Posted on: November 19, 2018
Courtland Harwell Davis, Jr., M.D., a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend and physician, passed away October 16, 2018.
He was born February 14, 1921 in Alexandria, VA, the first child of Courtland H. and Mary Fox Davis. He attended public schools in Alexandria and received a BA degree from George Washington University and MD from the University of Virginia. In 1942 Court married Marilyn Elaine Bauer. Together they reared six children and enjoyed 40 years of marriage until her death in 1982. They shared a deep commitment to their family and community and were actively involved in both.
Court began his postgraduate training in neurosurgery at UVA, served as a neurosurgeon in the U.S. Army at the Walter Reed General Hospital, and completed his specialty training at Duke University. In 1952 Court joined the faculty of Wake Forest University School of Medicine as an Instructor in Neurosurgery and retired as Professor Emeritus of Neurosurgery in 1987. He had an interest in surgery of the spine and the development of carotid endarterectomy for the prevention of stroke and published numerous articles on these and other neurosurgical subjects.
Court and Marilyn’s first child, Corky, had special needs due to a genetic disorder, Fragile X Syndrome. This led to their strong interest in programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Together they helped establish the Centers for Exceptional Children in Winston-Salem, and the state and national associations of The Arc. Court also served as president of Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC and the Industries for the Blind.
A respected leader, Court served in many organizations devoted to improving medical education and care. He was the Chief of Professional Services at the NC Baptist Hospital, and served as president of the Forsyth-Stokes-Davie Medical Society, the Southern Neurosurgical Society, the Neurosurgical Society of America, and the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons awarded him as the Humanitarian of the Year and the Society of British Neurological Surgeons named him an honorary member. Court was president of the Rotary Club of Winston-Salem, and a Ruling Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Winston-Salem. He was also a visiting neurosurgeon with Care-Medico in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, Madras State, India; and with the hospital ship HOPE in Cartagena, Colombia and Kingston, Jamaica.
In 1985, Court married Carrie Chamberlain Davis, combining their families of eight children and spouses, and 11 grandchildren. For 25 years, until Carrie’s death in 2010, they enjoyed their grandchildren, gardening, antiquing, and travel.
Court is survived by his son, Richard H. Davis (Able Rae) of Walterboro, SC; and daughters, Randon (Missy) Winborne (Brodie) and Joslin Davis (Fred Harwell, Jr.) of Winston-Salem; Jean (Pogo) Kutzschbach (George) of Houston, TX; Cameron Blanton of Holly Springs, NC and Marilyn (Lyn) Sexton (Bobby) of Statesville, NC. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; his sister, Joan Hackett of Winchester, VA and numerous nieces and nephews. Court is also predeceased by his sons, Courtland H. Davis III and M. Johnson Davis, Jr.; brother, David Davis, M.D.; sister, Elaine Blackford; and son-in-law, Harrison Blanton.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Courtland H. Davis, Jr. MD Scholarship Fund at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Office of Development, P.O. Box 571021, Winston-Salem, 27157; the Centers for Exceptional Children, 2315 Coliseum Drive, 27106; the First Presbyterian Church of Winston-Salem 27101; the Residence Assistance Fund at Arbor Acres of Winston-Salem 27104 or the charity of your choice.