Oscar Ruel "Red" Davis, Jr., 94, Orangefield


Last updated 5/2/2023 at 11:11am

Oscar Ruel “Red” Davis, Jr. of Orangefield passed away quietly in his home on Saturday afternoon, April 29, 2023.

Visitation will be 5:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange, with memorial services in the Claybar Chapel at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 4. He will be laid to rest beside Valda in Forest Lawn Cemetery, West Orange, TX. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Oscar was born in Village Mills, Texas, December 3, 1928, the first child of Oscar R. Davis, Sr. and Bessmay Wilson. The Davis family expanded to include six children, four boys and two girls.

Oscar’s family later moved to Beaumont. He attended French Elementary, Giles Elementary, and graduated from Beaumont High School. He went to East Texas Baptist College in 1946-47, before returning home due to family finances. Oscar then worked at Dupont Sabine River Works, Orange, Texas.

In August 1950, Oscar entered military service. He enlisted in the United States Army on August 20, 1950, and went to Fort Ord, California for Basic Training. For Oscar’s work ethic and attention to detail, he was awarded Honor Trainee and assigned to Ft. Ord Leadership School. During leave after Basic Training, he came home and proposed to Valda Fay Harlan, whom he called “the girl of his dreams.” She accepted, but marriage was delayed due to his military obligations. From Leadership School, he went to Officer Candidate School, Ft. Benning, Georgia, in June 1951, graduating in December 1951, as Second Lieutenant, Infantry, U.S. Army Reserve, and ordered to Far East Command and Korea. Before leaving for Korea, Oscar married Valda on December 28, 1951.

Oscar’s combat tour in Korea earned him a Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge, and a Bronze Star. In June 1953, he returned home to his bride and new son Larry. He continued his Army career, retiring in 1983 with the rank of Colonel. He also returned to Dupont SRW, becoming a supervisor before retiring after 38 years to pursue a real estate career with Valda. Oscar and Valda were active in their community and church, while raising a family of three children. He served in many activities with his children, including chaperone for 4-H events, Scoutmaster for Orangefield Boy Scout Troop 216, and the Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Davis family traveled extensively, visiting U.S. national parks and historic sites. When the kids were grown, Oscar and Valda continued their travels, visiting Spain, Australia, Great Britain, other locales. They often had friends travel with them. They also joined the Orange County Square Dancers “The Merry Mixers” and saw more of the U.S. while with this group. Of the places they visited, they loved the Islands of Hawaii best, returning time and again. Sadly, after almost 66 years of marriage, Oscar lost the love of his life Valda. He filled that loss with the joy of helping others, just as he and Valda had done before.

Oscar was preceded in death by his wife, Valda Fay Harlan Davis; parents O. R. Davis, Sr. and Bessmay Wilson Davis; two brothers, James Odis “Joe” Davis and Benjamin Carl Davis, and sister, Alma Myra Cherry.

Oscar is survived by his sister Bessmay Dorine Allen and husband Russell (Bridge City); brother Robert Donald Davis and wife Peggy (Ft. Worth); his three children – Larry D. Davis and wife Lisa (Houston), Debra J. Crain and husband Darrell (Woodville), and Ruel E. Davis and wife Kim (Bridge City); five grandchildren – Jared A. Mitchell (Victoria), Brennon R. Mitchell and wife Alyson (Orange), Stephanie E. Davis (Houston), Katherine Davis-Winn and husband Alex (O’Fallon, MO), and Cameron Davis (O’Fallon, MO); three great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.



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