November 20, 1932 – January 17, 2021
Doris Elaine Davis was born November 20 th , 1932 to James Oliver and Edna (Rosenbeck) Pitts in Persia, Iowa. She passed away January 17th, 2021 after a two and a half year stay in Oak Point Nursing Home (Memory Care), Neosho, MO, following a several week illness with COVID-19.Doris Elaine learned to be a strong and independent woman and did not take kindly to those who underestimated her abilities. After graduating from Persia High School, she moved to Omaha, NE and worked at Precision Bearings. Doris Elaine married R.J. Davis in 1953 and moved to Lincoln, NE where Doris used her sewing skills to make doll clothing at home while caring for the children. After their third child was born, they decided they did not want to raise their children in the city and settled on a farm in Neosho, MO.
She loved and supported her children, encouraging them to try new things and become
whatever they wanted. She did insist they have good manners and good money management
skills. So, the kids received an allowance for working on the farm. Out of that allowance she
insisted 50% went to savings for a car, school, etc. They could spend the rest on school clothes or entertainment. She also charged interest if any of the children asked for an advance on their allowance. She was immensely proud of each of them.
After moving to Neosho, she was not able to find a job that paid a living wage. So, she decided
to make her own “job” by building up the family farm. The farm grew from one milk cow and calf to well over 100 head. She successfully ran an egg business, starting with 10 laying hens,
multiplying the flock to over 26,000 and collected an average of 20,000 eggs a day. Doris Elaine and RJ wanted the kids to enjoy playing on the farm, so, over time each would get their own horse. When it came time to sell the chickens, she easily transitioned to work in the office at Sunbeam Leisure. Doris believed strongly in a good education. Throughout her life she studied accounting and business, especially the business of farming, and took courses at Crowder College, Neosho, MO until she retired. Her favorite pastime and passion was square-dancing. Over the years, she was a member of several square-dancing clubs in Joplin, MO. She also liked to sew. She was so good she often made her own square-dancing dresses. She loved to travel, but never to the same place twice. Doris Elaine was an extraordinary woman, who was ahead of her time. She strongly believed people should be responsible for their own decisions. She would say “if you make a bad decision, do something about it, don’t just complain.” She also believed with conviction that others should be held accountable for their actions, whether it was holding the road district responsible for fixing the poorly dug ditches causing land erosion on her property, or the physicians prescribing medication she did not need. She was not shy about getting her questions answered or taking action when something did not seem right. While living in Lincoln, the corner store raised the price of a loaf of bread to 25 cents. Doris Elaine thought that was highway robbery so she organized the neighborhood ladies and taught them all how to bake bread while they boycotted the store. Soon enough the price was reduced. Doris helped make the world a much better place for all of us and future generations. We thank her for her stewardship. She was loved by her family and friends and will be greatly missed. Doris Elaine is survived by her sisters Opal Gilliland (Elvin), Gibbon, NE; and Bonnie Hildreth of Hollywood, FL; sister-in-law Betty Pitts of Persia, IA; son James L. (Jim) Davis, Neosho, MO; daughter Diana Davis (Dr. Nancy Moulton) Key West, FL; grandson Jeremiah Davis (Crystal), Neosho, MO; two great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, sister, Donna Leonard, Persia, IA; brother Ronald Pitts, Persia, IA; her ex-husband Ralph Jackson (R.J.) Davis Sr., Neosho, MO; son Ralph Jackson (Jack) Davis Jr. and son-in-law Jerry Bowen of Neosho, MO; and granddaughter Faith Davis, Neosho, MO. The family would like to thank Oak Point senior living facility for excellent care during Doris Elaine’s stay, Charlotte’s Angels caring staff who were the family’s life line during the pandemic and Hospice nurses and staff who ensured she received additional comfort care when needed. You are invited to enter condolences online at the Ozark Memorial Cemetery and Crematorium website: https://ompcjoplin.com . No public funeral or memorial will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the National Alzheimer’s Association online at: https://act.alz.org . This tribute to Doris Elaine Davis was lovingly written by her family.