JOSHUA LEE DAVIS, JR. was the oldest of 13 children born to his parents Joshua Lee Davis, Sr., and Mary Elizabeth Davis (nee Richardson). He was born in Hollister (Halifax County), North Carolina in 1931 and delivered by his grandmother who was a midwife.
His parents Joshua Davis, Sr and Mary Davis; sisters, Yolanda Kennon and Rachel Evans; brothers Julius Davis, Donald Davis, Charles Davis and Ronald Ray all preceded him in death.
As the first born, and the oldest of 13 children, his siblings had to obey him. They agreed he was an excellent older brother who was never known to get angry or fight; and was always helpful and kind. His personality was such that he listened, gave good advice and never was one to criticize and was always supportive.
Growing up, JOSHUA LEE DAVIS, JR., helped his father make barbeque, snaked logs for the mill, worked tobacco and many other jobs in his small rural community. He often gave financial assistance to his parents, siblings, and close friends when he was able even with the responsibility of supporting his wife and growing family.
In 1949 he graduated from Eastman High School in Hollister, North Carolina. After high school, he was awarded a scholarship to North Carolina A&T to study agriculture. His scholarship was a direct result of his essay entitled, “Social Aspects of Wastages”, a writing to implore small farmers to embrace new technologies to improve their crops and ultimately their income. His scholarship was limited to tuition; therefore, he left and got a job in New Jersey as a cook to earn money to pay for room and board since there were no opportunities locally. He never got the chance to attend the University.
In his professional life, JOSHUA LEE DAVIS, JR., worked as a cook, construction worker, taxi driver, Western Electric employee, and as a Telephone Technician at New Jersey Bell/Verizon. After long hours of work, he would tutor his brother-in-law Joel in grammar and writing, while Joel was in college. Joel ultimately went on to earn a doctorate in history. When not working, he enjoyed reading and spending time with family. He was an excellent cook and made a family vinegar-based barbeque chicken recipe that was enjoyed by family and friends.
JOSHUA LEE DAVIS, JR., met Hester G. Davis (nee Reid). They fell in love and were married on December 15, 1951. To this union four children were born: Deborah Davis Ford (husband Rocky Ford), Valerie J. Brown, Joshua Davis, III (wife Hope), Shamon Davis Pickens (husband Iasiah Pickens, Jr.). The family has grown to include grandchildren Bianca Campbell (husband Jeremy Rushton Campbell, Sr.), A. Earl Brown, Jr., Rayna Brown, Rachel Ford, Iasiah Gabriel Pickens, III, Joshua Davis IV, Rebekah Pickens and great grandson Jeremy Rushton Campbell, Jr.
JOSHUA LEE DAVIS, JR., leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife of 69 years, Hester G. Davis, three daughters, Deborah Davis Ford (Rocky), Valerie J. Brown (Earl) and Shamon Davis Pickens (Isaiah), and one son, Joshua Davis III. Seven grandchildren, Bianca Campbell (Jeremy), Albert Earl Brown, Jr., Rayna Brown, Rachel Ford, Isaiah Gabriel Pickens, Jr., Joshua Davis IV, Rebekah Pickens, one great-grandson, Jeremy Rushton Campbell, Jr.: two brothers Dennis Davis (Suzie) and Melvin Davis (Cynthia); four sisters, Bessie Rice, Katherine Davis, Velma Mills (Charlie) and Hazel Silver (James); one brother-in-law Roger Evans and a host of nieces and nephews.