DURHAM, N.C. – William “Bill” Davis, who earned Most Valuable Player honors of Duke’s 1948 football team, passed away on December 24, 2017, at his home in Wilson, N.C.
A native of Wilson, N.C., Davis served in the U.S. Army during World War II before attending Duke. He lettered three seasons (1946-47-48) as a guard under head coach Wallace Wade and helped the Blue Devils to a final national ranking of No. 19 in 1947 before earning team MVP honors a season later. Davis was one of three brothers to play football at Duke, joining older siblings Jasper (1938-38-40) and Tom (1941-42-43-44).
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Alice Farmer Davis, whom he met in the fourth grade and was his childhood sweetheart; daughters, Virginia Davis and husband, Bruce Hollmuller, of Smyrna, Ga., and Lu Ann Davis Wooten and husband, William, of Wilson; grandchildren, Brittany Wooten Fulghum and husband, Justin, of Wilson and Davis Wooten of Greenville; sister, Sara Jane Davis Etheridge of Kenly and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Davis was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Jasper David Davis, Jr., George Thomas Davis and Laura Davis Moore.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Christian Church of Wilson, P.O. Box 2702, Wilson, N.C. 27894 or to the Duke Football Program (payable to Duke University) and mailed to the Iron Dukes, Box 90542, Durham, N.C. 27708. Please include "in honor of Bill Davis" with donations.