Townson-Rose Funeral Home

Obituary for Jean Barnhill Davis


03/17/1939 - 12/03/2017


Jean Barnhill Davis, 78, of Murphy, died Dec. 3, 2017, after a brief illness, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 40 years, George Patrick Davis, Jr. She was of the Christian faith.

Jean was born March 17, 1939, in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, to the late Catherine Minor and William Alfred Barnhill. She was raised on Vickers Avenue, Durham, where she met George, the love of her life in the 5th grade at Morehead School. Jean was in the Durham High School class of 1957; while George completed high school at St. Francis in Asheville. They attended college together in Chapel Hill.

She graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry in 1959, with a Certificate of Dental Hygiene. She was a member of the North Carolina Dental Hygiene Association.

On August 13, 1960, Jean and George were married at The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Durham. Jean worked for several dentists in Durham to support their family while George finished his bachelor's and law degrees.

In 1965 they moved to Bryson City, with their first child, Tripp. They had two daughters, Keir and Brook. The family moved to Murphy in 1977. Jean volunteered in patient care at Murphy Medical Center for several years. She was a member of Murphy First United Methodist Church. She joined the congregation of the Episcopal Church of the Messiah in 2002, and served on the Vestry and as Junior Warden. She devoted her life to her husband, children and two grandchildren, Mo and B. She served on the board of Reach and the Hulbert-Johnson Friendship House, and was a tireless advocate for the unfortunate. She volunteered at the Sharing Center food pantry, and recently enjoyed exercises at the Hiwassee Valley Pool and Wellness Center.

Jean was a competitive bridge player, loved to read, and watch Carolina Basketball. She was a loyal, compassionate and caring friend, with a quick wit and great sense of humor. Her husband described her as "the sweetest girl in the world." Jean was a loving mother, sister and grandmother.

In addition to her husband and parents, Mrs. Davis was preceded in death by her sister-in-law, Beth Cooke Barnhill.

She is survived by one son, George Patrick "Tripp" Davis, III and June Smith; two daughters, Keir Davis Adam of Harrisonburg, Va., and Brook Barnhill Davis of Murphy; a brother, James Minor "Jimmy" Barnhill of Durham; a sister-in-law and her husband, Susan Claire Nassar and Yves de la Queriere of Chapel Hill; a brother-in-law and his wife, John Harwood Davis and Cheryl S. Davis, of Finksburg, Md; two grandchildren, Mohammad "Mo" Adam and Sarra "B" Adam; one nephew, Jamie M. Barnhill, Jr.; and one niece, Ali B. Eubanks.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Tuesday, December 19, at the Townson Rose Funeral Home Chapel in Murphy. The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. Pastor Maggie Rourk will officiate.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to REACH, of Cherokee County, NC, P.O. Box 977, Murphy, NC 28906.

Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.


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