LITTLE ROCK — John Alexander “Jack” Davis, III, age 81, of Little Rock, passed away Thursday, January 30, 2014 after a brief illness. He was born September 30, 1932 in Little Rock, Ark., to Eva Norman Davis and John Alexander Davis, Jr. He was one of eight children growing up on the Davis Dairy Farm in Saline County.
He graduated from Bryant High School, where he served as student body president in the 11th and 12th grade. He helped start the first Bryant Hornet football team in 1949. Jack would still meet the “49ers” for coffee to this day. From 1953-55, he served in the Army.
He attended the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Maryland before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He was president of the U of A student body in 1958, the same year he earned his Juris Doctorate degree. He was a student member of the Faculty Athletic Committee, and his love for the Razorbacks continued throughout his life.
He was also a member of “The Law Review” and served as attorney general of the student body. After law school, he moved to Pine Bluff to join the Bridges law firm. The firm’s name was changed to Bridges, Young, Matthews & Davis when Jack became a partner. From 1979-93, he worked for United Dominion Industries, Inc., (formerly AMCA) in Hanover, New Hampshire and Charlotte, North Carolina, having served as senior vice president, General Counsel and Secretary. After retirement and moving back to Little Rock, he became of Counsel to the Rose Law Firm from 1993-1998. In 1998, he helped establish ADR Inc., the first alternative dispute resolution firm in Arkansas.
While doing mediations and arbitrations, he continued to practice law, one of his greatest passions in life. He joyfully worked until becoming ill in mid-December. His professional affiliations included the American Bar Association and the Arkansas Bar Association. He served as president of the Arkansas Bar Foundation, chairman of the Young Lawyers Section, chairman of the Executive Council and chairman of the Legislation Committee. He served as president of the Jefferson County Bar Association and was a member of the Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution and Arkansas Conflict Resolution Association. He was a board member and secretary of Association of Attorney-Mediators. He earned numerous Golden Gavel Awards for his contributions to the work of the Arkansas Bar Association.
His corporate directorships included First National Bank of Sheridan (AR) as an organizer and initial Board of Directors member, Dickerson Group, Inc., in Monroe, North Carolina, Tomes Landing, Inc., in Port Deposit, Maryland, Hardy Construction Company in Little Rock and Kyzen Corporation in Nashville, Tennessee. Throughout his career, Jack was active in civic and community affairs and endeavors. In Pine Bluff, he was on the Board of Trustees for First United Methodist Church, where he was also a Sunday School teacher.
For United Way Jefferson County, he was campaign chairman in 1965 and president in 1966. He was president of Kiwanis Club in 1969, served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Jefferson County Library Board where he was chairman from 1975-79, was vice president of the Jaycees and served on the Pine Bluff Planning Commission from 1992-97.
In Hanover, he served on the Hanover School Board from 1985-88. In Charlotte, he served on the Board of Visitors for Davidson College from 1990-93, Board of Directors for Central Piedmont Community College Foundation from 1991-93 and Board of Trustees for the Mint Museum of Art from 1991-93. In Little Rock, he was a member of Kiwanis Club, Arkansas Small Business Council and a volunteer Pulaski County probation officer. He was most proud of his involvement with Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock, serving on the Board of Directors and Development Committee. He was quick to share his devotion for Camp Aldersgate, a camp for individuals with special needs.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Norman, Terryl, and Joe. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Jessica Hill Davis; son Zan and his daughter Anna of Little Rock, daughter Amy and husband Greg Parker of Fayetteville and children Davis and Cate, son Austin and wife Dede of Little Rock and children Cameron and Jonathan, Jason and wife Mary Ellen of Black Mountain, North Carolina, daughter Alexandra of Little Rock, sister Catherine Milks of Benton, Arkansas, and three brothers, Jeff and wife Jean of Benton, Doyle and wife Louise of Marietta, Georgia, and Bob and wife Nancy of Benton. A true Southern gentleman with poise and grace, Jack loved his family and the law. He always had a gleam in his eye with a wry smile and interesting tales to tell. He was a most respected attorney and always humble and affable. His guidance, love and support extended beyond his own family and children. He was a mentor to many and influential in helping them in life. He believed in keeping the mind sharp by doing brain teasers and crossword puzzles. Going to Razorback games or watching them with Jack was always an event.
Services will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Drive in Little Rock, with the Rev. Britt Skarda officiating. Committal services follow at Graceland Cemetery in Pine Bluff at 2:00 p.m. Family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 at the Davis home, 1825 Spruce Street, Little Rock. Memorials may be made to Camp Aldersgate, 2000 Aldersgate Road, Little Rock, AR 72205. Arrangements are by Ralph Robinson & Son in Pine Bluff, www.ralphrobinsonandson.com.