Funeral services for Donnie Davis, 53, of Forney, formerly of Lufkin, were held Friday, April 5, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Forney with Dr. Bill Lundy and Dr. Jimmy D. Pritchard officiating. Services were held Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the Carroway Funeral Home Chapel in Lufkin with Brother Charles M. Roberts officiating. Interment followed in the Gann Cemetery.
On Saturday, March 30, 2019, Donnie Davis, a loving husband and devoted father, passed away peacefully with his loving wife of 32 years at his side. He was born June 21, 1965 in Lufkin, Texas to Janelle (Bailey) and Donald Gene Davis. He grew up in church and he and his family were longtime members of Denman Avenue Baptist Church in Lufkin.
Donnie attended Central High School in Pollok where he helped lead the Bulldog baseball team to the State Title in 1983. He graduated in 1983 and went on to DeVry University in Dallas where he obtained his Bachelors degree in Computer Science.
He married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Leasa Thigpen, December 6, 1986. They raised two daughters, Megan and Monica, and one son, Donald Blake. Donnie was a proud PaPaw to his four grandsons, Ethan, Owen, Maddux, and Grady, as well as his grandpup Rhea.
Donnie’s love of sports started at an early age. He grew up playing basketball, baseball, and tennis. He enjoyed coaching all his kids in various sports, most notably Monica’s select softball team, the Jacks, from 1998-2004. Soon after coaching softball ended he returned to tennis - the game he poured himself into up until his death. Donnie was a proud member of the USTA. His local affiliation was with the USTA Men’s League at the Garland Tennis Center in Garland. He was ranked 56th in the State of Texas in the men’s 4.0 division. Donnie was a member of the Dallas Tennis Association and team captain for teams out of Westlake Tennis Center in Mesquite.
Above all this, the thing that he was most passionate about was his faith in God. Donnie and his family were longtime members of First Baptist Church of Forney. Over the years Donnie felt God calling him to serve in a more specific way. In 2011, he picked up a guitar for the first time and taught himself to play. God led Donnie down the street from their home in Forney to Heartland Fellowship Church where he served as the worship pastor for the past five years. This is where his love for music and passion for missions grew. Part of his heart lay with the missions efforts in the Dominican Republic led by Earl Hammons. Donnie spent time there and delivered a guitar that he presented as a gift to Pastor Jose Rosario at Borueo Baptist Church, Mao, Dominican Republic.
Donnie left an impression on everyone he met. His smile was contagious and he lived his life without fear. His legacy is one that his family is so proud of and will pass on to future generations.
If you remember one thing about Donnie remember how much he loved. Donnie loved God, his wife, his parents, his brother, his daughters and sons, and his four precious grandsons.
Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Leasa (Thigpen) Davis of Forney; son, Donald Blake Davis of Nacogdoches; daughters and sons-in-law, Megan and Ryan Ferden of Nacogdoches and Monica and Austen Wood of Forney; grandchildren, Ethan Ferden, Owen Ferden, Maddux Wood, and Grady Wood; mother, Janelle Davis of Forney; brother and sister-inlaw, Chris and Davelyn Davis of Granbury; mother-in-law, Shirley Thigpen of Lufkin; father-in-law and mother-inlaw, Jerry and Kathy Thigpen of Woodville; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Teresa and Roho Pouland of Diboll and Missy McCleskey of Pollok; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Gene Davis; brother-in-law, Darrell Thigpen; and sister-in-law, Stephanie Davis.
Pallbearers in Forney were Roho Pouland, David Mc-Cleskey, John Vines, Lane King, Earl Hammons, and Joe Giovino.
Pallbearers in Lufkin were Coach Jack Lee, Mike Thigpen, Brian Thigpen, Roy Westbrook, Kevin Westbrook, and Charlie McClendon.
Memorial contributions may be made to Landmark Baptist Missions, Inc. Attn: Hammons, P.O. Box 489, Shelby, North Carolina, 28151-0489 or online at hammonsmission.org .
The family welcomed friends and loved ones from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday evening at Carroway Funeral Home in Lufkin.
Memories and condolences may be added, and webcasting of the Lufkin services may be viewed at www.carrowayfuneralhome.com.
Carroway Funeral Home, Lufkin, directors.