Obituary: Delma “Donnie” Davis


Funeral services for Delma “Donnie” Davis will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 at Hanceville Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow the service at Cold Springs Church of Christ cemetery. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Funeral Home. 

Delma Morris was born Sep. 29, 1939, in Good Springs, Alabama, alongside her twin sister, Velma. These two twin girls were the last babies born to Franklin and Itra Morris. They were a rare commodity in Walker County, and she loved to tell how people from all around would come to see the twin baby girls. Early in her childhood, Delma was dubbed Donnie; although the nickname’s origin remained unclear even to her, the name stuck throughout her life as everyone knew her as Donnie. Donnie enjoyed a quaint, simple life growing up with her five sisters and one brother. She was proud to be a coal miner’s daughter and often compared the similarities between her upbringing and that of Loretta Lynn’s famous song. She came from meager means, but her parents worked hard to ensure food was always on the table. 

​Family was always important to her throughout her life, and she treasured her relationships with her siblings and nieces and nephews. Donnie had a bright smile and a contagious laugh that endeared her to everyone. She became a Christian when she was baptized at Good Springs church of Christ, and her relationship with God remained a strong priority throughout her life. She was a faithful member of the Cold Springs church of Christ for close to fifty years. 

​In 1978, Donnie met the love of her life at the VFW Hall in Jasper, Alabama. W.F. Davis was performing with his band, The Southern Drifters. She spotted the singer right off and took a shine to that good-looking man. W.F. was in no hurry to approach this dark-haired beauty; he had lost his first wife to cancer and was focusing on his family at the time. Donnie continued to go to the VFW Hall, listening to that good-looking man serenading the crowd, and it was not long before he was drawn to her. After a coffee and a few dates, the pair became inseparable. Donnie found the absolute love of her life in him, and W.F. was lucky enough to find a second true love in his life. The pair married on Feb. 7, 1979, and shared the next thirty-two years of life together. 

​A few months into their marriage, Donnie became sick and was concerned that she might have stomach cancer, which ran in her family. The couple was shocked to learn that was not the case. The doctor informed them of a double dose of good news: no cancer, and they were expecting a baby. In May 1980, Donnie gave birth to her only child, Mark. Donnie was forty-one, and W.F. was forty-seven when Mark was born.

At this time, W.F. and Donnie were being blessed with grandchildren by W.F.’s children, but Donnie was over the moon to be a mother herself, something she believed would never occur. She spoiled Mark from the onset. Many have described Donnie’s mothering as lovingly over-protective. She worried about Mark getting injured around the house and placed a mattress on the living room floor to protect him. She did not allow him to learn to swim until he was a teenager. She loved her baby with everything she had and worked with what little she had to give him the world. She was there for every important moment of Mark’s life; regardless of how she felt, she never missed anything. Mark remained a lifelong Mama’s boy due to the level of adoration that his mother provided him with. 

​Donnie developed a deep relationship with her bonus children, as they all raised their children together. Wanda, Sandra, Kathy, and Donnie would share their love for all the children and ensure they all had the best childhood possible. The family bond was tight, and Donnie fit right into the family; never considered a stepmother or step-grandmother, she was a bonus blessing to all. At the frequent family gatherings, Donnie would fix her famous chicken and dressing, banana pudding, and sweet tea. Grandchildren looked forward to spending the night and waking up to Donnie’s homemade biscuits and gravy.She worked as a Cold Springs lunchroom lady for around fifteen years, and she was loved by coworkers and students. She is known for her wonderful personality and infectious laugh. 

​One of Donnie’s favorite things was traveling to her only brother, Bill’s home in Bryan, Texas. She always looked forward to at least one good meal at Sodalaks and the hours of laughter and conversation spent around Bill’s kitchen table, passing the hours with cups of coffee and many cigarettes. She enjoyed visiting her sister Ruby in Hollywood, Florida and thought putt-putt golf was an absolute blast. She loved any day when she could be with one or more of her siblings and would spend hours laughing and drinking coffee. 

