Jan. 1, 1943 – April 23, 2015
Howard “Howdy” Davis, a technical writer with a passion for barbershop singing, community participation and his family, died Thursday in Amherst. He was 72.
Mr. Davis attended Nichols School and graduated from the Darrow School in New Lebanon. He attended the University at Buffalo and graduated from Parsons College with a sociology degree. He was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War and went on a career as a freelance writer of technical manuals for commercial and industrial use.
“He was actively and avidly involved in everything Amherst,” said Morgan Krauss, his daughter. “Music was a huge part of dad’s life. His favorite, by far, was anything that harmonized.”
Mr. Davis met his wife of 38 years, Jerrie, because of a connection between singing groups. She sang with the Sweet Adelines and he was a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, formerly the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA).
“When he was in a quartet when I was a kid, they would always sing a song to my sister and before I went to bed,” Krauss said.
“Every time they rehearsed at our house, I remember laying on the floor looking up to them. It’s so much a part of our lives that I find it odd when people don’t know what barbershop is.”
Her father was also passionate about his community. He was a member of the Amherst Jaycees, the Amherst Planning Board, the Amherst Republican Committee and the Amherst Traffic and Safety Committee.
Krauss fondly remembers his work with the Jolly Boys of Williamsville.
The group ran the beer tent for Old Home Days and gave out college scholarships to encourage students who did volunteer work.
“He was a very grassroots kind of guy,” Krauss said. “He was always going out to a meeting. Every day of the week, he had one meeting or another.”
He is survived by his wife, Jerrie; his sister Margo; daughters Morgan Krauss and Erica Secor, and three grand-daughters. A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton Street, Williamsville.