant in Kansas city for 41 1/2 years. Jack loved cars, loved driving, he loved racing, and touring, and was a handy mechanic most of his life.

On April 5, 1953, Jack married Claudella “Kitty” Butler. Both were always busy serving their church singing in choir, working in the nursery and constantly teaching while worshiping with the many friends they knew and loved. Both Jack and Kitty taught Sunday school and were heavily engaged in church every day the doors were open. He taught the 9th grade boys’ class at Nall Avenue Baptist for many years, while she labored also teaching young students of all ages. Kitty was known as an “expert resource” of the Bible, having influenced many students and adults over the years to follow Christ. It was at Nall Avenue in the early 1960s where Jack was ordained as a Deacon. Throughout his entire adult life, he continued to serve as a Deacon or Elder at Nall Avenue, Olivet Baptist, Red Bridge Baptist, and Woodson Avenue, and finally Lenexa Baptist as an usher. Jack specialized in outreach ministries- he really loved to talk to others.

After 9 years of marriage, the couple adopted Julie, then seven months later, Jan. Their lives became busier than ever raising their daughters while participating in all their activities. Jack never missed a choir or orchestra concert. The girls always loved meeting their Dad at home after his day shift was over at GM, because he met them just as school was over. He almost never missed the opportunity to play and spend time with his family nearly every evening. Family was always important to Jack.

In 1985 and 1986, the couple gained two “sons” in Bill Koehn and Greg Earlenbaugh, who were classmates from High School. The boys spent countless hours with Dad working on cars, drinking coffee, going boating, cooking out, talking about guns and making homemade ice cream. They each shared a very special bond with him and that continued up until Dad’s passing.

1987 brought Jack’s retirement at GM. This allowed him to spend even more time with his friends and family. Of course, that didn’t mean that he stopped working. Work was really never work- it was his life. He continued to work on cars, help his neighbors, and volunteer at church and he was always picky about keeping up his yard.

In 1989, the first grandchild Aaron Koehn, arrived followed in 1993 by Beth. Then, in 1997, twins Jack & Laura Earlenbaugh were born and in 1998, along came Lisa. Once the grandkids came along, he became known as “Grandpa”. Each of the grandkids have so many special memories of spending time with Grandpa and Grandma. There were always happy days at the grandparents home. Loaded up on sweets, the kids would go home with a belly ache and an abundance of energy, prepped and primed for their parents who always appreciated that act of kindness.

In 1999, we were sad that Kitty passed away after struggling with cancer. Dad followed us to Lenexa Baptist Church where he joined and became active in the Senior Adult ministry and was welcomed by so many other friends. It was during this time that he met, fell in love and married Barbara Oehlert in 2004. He gained two stepsons – Mark (Debbie) and Brian (Donita) as well as Barb’s son-in-law Jan, multiple grandkids and great grandkids. He always looked forward to sharing time with all of his family.

Jack and Barbara served together at LBC helping with Wednesday night dinners, funeral meals, attending senior events and trips and serving as a greeter/usher. They were constant in their service and they never met a stranger. Jack remained active serving the church until his health would no longer allow it. Even when he couldn’t serve in an official capacity, he continued to ask everyone he met (in the hospital, care facilities, doctor’s offices) “Do you know the Lord?”

Jack Davidson will be deeply missed by his family, friends and anyone who had the opportunity to meet him. He was known for his strong handshake and infectious smiling face, his warm spirit and his witness to the life of Jesus Christ who pardoned our sins and sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we may live in eternity with him. Jack loved all who knew him. He was never known to be a man of conflict, harsh language, or speak of others unfavorably. He was constant in care and encouragement of his wife, his family, and never grew weary of hard work or service to the Lord and his local church. While he hurts no more from the pains he left in this world, we know he would welcome us each to join him someday.

Funeral services will be at 11:00am on Thursday, April 19, at Lenexa Baptist Church, with visitation beginning at 10:00am. Following a luncheon at the church, interment will take place at Corinth Cemetery, Prairie Village, Kansas. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Lenexa Baptist Church.



Remembrances

  • Wed, Apr 18th, 2018 at 2:28 PM

    Fulton and I met Jack when he and Barbara was dating. We enjoyed Jack's friendship. Jack was a good helper with Wednesday night dinners.. He always had a smile and handshake. Jack was a very kind and a joy to be around. He will be missed .

    Fulton and Martha Huddleston, Shawnee Ks


  • Mon, Apr 16th, 2018 at 9:59 PM

    Sorry I won't be able to attend the services but know you are in my thoughts and prayers. It was a
    privilege to know Mr. Jack. He was one of the kindest and most genuine man I have had the
    pleasure of knowing. This world is a poorer place without this godly man. Blessings to you all.

    Vicky Kasten, Springfield, MO

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