May 20, 2024

John J. Davis

Posted May 20, 2024 10:18 PM

John J. Davis, 75, formerly of Junction City, KS transitioned on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at his residence in Topeka, KS. Visitation will be held Thursday, May 23, 2024 from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Johnson & Mass-Hinitt Funeral Home, 203 N. Washington Street. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, May 24, 2024, 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church with Father Kerry Ninemire officiating. Burial will take place following the mass at St. Mary's Cemetery with military honors.

If able, the family has requested wearing patriotic colors. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Helping Hands Humane Society of Topeka, 5720 SW 21st St., Topeka, KS 66604.John was born on July 7, 1948, the son of John and Edith (Kauffman) Davis, in Glassport, Pennsylvania. Growing up in Pennsylvania, he enjoyed spending time on his grandparents’ farm and has many fond memories of the time spent there. As a young boy, he found comfort in the lyrics of music. He was thrilled to get a transistor radio at the age of ten, earning him the nickname “Transistor Billy.” During his childhood and teen years, he spent many hours in the garage learning how to fix every car part imaginable. When he was fourteen years old, his family moved to California.

In 1966, John joined the army. He served with the First Calvary and was stationed at Ft. Riley, KS. It was during his time at Ft. Riley that he met his first soulmate, Christine Lauri. They began their courtship before he was deployed to serve his country during the Vietnam War. From 1967 to 1968, he was stationed in Vietnam serving as a mechanic. Chris and John continued their relationship during his deployment through love letters and correspondence. Upon his return, they were united in marriage on January 25, 1969.After a short stint living in California and an even shorter one in Idaho, John and Chris returned to Junction City in 1976 with their first child, Jeff. Their family was complete after the arrival of their three daughters, Laura, Michelle, and Erin.

John was a gifted mechanic and fixer of all things. Some things were fixed with great skill and other times things were “John Davised” through creative solutions. He was a hard worker with great integrity, often working multiple jobs when the kids were young. His long work hours resulted in him mastering the art of meditating with his eyes closed. Some of his employment included security guard at Geary Community Hospital, television repairman at Montgomery Wards, and Rainbow Bread delivery man. He loved to tell the story of the time he went on a service call to fix Lucille Ball’s television. During the 1980s and 90s, he also owned his own business, Mobile TV Service. In 1992, he began working civil service on Ft. Riley. Though it was hard, physical labor, he considered his work as a telecommunication engineer a hobby. He retired in 2011.

When John wasn’t working, one could often find him in the garage listening to bands like the Eagles while working on cars. He could fix just about any vehicle repair. Jeff often acted as his assistant in the garage, allowing him to learn the same. No matter how many hours John had worked in the day, his kids could count on him to show up for them. He was often seen in the stands of the St. Xavier gym still in his blue work shirt from the day. During football season, he could be found working the chain gang on the sidelines. John could be counted on to pull the float for the dance studio every year on the 4th of July parade and became the go to videographer for dance recitals. He spent many weekends packing and driving the Mobile TV van to the girls’ pageants. He even was convinced to participate in the Nutcracker and competed in pageants as the scarecrow. He was extremely generous with his time and talents. always willing to do anything he could to help family and friends.

During his 35 years as a Junction City resident, he was a member of St. Xavier Catholic Church and in his later years, a member of the Junction City chapter of the American Legion. John always loved cars, specifically mustangs from the 1960’s, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Harleys. When Chris died in 2008, just a month shy of their 40th anniversary, John began riding his Harley Screaming Eagle more frequently. He always said that being out on his bike was the best therapy.

John’s other lifelong love was animals, and he taught his children to treat them with great compassion. The Davis garage was often a safe refuge for the stray neighborhood cats and even an opossum or two. He made it his responsibility to make sure they were fed, warm and vetted when necessary. Over the years, they had many four-legged family members. Later in life, his dogs became his source of companionship. Those dogs were treated to daily walks, truck rides, and lots of treats. In 2011, John was lucky enough to meet his second soulmate, Carolyn Kiefer. In 2012, John moved from the family home in Junction City, taking up residence in Topeka. On August 31, 2015, John and Carolyn were married. When he married Carolyn, he was blessed with two adult “step” kids, Michelle Darveau and Johnny Paul Kiefer. This union brought John another large extended family that loved him dearly. Over the last decade, John enjoyed riding his Screaming Eagle, going to the gun range, and loving on his dogs, Honey Girl, and Sugar Baby.

John was very proud of his service to his country and his patriotism ran deep. After his retirement, if he wasn’t in his orange motorcycle gear, he could be seen wearing Vietnam veteran attire. In 2019, he was given the opportunity to take an Honor Flight to Washington DC. That trip was a highlight of his senior years, giving him a peace he never had before. John is survived by his wife, Carolyn; one son, Jeff (Tawnya) of Bonner Springs, KS; three daughters, Laura Monteiro of Lee’s Summit, MO; Michelle (Scott) Tweet of Haslet, TX; Erin (CJ) Hughes of Basehor, KS; and eight grandchildren, Anson, Orion, Mikayla, Cameron, Callie, Leon, Ellie, and Frankie; Stepchildren, Michelle (Rick) Darveau of South China, ME and Johnny Paul Kiefer of Weeks Mills, ME. He is also survived by his brother, Arthur of Farmington, UT as well as five nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his dogs, Honey, and Sugar Baby. John was preceded in death by his parents, John, and Edith, one brother, Jeffery and his first wife, Chris.