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Oxford City Councilman dies at 80
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Filling a vacancy

Under Oxford’s city charter, the council is allowed to appoint a replacement council member to finish out the late Councilman Frank Davis’ term; the city will not have to have a special election, Mayor Jerry Roseberry said.

The council could discuss the issue briefly at its upcoming meeting, which was originally scheduled for this past Monday, but was moved to Oct. 14 out of respect for Davis’ passing. Roseberry said he will solicit suggestions from the council, which will then discuss the candidates and vote to choose the person they believe would make the best council member.

"In every community, there are certain people who may be interested and well-qualified, and we’re lucky in Oxford to have number people well-qualified to serve on the council," Roseberry said.

Oxford Councilman Frank Davis, a longtime city resident and active volunteer, passed away Sunday.

Davis, 80, was first elected to the City Council in 2007, but also served as chairman of the Oxford Planning Commission for four years. He was a member of the Historical Cemetery Society, secretary of the Oxford Lions Club for more than a decade and a member of First Presbyterian Church.

Davis graduated from Oxford College in 1950 and lived in Newton County most of his life, including permanently settling in Oxford in 1993 with his wife, Sarah.

"I knew Frank going back years ago, when we both went to the same church; he always struck me as a very moral person. He had high ethical standards. He would let you know quickly how he felt about something. His comments always reflected his moral feelings," said Oxford Mayor Jerry Roseberry, who knew Davis for years before they served together in city government. "He was a hard worker. He would do anything that needed to be done, around the city or the church, or whatever came up. He didn’t shy away from it."

During his professional career, Davis worked for several major airlines, including Northwest, Southern and Republic. He held a variety of positions, including station manager, cabin service manager, passenger service supervisor and ticket agent.

He and his wife had five children, 23 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

One of his most important accomplishments was getting the city to pass a $10,000 homestead tax exemption for Oxford homeowners. Roseberry said Davis also worked to:

• Privatize the city’s sanitation services, which saved the city a lot of money.

• Create the memorial at the Oxford School, the city’s historic all-black Rosenwald school.

• Expand the city’s trail system.

• Renovate Old Church.

"He helped watch the city’s expenses," Roseberry said.

"He was just a good person who loved life, loved the community and was a willing participant to come to the aid of any person or the city," Roseberry said. "In fact, I met a lady yesterday at the post office, and she said he was so good to the retired people and would come into their homes and do little things to help them. He was just a great guy, and we’re really going to miss him."

Funeral services for Davis will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Covington, with Rev. Dr. William B. Wade Jr., officiating, and interment following in Oxford Historical Cemetery. Flowers are accepted, or donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 1169 Clark St. SW, Covington, Ga. 30014.