Howell ‘Hal’ Swanson Davis

Published 10:38 am Friday, May 17, 2024

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We announce the passing of our dearly loved father Howell (Hal) Swanson Davis, age 91. Hal departed this world peacefully on May 13, 2024, surrounded by loved ones.

Hal was born on May 26, 1932 to Jesse and Ethel Davis. His early years were shared with siblings, Jesse (deceased), Blann (deceased), Cleve (deceased) and Ray.  Hal had a deep appreciation for his family, friends, Church, and community. He always had a special way of drawing people in and making them laugh and feel comfortable. One of his mottos was “if someone needs a smile, give them yours”.

Hal graduated from Mineral Springs High School, in Winston-Salem, NC in 1950.

He was a proud Navy veteran who served his country during the Korean War. His love of country and respect for others who served knew no boundaries.

Hal was married to his beloved wife Betty Lou Tillman Davis on March 7, 1953, until her death in September 2013. Together they built a life filled with love, laughter, and the joys of raising their 3 children: Karla (Mary-Ellen), Brian, Mark (Deena). Hal was so proud of his 2 grandchildren, Elsa and Austin. He was a devoted husband and father and was known for his presence at his children’s sporting events, often as a team coach, and their theater productions. His creative way of writing poetry, singing silly songs, and language known as “Hal-isms”, were the stuff of family legend.

As a young child he was fascinated with airplanes and in 1957, thanks to the G.I. Bill, he was able to fulfill that dream and take to the skies. He attended Piedmont Airlines Flight School and achieved a Commercial Pilots Certificate. He had a First Lieutenant Rating as an active mission pilot for the Colorado Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

His passion for detailing cars was more than a hobby or side job, it was an artform, with countless hours spent helping friends get top dollar for their used cars or helping his sons earn some college money.

He worked for AT&T for 34 years before he retired in 1985. On the day he retired he was told that there may be an adjustment period to go from working fulltime to being retired. He always said that period for him lasted “from the front door of the office to the door of his car.”

The family would like to say a special thank you to Hal’s girlfriend, Christine Miller. During the past 9 years they have enjoyed sharing music, coffee with friends at the “table of knowledge”, meals, Church, and companionship.

A service to celebrate Hal’s life will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at 2 p.m. at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel in Advance.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to Trellis Supportive Care.