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Services will be held 11:00 am Friday January 11, 2019 at New Bethel Baptist Church, 1507 Hillman Street, Youngstown, OH for Mr. James C. Davis Sr., 89, who passed away on December 23, 2018 with his family by his side. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
Mr. Davis was born February 24, 1929 in Youngstown, a son of George A. (aka) Jesse Poindexter) and Calanthe Black Davis. He attended the Youngstown public schools and received an internship through Lykes Steel Corporation at age 16 while attending The Rayen High School. He became a Journeyman Bricklayer. Mr. Davis was a proud Korean War Army Veteran. Jim attained the rank of Corporal and received an Honorable Discharge. Jim was a nationally and locally renowned community activist and labor organizer. He was the first African American in the U.S. elected to head a Masonry Department at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. Locally he served as a shop steward and grievance committeeman. Nationally he was selected and trained by A. Phillip Randolph (organizer of the Pullman car porters and lead organizer for the 1963 March on Washington) to be a recruiting lieutenant for Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania with the Negro American Labor Council. The N.A.L.C. was a 100,000 member organization, a precursor to the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) of which Jim was a founding father and executive council member.
Additionally: a founder of 717 credit union; board member of Youngstown Sheet & Tube credit union; board of directors Youngstown Legal Services committee; board member West Federal Street Y.M.C.A.; member Steelworkers local 1462; member Friendship Baptist Church, Girard; board member Model Cities program under Mayor Jack Hunter; member Jackie Robinson Eastside Development Corporation; President Tri-County Minority Contractors Association; board member Youngstown Area Urban League; President Youngstown Oliver Montgomery SOAR (Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees) Chapter. He also served as past President of the Youngstown/Warren chapter of CBTU and member of A. Phillip Randolph Institute (APRI). Nationally he served as vice-president of the Negro American Labor Council and President of the local Youngstown chapter; campaign worker for Carl Stokes first black mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. Jim had two construction companies, Harambe and Davis Construction, in which he worked on state and local projects throughout Ohio.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Josephine Hamilton Cunningham Davis, mother of their five surviving children: Mrs. Irene M. (Ronald) Alexander of Tampa Bay, FL; Mrs. Josephine (James) Thomas of Piscataway, N.J.; James C. Davis Jr. of Girard; William (Jeneth)Davis of Aurora, CO. and Phillip Davis of Girard. He was also preceded in death by his second wife, Vivian Patmon Davis and adopted son, Paul Patmon Davis. Surviving this union is adopted, son Jeffery Patmon Davis of Gary, IN. Additionally, his siblings who preceded him in death were Edna Davis Hopkins, George Davis, Frank Davis, Leola Davis Collins, Gussie Mae Davis Payne, Wilkie Davis, Edward Davis and his best friend and fellow civil rights pioneer, Oliver Montgomery.
He is survived by his siblings Mrs. Mary Frances Davis Logan and Mr. Winston Davis of Youngstown, Oh; Mrs. Calanthe Emma Davis Counts and Mrs. Rosetta Davis of Shreveport, La. He is also survived by grandchildren: Kaemoni James Taylor of Tampa, FL., David Edward McKinney Jr. and Bryon L. McKinney of Piscataway , N. J., Devon Davis of Baltimore, MD, R. Amiri Alexander of Midland ,TX., Angela Davis Matthews (Jonel) Of Chantilly Va., Amoni R. Alexander of Tampa, FL., Phillip J. Davis of Columbus, Oh; Susan (Simba) Mahaso of Phoenix, AZ; Paidamoyo (Desmond) Tettehof Aurora, CO; William Tanaka Davis Jr. of Aurora, CO., and Charles Davis of Aurora, CO. and eight great-grandchildren.
Friends may call from 4:00-7:00pm on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at L.E. Black, Phillips and Holden Funeral Home, 1951 McGuffey Road Youngstown, Ohio, and on Friday, January 11th , one hour prior to the services (10-11:00 am) at the church with services starting promptly at 11:00 am.