​In 2011, Donnie lost her beloved husband, W.F., but was sustained by her son and caring family. As Donnie entered this new phase of life as a widow, she kept the roads hot. She looked forward to trips to the mountains, Texas, Franklin, and Kentucky. Donnie was always up for a shopping trip, a trip to Waffle House, or sitting in a rocking chair with a hot cup of coffee, especially if this included any of her family. 

​Donnie was a beautiful woman who always had her dark hair fixed​perfectly with at least half a can of hairspray. She was always dressed beautifully and ready for the day; you rarely found her lounging in pajamas if it was not bedtime. She loved jewelry and all things Alabama football. The best way to get a smile from Donnie, was to gift her anything houndstooth or with an Alabama symbol. Donnie loved to cook; when she cooked, it was for an army. She would make sure you were full, then ask, ‘Do you want a cup of coffee, Sug?’ When people did a chore around the house for her, she would offer to pay them, but most would just request a homemade banana pudding instead. She had a welcoming spirit who made everyone feel loved from the moment they met her. 

​Donnie was blessed with her first biological grandson, Wyatt, in 2013. She doted on him just as she had Mark when he was born. She loved to fix Wyatt biscuits and gravy with crispy bacon. She kept toys and coloring books at her home always ready for a visit from Wyatt. Once Wyatt noticed the flabby skin under his Granny Davis’s arm.

After he poked it, Donnie indulged his curiosity by spreading both arms wide and flapping. Wyatt remarked that she looked like a pterodactyl; Donnie laughed and retold that story for years. In 2020, her granddaughter Ivey was born, and Donnie doted over her beautiful granddaughter with the same dark hair and chocolate brown eyes as her Granny Davis. Ivey has her Granny Davis’s fire and spunk and Donnie would laugh with pride when Mark told her about the sassy little girl who was so much like her Granny Davis. 

​Donnie’s health declined in 2021, and she eventually moved into Lakewood Assisted Living. She moved back home, at her request, to Walker County. She was blessed to spend her days with caring staff who treated her like family. She was closer to her twin sister, Velma, and they continued to spend many days out shopping and going to lunch together. She loved spending time with her nieces Janet, Connie, Faye, Robyn, and Melinda.

These ladies lit her world up like no one else, and she always talked about how much she enjoyed sitting with them, laughing and talking about old times over a cup of coffee. She enjoyed riding to church with her long-time preacher, Mike Lauderdale, and being with her brethren at Cold Springs church of Christ. She was always still up for a shopping trip or a trip to Waffle House with Wanda and Sandra. However, Donnie’s biggest constant during her years at Lakewood was her lunch hours with her son, Mark.

Mark was blessed to get a job in Jasper shortly after she moved out there, and he could sit with her every day and eat lunch with her. She filled him with candy, cokes, and the ins and outs of what her family was up to. Mark remained a Mama’s boy all these years and will miss his lunch buddy with all his heart. 

​At the end of her life, many were able to visit and be with her as her health improved, and she hoped she would return to Lakewood. When her health took a turn for the worse, she was surrounded by her beloved family, each sharing stories about how much she meant to them. Her memory will not quickly be erased from this earth, as she will live on in the hearts of many, as Mom, Granny Davis, Granny D, Aunt Donnie, and MawmawDonnie. She passed away peacefully at 12:04 p.m. on March 8, 2024, in Jasper, Alabama. 

​Donnie was proceeded in death by her parents, Franklin and Itra Morris; her husband of thirty-two years, W.F. Davis; her sisters Hazel Chapel, Lobee Carter, Lois Calvert, Ruby Mulligan; her brother, Bill Morris; and her bonus grandson, Derek Speegle. 

​Donnie is survived by her twin sister, Velma Turner; her son, Mark (Katie) Davis; her bonus children, Wanda (the late – Larry) Henderson, Sandra Speegle, and Danny (Kathy) Davis; her grandchildren Wyatt and Ivey Davis; her bonus grandchildren, Carrie (Zane) Kilgo, Wesley Davis, Miranda (Don) Mitchell, Daniel (Kim) Speegle, Magan (Chad) Trammell, and Kyle Henders.