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Orvis Davis

September 28, 1954 ~ March 28, 2022 (age 67)


The Honorable Judge Orvis Othere Davis was born to William O. Davis and Minnie O. Kizzie Davis on September 28, 1954, in Waco, Texas. As the first of the Davis children, and the oldest of four, this set the precedence for Orvis being a leader in a pack for years to come. Orvis, her parents, and her siblings, Othelus, Aloysius, and Nika grew up as active members of Second Missionary Baptist Church. Judge Davis participated in all areas of the church. It was here that she developed some of her lifelong friends. Outstanding and dedicated in many ways, Orvis enjoyed serving as one of the church musicians, playing the piano throughout her childhood and her time in college. She gave her life to Christ as an adolescent and was baptized by the late Rev. M.L. Cooper Jr. 

As a teen, Orvis attended A.J. Moore High School. Her zest for life and achiever’s focus left her motivated to learn, hone her skills, and have experiences in as many ways as she could. Not only was she a distinguished scholar, and musician, but she was also a top swimmer and diver. Her accomplishments, however, did not end there. In 1971, Orvis graduated Valedictorian of her class while setting the precedent as one of the youngest to graduate, at only 16 years old. After mastering high school level, she went on to Baylor University where she studied pre-law and played the flute in the Baylor Golden Wave Band. Feisty and sociable, yet firm and conservative, Orvis graduated from Baylor at the age of 19, and began to pursue a legal career.

Upon graduation from Baylor, and after marrying, Judge Davis moved to the city of Houston, Texas. She transferred her church membership to South Union Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Scott C. Watkins. Ever the leader, and always rising to a challenge, Orvis at the age of 21 became one of the youngest Deaconesses to serve. She served faithfully in the church, participating in the choir and Sunday School, leading a family division, and even starting a family scholarship which was awarded each year to one graduating high school senior. Eventually, Orvis would have two girls, Michelle Renee and Geniece Orvis Lucille. She diligently raised her daughters, teaching them a life of service to God, and the importance of education.

During her time in Houston, Orvis furthered her educational career as a student at The Bates School of Law, now known as the University of Houston Law School. In true form, she braved the likes of the Texas State Bar and passed on her first try! As a licensed attorney, Orvis would go on to open her own practice. Because of her knack for leadership and engagement, Orvis was extremely active in her personal and professional communities. A role model in her career, she participated in many professional efforts ranging from leadership trainings to black women lawyer’s groups, to philanthropic, and political engagements. In 1987, her success in the field eventually led to an appointment to the Harris County Municipal Court, under the leadership of Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire.  During her time on the bench, she faithfully applied the law to various civil cases.  She could often be seen with her daughters in tow either in her night court sessions, as they waited on the front row in the courtroom, or at one of her many evening meetings where she and fellow colleagues passionately planned for the work ahead. Judge Davis continued to be active within the community, matriculating with friends such as CongressWoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and many other distinguished peers. She enjoyed a full life participating in biking, tennis, swimming, fitness, fashion, galas, and much more. Orvis has received various awards and accolades to date.

In the mid-years of Orvis’ life, her health began to decline. While she could not have predicted it, her strength and tenacity would be needed most in this season. Upon being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis she returned to Waco to live with her family. What she possessed in strength and determination in her early years was seen most in enduring more than 20 years victoriously fighting her illness. Once again, Orvis amazed those around her with her endurance. On March 28, 2022, for her years of battle, the Lord saw fit to lead her from labor to reward. Though we mourn, in her transition to her heavenly home, we rejoice that she is in the loving arms of the Father, renewed in body and spirit.

Orvis was preceded in death by her parents Mr. & Mrs. William O. Davis. She leaves to cherish her memory: two daughters, Michelle Renee Davis and Geniece Davis Sergeant (Tyrone) both of Houston, Texas; three brothers, Othelus Rene Davis (Eunice) of Houston Texas, Aloysius Kizzie Davis (Valencia) and Nika Davis (Beverly) both of Waco, Texas; granddaughter, Emira; grandsons, Adonijah, Jedaiah and Ephraim; her nieces, nephews, friends, and extended family. They will all miss her dearly, but they trust in the sovereign will of God delivering her from the earthly body.

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