District Attorney General Ron Davis had served county since 1983
By Mindy Tate, Editor
21st Judicial District Attorney General Ron Davis died Saturday, March 15, following a more than yearlong battle with thyroid cancer.
Davis had served since 1998 as attorney general for the 21st Judicial District after serving as an assistant since 1983 under former District Attorney General Joe Baugh.
He began his career by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force shortly after graduation from high school. He served almost eight years, including a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam and Thailand, flying combat missions on AC-47 gunships among other duties. He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant.
He returned to Nashville in 1971 where he became an officer with the Metro Nashville Police Department. He served eight years as a police officer, primarily as a detective, during which time he attended school part time and earned his undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University and his law degree from Nashville School of Law, both with honors.
His first job after law school was as disciplinary counsel for the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. He spent four years investigating and prosecuting attorneys for ethics violations.
In 1983, he was hired as an assistant district attorney for the 21st Judicial District, which includes Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties. During his tenure as assistant district attorney, Davis handled thousands of cases and tried literally hundreds of jury trials on cases ranging from DUI to capital murder. In 1998, Davis was elected district attorney general by a landslide vote, gaining 80 percent of the vote in Williamson County and almost 70 percent of the total vote across all four counties in the district.
Since his election as district attorney, Davis was proud to maintain this county and judicial district as one of the safest places to live in Tennessee, with a low crime rate and a reputation for tough prosecution, said his family. In 2000, Davis was responsible for the opening of the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center to provide protection and services for physically and sexually abused children in this county and he currently served as chairman of the board of directors.
He was also responsible for implementation of a methamphetamine education program to deter youth from experimenting with this deadly drug. He had personally presented this program in the majority of the middle and high schools in the district.
As district attorney, Davis developed and expanded the 21st Judicial District Drug Task Force from an agency with three narcotics agents covering all four counties, to an agency with 12 narcotics agents today. Davis also created a DUI prosecution division within his office which concentrates on prosecuting alcohol-related driving offenses. He obtained a grant to hire a DUI prosecutor and DUI coordinators, and this unit has received statewide recognition as a poster child for DUI prosecution units, maintaining one of the highest conviction rates in the state. He also obtained a federal grant to hire a special prosecutor and create a specialized unit to prosecute violent crimes against women.
Davis also served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, retiring in 2005 after almost 36 years military service. He was highly decorated and was a veteran of Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, the Kosovo operation, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In addition to serving as chairman of the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center, Davis was past president of the Williamson County Bar Association, an active member of the National District Attorney’s Association, the Franklin Noon Rotary, the Fraternal Order of Police, Reserve Officer’s Association of the United States, and the Brentwood Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife Brenda Hanson Davis; son, Ronald Lee (Melissa) Winters, all of Franklin; stepdaughter, Karen (Mark) Allen, Atlanta; sister, Pattie Denise (Lee) Presley, Duluth, Ga.; grandchildren, Damon, Torri and Shiloh Winters; mother in law, Jimmie Johnson, Birmingham, Ala.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 18 at Williamson Memorial from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at Brentwood United Methodist Church on Wednesday, March 19 at 11a.m. Active pallbearers will be assistant district attorneys and investigators and his godson, J. Douglas Sloan. Honorary pallbearers will be the office staff of the District Attorney’s office and board of directors of the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center, 330 Mallory Station Rd., Ste. 21, Franklin, TN 37067, www.williamsoncountycac.org.
Posted on: 3/17/2008