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Educators, friends pay tribute to former Hall educator C.W. Davis
C.W. Davis was Hall County superintendent from 1977-83. He was also a former Flowery Branch High and South Hall High principal.

Davis Middle School Principal Eddie Millwood is proud to lead a school that bears the name of someone he considers to be a legend among Hall County educators.

C.W. Davis — a former principal and Hall County superintendent — died Saturday at age 96.

“It was well deserved to name the school after him,” Millwood said Monday. “He would drop by occasionally  to say hello … During the last few years when his health declined, he would always send an encouraging note. He reached out even when he couldn’t be here.”

Lee Lovett, Hall’s deputy superintendent, called Davis “a very revered high school principal.” Lovett took time to remember Davis during a school board work session in which school leaders paused for a moment of silence.

“He was a strong leader, and when he spoke, people listened,” Lovett said.

Board Chairman Nath Morris took the time at the start of the meeting to pay tribute to Davis by reading from his biographical highlights.

“We lost a good one,” Morris said.

A former student, Harold Smith, attended South Hall High when Davis was the principal.

“He could be very strict and still be a friend,” said Smith, a partner in the Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance agency in downtown Gainesville.

“He inspired me to go to college,” Smith added. “I knew him when he was school superintendent and did business with him. I considered him a friend.”

Davis also helped found the Lanierland Basketball Tournament, which includes all county high schools and is still being played annually, in 1960.

Aaron Turpin, assistant superintendent of technology at Hall schools, said he most remembers the genuine care and concern Davis had for students.

“He provided support for students to do things they would otherwise not have been able to do,” Turpin said.

During Turpin’s six years as principal at Davis Middle, Turpin said Davis and his wife, Margie, would visit the school often.

“He talked to students and adults and shared his wisdom,” Turpin said.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Oakwood. Memorial Park South Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.