Julian Carlyle Davis

Tuesday, February 8, 1921 - Monday, May 11, 2020

In Loving Memory

Photo of Julian Carlyle Davis  - 1921-2020

Julian Carlyle Davis, 99, of Waynesville, North Carolina, died peacefully at his home on May 11, 2020.

He was born in Quincy, Florida, on February 8, 1921, to Dr. Julius Caesar Davis and Bonnie Marquardt Davis. He was also predeceased by his three siblings:  J.C. Davis, Jr., Louie Philip Davis (Martha Crocker), and Lora-Frances Davis. Julian was married to beautiful Betty Lou Morris, whom he adored, for 51 years until her death in 2004. 

Julian was a kind man who overcame a tremendous physical obstacle by walking, riding bicycles, and playing competitive tennis after his parents were informed that he would not be able to walk due to complications from premature birth. He never mentioned this challenge and never let it define or stop him. He was an inspiration to family and friends. He especially loved his Gadsden County friends and always cherished them and his memories of growing up in Quincy. His lifelong buddies nicknamed him “Butch,” which he loved.

Julian graduated from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and attended medical school at Duke University. When his physical limitations precluded him from completing medical school, he did not give up on his dream. Instead, he pursued a Master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Tennessee.

By profession, Julian was a clinical and forensic psychologist at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee for thirty-two years before retiring to Naples, Florida, in 1979. During his career at Florida State Hospital, Julian served as the director of the Department of Psychology. He worked to promote independent living for the mentally ill, and he was integral in the racial desegregation of hospital units.  Additionally, Julian taught psychology on-site to Florida State University psychology and nursing students. 

Notably, Julian created an organizational scheme for scoring the Rorschach inkblot tests in 1951. His research interests included memory and intelligence testing, culminating in the publication of the Mental Examiner’s Source Book (1975), which he co-edited with his good friend and colleague John P. Foreyt, Ph.D., who is Director of Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. The pair also received federal grants to study the cost-effectiveness of utilizing token economies on psychiatric wards at Florida State Hospital. This work was instrumental in defining and popularizing the use of token economies to help mentally ill patients achieve their full potentials, and this technique is used widely today. Julian fondly remembered traveling to conferences in Houston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Montreal to discuss this work. Julian was named in Who’s Who in America in 1978 for these endeavors.

Julian was an active member in his community. He was elected to the Gadsden County School Board and served for a number of years in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. During his tenure on the School Board, racial desegregation was instituted, which Julian supported. Julian also served on the State of Florida School Board during this tenuous time. Some of Julian’s professional research reflected his interest in affecting positive change in education, including a publication in 1974 that found non-academic achievements, rather than traditional academic measures, may be better predictors of adult success and therefore should also be nurtured by the educational system.

Julian and Betty Lou were founding members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Chattahoochee, Florida, and then active members at Trinity by the Cove in Naples, Florida. While in Waynesville, Julian and Betty Lou attended the Davis Chapel (the church his grandfather built) and Grace Episcopal Church.  Always supportive of community events, Julian was a longstanding member of Kiwanis International and the American Cancer Society. 

Julian was a sports aficionado throughout his life.  He spent hours sitting on the porch sharing stories with his nephew and namesake Coach Doc Davis, as well as his children and grandchildren.  During high school, Julian was elected manager of the Quincy High football team under Coach Guy Race, charged with making all the arrangements for scheduling games and hiring referees, duties now strictly delegated to Athletic Directors.  Later he was made manager for the Duke Football team “Iron Dukes” under three-time National Championship Coach Wallace Wade with Hall of Fame running back George McAfee. He became a stowaway on the train to Pasadena for the 1939 Rose Bowl (the year Duke was not only undefeated but unscored upon). He told tales of the train stopping along the cross-country trip and the team practicing in fields along the way. Julian also kept an autographed picture of football half-back Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, a World War II veteran who became an All American playing for the University of North Carolina. Julian thoroughly enjoyed following all the college sports of his alma maters.

After his children were grown and married, Julian penned a cookbook because his girls kept asking for recipes. He named it Daddy’s Cookbook: Ole Dad’s Recipes Tested in the Davis Family Kitchen, and the family called it “the best food this side of the Ritz Carlton” (that is the Ritz Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida, at Vanderbilt Beach). 

After residing in Naples for twenty years, Julian moved to the farm where Julian’s father and grandfather were raised in Waynesville, North Carolina. The Davis family has continuously inhabited the property since 1853, and the current house was originally constructed in 1865. Julian and Betty Lou took great pride in maintaining his family’s homestead.

Julian is survived by his four children: Zachary Carlyle Davis (Jo) of Bonita Springs, Florida; Betty Shannon Ventry (Bob) of Branford, Florida; Richard Morris Davis of Waynesville, North Carolina; and Marianne Bryant (William W. M. “Bill”) of Tallahassee.  Julian and Betty Lou have four grandchildren:  Kurtis Ventry of Branford, FL; Lauren Lea Wilson (Alastair) of Roanoke, Virginia; William W. M. Bryant, Jr. (Brittany) of Jacksonville, FL; and Zachary C. M. Bryant of Tampa, FL.  He is also survived by two beloved first cousins and many loving nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to V Foundation (www.v.org) or Four Seasons Hospice (www.fourseasonsfdn.org) in Flat Rock, NC.

A private family service will be held at a later date in Quincy, Florida.

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Davis family.

Julian C. Davis Slideshow

Condolences from family and friends

We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Your father sounded like a wonderful, talented Doctor, friend and father. May he Rest In Peace ❤️
Lark McGrail
I’m so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He loved to tease me & call me “The Yankee” whenever I saw him. Sweet memories. Sending prayers & love during this difficult time.
Joanne Bowen
Dear Davis Family, Deepest Condolences for the loss of your father, grandfather and uncle. I will miss him - it is a great honor having met and known him. Love, Frank
Frank Lutterloh
I am very sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Julian. He was always kind to me. He never fussed when Zach and I played the stereo way too loud. My prayers go out to Zach, Betty Shannon, Dick and Marianne.
Ray Auman