James was born on Nov. 19, 1918, in Fithian to Ray F. and Rebecca Reynolds Davis. He married Ardyth Marie Dobbles on Dec. 3, 1944, in Fithian. His wife of 66 years will miss him dearly.
Survivors include three sons, Ray William (Judy) Davis, James Franklin Davis II and Timothy Paul (Teresa) Davis; two daughters, Rose Marie (Charles) Smilgys and Anita Davis; seven grandchildren, Heather, Natalie and Nicholas (Melissa) Smilgys and Erin, Travis, Elijah and Nathan Davis; one great-granddaughter, Ava Rose Smilgys; and one sister, Evelyn Danneberger.
He was preceded in death by his two older sisters, Ethel Waters and Margaret Owens, and his brother Charles W. Davis.
Jim graduated from Oakwood Township High School in 1936. At that time he started farming, and was still active in farm management and raising cattle.
He served as a rural mail carrier from the Fithian, Ogden and Oakwood post offices.
He was a member of the Fithian United Methodist Church. He served on the school board for Muncie School, and was instrumental in founding the Oakwood Township Unit District where he served on the board for many years, several of which he served as president.
He was a member of the Catlin Masonic Lodge, Ansar Temple Shrine Club, Danville Consistory, Springfield Order of the Jesters, Order of the Eastern Star, Eastern Illinois Shrine Club, Eastern Illinois Supercycle, Scottish Rite and the Farm Bureau.
Jim was an avid fan of the Fighting Illini, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears. He was at the game when the Cubs were in their last World Series appearance, losing to the Yankees. He enjoyed playing golf for many years, and had six holes in one.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Fithian United Methodist Church. Rev. Kim Dancey will officiate. Burial will be in Stearns Cemetery in Fithian.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Robison Chapel in Catlin, with Masonic rites at 7:45 p.m.
Memorials may be made to the Fithian United Methodist Church in his memory. Online condolences may be offered at www.robisonchapel.com.