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Obituaries

Reginald Saunders Davis

SoVaNow.com / March 23, 2021



Reginald Saunders Davis entered this world on June 29, 1949, to Isaac Saunders and Dorothy Lee Watson Davis in Rehoboth, Virginia and his soul was reclaimed by God on March 14, 2021.


During Reginald’s youth, his parents realized that he loved music. Thus, they purchased him a piano and he paid for his piano lessons. After graduating from Lunenburg High School in June 1967, he continued his education at the then Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, where he was a member of their choir. During the summers while attending Saint Paul’s College, Reginald continued his vocal training at the Manhattan School of Music in Manhattan, N.Y. Reginald graduated from Saint Paul’s College in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in elementary education. He earned a Masters of Education from Virginia State University in administration and supervision in 1980.


Musically, over the course of his life, Reginald served as the pianist for the following churches: Mt. Mitchell Baptist Church, Drakes Branch; Calvary Baptist Church, Victoria; Concord Baptist Church, Chase City; Greater Union Baptist Church, Chase City; St. John Baptist Church, Clarksville; Antioch Baptist Church, Oxford, N.C., and Third Baptist Church, Petersburg.

He was the first black soloist hired by the Washington Street United Methodist Church in Petersburg, under the direction of Fred Clements. Reginald was also the first black organist at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Clarksville. He was also the musical director for the R.S. Davis Singers. He is best known for his bass baritone voice when he performed Handel’s Messiah with the Petersburg Symphony, Richmond Symphony, and National Symphony.


Professionally, Reginald taught in the public school systems in Prince Edward County, Charlotte County, and Petersburg. He also worked as the firector of pupil personnel at Virginia State University until 1983 when he began his tenure with the Lunenburg County Public School System. He was the assistant principal at Victoria Elementary, Kenbridge Elementary, Lunenburg Middle, and then principal of Lunenburg Middle School. He was appointed as the director of alternative education and special projects and finally the director of administrative services when he retired in 2016. He continued to work part time in this position until 2020.


Civically, Reginald was the president of the Men’s Ministry for the Baptist General Convention of Virginia; secretary of the Averette Union Masonic Lodge 235, treasurer and financial secretary of the Saint Pauls’ College National Alumni Association, and president of the Lunenburg High School Alumni Association Reunion planning committee.


To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife, Gracie T. Davis of Chase City; his daughter, Robyn J. Davis, and granddaughter Jocelyn F. Davis-Russell of Laurel, Md.; two stepsons, Kevin A. Smith of Pfafftown, N.C., and Reginald D. Smith of Edgewater Md.; one stepdaughter, Brenda Walker Gatling (C.J.) of Fayetteville, N.C.; brother-in-law, George A. Taylor (Renell); four sisters-in-law, Laura T. Tucker, Joyce T. Blackwell all of Chase City; Rachel T. Satterfield, Richmond, and Pearl E. Taylor, Chesterfield, and a vast number of other loving relatives and caring friends.


A funeral was held Sunday, March 21, at Giles-Harris Funeral Home, Chase City with Rev. Dr. J. Elisha Burke officiating. Burial with Masonic Rites followed in Mount Mitchell Baptist Church cemetery, Drakes Branch.


Online condolences may be expressed at http://www.harrisfhc.com.

Arrangements are by Giles-Harris Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

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