Elwood “Dixie” Davis
SIDNEY —Elwood “Dixie” Davis, 91, of Sidney passed away Thursday, September 19th at the Veterans’ Home in Oxford.
While his given name was Elwood, he preferred to be called Dixie. He liked to say that the only people who called him Elwood were his parents and his creditors.
Dixie was born on July 29, 1922 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Reverend Frank and Ethel Davis. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his younger brother, Milton.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Ruth, who lives at the Veterans’ Home in Oxford; a son, David (Margaret) and granddaughter, Lea, of Oxford; and a son, Robert (Catherine Clifton) of Guilford.
Dixie entered the US Army in October of 1942 and over four years of service rose to the rank of Tech Sergeant. He was particularly proud of being among those sergeants who trained combat troops to fight in Europe during World War II.
After leaving the military, he worked for several years for GLF, the forerunner of the current Agway. His transfer to the Bainbridge store brought him into the Tri-Town area.
In 1950, he began work at what was then Scintilla and later Bendix and Amphenol Corporations. He retired in 1981. He found his true calling in public service when he was elected first to the Village Board in Sidney in 1966, on which he served for 13 years, and then as Mayor of Sidney from 1979 to 1999.
At his retirement as mayor in 1999, Dixie mentioned several initiatives, including the acquisition and renovation of the Civic Center; the expansion of the library and airport; the relocation and growth of At-A Glance (now ACCO); and the development of tree planting and sidewalk construction programs as being among those that meant the most to him.
His community service also included managing pee wee and little league baseball teams; serving on the Sidney Library Board for 8 years; the Town of Sidney Board of Health for 35 years; and membership in the Bainbridge Baptist Church where he was both a deacon and moderator, and more recently, in the East Guilford Presbyterian Church.
Prior to entering the army, Dixie attended Penn State University. While he never graduated, he became a lifelong fan of Penn State football – a commitment he kept through both good times and bad.
Dixie believed passionately that, if they were willing, reasonable people could always find the best possible solutions for any community. And he believed in the power of gratitude. He was always grateful for the support of townspeople and village employees during his time in office; the generosity of family and friends throughout his life; and in his last years, the care he received from Dr. Lone and his staff and the entire staff at the Veterans’ Home.
Friends may call Friday, September 27, 2013 from 5-8 PM at C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel 21 Main St. Sidney, NY.
Memorial donations may be made to the United Presbyterian church of East Guilford, PO Box 147, Sidney, NY.
Condolences and memories may be shared online at www.landersfh.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel Sidney.