Bluejay legend takes final flight Thursday night

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Ron Davis, 73, passed away Thursday evening in a Minneapolis hospital from complications of COVID-19. His Wednesday social media post announcing his impending passing has stirred the emotions of family, friends and PHS 1965 classmates. Photo submitted.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Davis family has reported the somber news that Ron Davis, Perry High School Class of 1965, passed away Thursday about 6 p.m. due to complications from COVID-19.

Davis took to Facebook Wednesday to discuss his recent inactivity on social media, explaining that he had been battling a severe case of the virus that has claimed more than 430,000 lives in the U.S. alone.

In his comments, Davis said he was hospitalized for the past two months, and now doctors told him they could no longer treat him due to the deteriorating condition of his lungs.

He said that he and his wife, Dr. Beverly Davis, had decided to stop all life-saving measures on Monday, allowing Davis “to leave this earth on my own terms.” Unfortunately, he passed early Thursday evening.

In his post, Davis thanked his lifelong friends, more recent friends, classmates and associates and, of course, his family and wished them all well. He said he was posting not to generate feelings of pity for his condition but rather to express his love to those who played such an important role in his life.

He urged anyone reading his message to “do all you can to avoid this silent, mysterious virus.”

Davis was a prolific and superbly talented athlete at Perry High School. He holds the Iowa all-time fifth fastest effort in the 180 low hurdles and 14th-best 220 dash. The Bluejay star won indoor state meet titles in the 180 hurdles, 50 dash and long jump, scoring all of second-place Perry’s points at the 1965 event.

When he graduated in 1965, Davis held seven IHSAA and two National Federation of High School records.

He went on to star at Northeast Missouri State (now Truman State) in Kirksville, Missouri. He was a two-time All-American and was a member of the 1969 4×200 and 4×400 relays that still hold the school record in those relays.

While at NEMS, Davis competed with and against Olympic-caliber thinclads as well as future NFL star wide receiver Mel Gray, who played many seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals.

His father, Gail Davis, started the long line of Davis family star athletes. Gail starred for the undefeated 1935 PHS state football champions, and he holds the sixth-best all-time javelin toss and numerous other accolades.

Ron’s older brother, the late Dwight Davis, was a member of the 1962 Bluejay state track champions, while sisters Carol and Janice made their own athletic marks, the latter as a member of three Sweet 16 Jayette basketball teams.

In 2007 Perry renamed their first home relays of each season as the Davis Family Relays. In 2018 Ron and Beverly were honorary Homecoming King and Queen at Perry. They have two children, Ron Jr. and Netrea.

1 COMMENT

  1. My deepest sympathy to the family of Ron. He was also a wonderful person as well as his athletic ability. You will be missed my friend. Always remembered at PHS.

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