Joseph "Joe" Hyder Davis of Sandy Springs, GA, formerly of Macon, GA, passed away peacefully on August 13, 2016, joining his beloved wife, Charlotte Kerr, and grandson, Joseph Ian. A private family burial will take place at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta, GA this September.
Joe is survived by his three children, Joseph Swanton, Charlotte Hyder and Robert Read, two daughter-in laws, Gena and Diane, and six grandchildren-- Aubrie Davis Gossett and grandson-in-law Gregory Gossett, Sean Swanton, Anna Sophia, Leah Eleni, Callie Arista and Matthew Read.
Joe was born in Braselton, GA on July 25, 1927, the only child of Joseph Artis and Minnie Hyder Davis. He received his high school diploma from Braselton High School in 1944 and entered Georgia Tech that fall. In his sophomore year, Joe joined the U.S. Army. Following his discharge, Joe transferred to Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law, where he was elected president of his law fraternity, became a member of the Blue Key Honor Fraternity, business manager of the Mercer Law Review, and served as president of the student government and chairman of the annual Law Day. Following his graduation, Joe was admitted to the bar, but chose to continue his law studies at Columbia University School of Law in New York.
After several years, Joe returned to Georgia, where he met and fell in love with Miss Charlotte Louise Kerr of Atlanta, GA. The two were married in 1953 and set up housekeeping in Macon, GA. Around this same time, Joe was appointed to the U.S. Attorney's office for the Middle District of Georgia. He served six years as a full-time prosecutor for the seven Divisions of the Middle Georgia District, but later resigned and entered a private practice with a former classmate and assistant U.S. Attorney, J. Sewell Elliott. At this partnership Elliott and Davis, Joe presented an oral argument before the United States Supreme Court. Joe's career then took him to the Harris, Russell and Watkins Firm, where he concentrated on defense litigation for The Southern Railway Company and The Central of Georgia Railroad, along with several liability insurance companies in both local and appellate cases. He was a member of the Macon, Georgia and American Bar Association, the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Defense Research institute and the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel. Joe's career came to an abrupt halt in 1985 when he suffered a heart attack. He eventually retired in February 1998.
In addition to his distinguished legal career, Joe was very active in his community affairs. He was a proud member of the Ingleside Baptist Church, serving as Deacon and Teacher. Joe was also dedicated to the American Diabetes Association—an organization close to Charlotte's heart. Joe was a founding member and president of the Middle Georgia chapter and Chairman of the Georgia Association before serving as National Chairman and International delegate to the ADA in 1985. He was instrumental in establishing the numerous protocols and by-laws that are the basis of the ADA operational platform.
Following his retirement, Joe and Charlotte moved to Sandy Springs, GA, just minutes from their three children and seven grandchildren. Joe quickly took to his neighborhood and was active in several zoning matters and became president of the local homeowner's association. He will be remembered for his dedication to his family, his sense of humor and his love of the law, as well as his ability to "fix and refinish" his neighbor's furniture. The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to the family's tax deductible, charitable organization- The Ian Davis Scholarship & Memorial Foundation. 1660 Chevron Way, Atlanta, GA 30350.