Monday, July 22, 2024

Ralph T. Davis, Jr.

Ralph T. Davis, Jr. (Wilmington Funeral & Cremation)

WILMINGTON — Ralph T. Davis, Jr., beloved educator in both New Hanover and Chatham counties, died Wednesday, June 19th, 2024 in Wilmington, NC at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Hospice Care Center.

Of his many accomplishments, Ralph is most remembered for his work with children as both a teacher and principal. For many years, he served as principal at various schools in New Hanover County: Chestnut Street Elementary School, Wrightsville Beach Elementary School, Washington Catlette Special Education Center, William Hooper Fourth and Fifth Grade Center, College Park Elementary School, and Annie B. Snipes Elementary School.

After retirement, in 1998 Ralph and his beloved wife Jean M. Sloop-Davis moved to Pittsboro, NC, where he worked for sixteen years at Pittsboro Baptist Church Preschool.

Ralph was an avid runner and cyclist. He participated in the first triathlon in 1979 in Wilmington, NC, which continues to be recognized as the oldest annual triathlon on the east coast. A forthcoming documentary about this event features an interview with Ralph.

He continued to run for many years, and in the last four years of his life logged more than 500 miles per year on his bike.

In 2018 Ralph and Jean returned to Wilmington. After Jean’s death, Ralph moved to Brightmore of Wilmington Independent Living facility in 2022.

Ralph was born April 17th, 1939 in Asheville, NC. He was predeceased by his parents, Isadore and Ralph T. Davis, Sr. and his wife of 48 years, Jean M. Sloop-Davis.

He is survived by his sisters, Stella Austin of Glass, VA, her son Steve, her daughter Kim, her granddaughter McKenzie and her husband Tim; Doris Banks of Pigeon Forge, TN; Mae Puccio of Rock Hill, SC; and one brother, Jackie Davis of Hortense, GA.

He also is survived by his children, Genevieve Davis and her four-legged children, of Cedar Park, TX; Tracy Sloop of Wilmington, NC and her daughters Erika and Casey and Casey’s husband Aaron Short, of Clayton, NC, and his great-grandchildren: Ezekiel Short, Elizabeth Short, Elijah Short, and Isabel Short; Kelly Sloop DeVane and her husband Harold of Rowan, NC; and Phillip Sloop and his wife Janie and their daughter Anna Grace of Apex, NC.

Ralph also is survived by his very special niece, Cathy Mason and her husband Kevin and their children Holden, Grant, Savannah, Audrey, Davis, and Eva, of Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Ralph also is survived by his cat Mickey, who now is in the care of family members.

Ralph loved music. He, Jean, and friends attended many concerts over the years by a wide range of artists. One of his favorite artists was Jimmy Buffett, who penned lines that Ralph said sum up his view of his life:

“Some of it’s magic, and some of it’s tragic,

But I had a good life all the way.”

Ralph also would add one Jimmy Buffett line to his world view: Bubbles Up.

The family offers deep gratitude to Patty P. of the Zimmer Cancer Center, and to Stephanie Hoffmeister-Searcey of Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. The care and support they gave Ralph is appreciated beyond measure.

In lieu of flowers, Ralph wishes memorials be made to Save-An-Angel or Every Dog Behavior and Training.

Save An Angel is responsible for rescuing three of Ralph’s grand-dogs and offers low cost wellness and spay/neuter services.

Every Dog Behavior and Training is a non-profit with the goal of making dog training accessible to everyone in order to reduce the number of dogs surrendered by people due to behavior issues that could easily be fixed with training. They offer financial assistance on an honor system basis and have classes that are taught in Spanish.

Please leave memories and condolences for Ralph’s family here.

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