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Atlanta Journal-Constitution

November 4, 2002


State Rep. J. Max Davis dies

State Rep. J. Max Davis (R-Atlanta) died of an apparent heart attack after attending President Bush's Cobb County campaign appearance on Saturday.

Mr. Davis, 65, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, was getting into his car to leave the Cobb Galleria Centre when he was stricken, his son, J. Max Davis II, said Sunday.

The elder Mr. Davis, who had served in the House since 1980, was among the 6,000 who attended the president's rally.


    AVOC COMMENT:   Max Davis and I worked for the same insurance company as  claims representatives in Metro Atlanta in the mid-sixties.   Max was very outspoken but outgoing and very likable.  He had previously played Pro-Football for a short while.  I remember when he passed the Bar and I later visited his new law office.

I followed his career over the years.  In the early 70's he came to Oconee County to help a fellow attorney (who had been elected judge) try a divorce case against me and a prominent Athens Attorney.   At one point, I mentioned in jury summation that the Defendant could afford "two Atlanta Lawyers"!   When he got up to speak, he quietly said, "Wendell, referred to 'Atlanta Lawyers" but he and I used to work together in Atlanta!"   Max was good on his feet.

I recently was involved in a proceeding with Max's son, J. Max III.  I sent my regards.

It is sad to see the passing of Max Davis.  In spite of his strong convictions and outspokeness, he was a gentleman. 

We need more gentlemen in politics today.

Wendell Dawson, President, AVOC, Inc.


AJC Article Continued........

Mr. Davis was pronounced dead at 2 p.m., his son said.

"We're almost 100 percent certain it was a heart attack," his son said. His father had undergone heart bypass surgery a number of years ago, he said.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Church of The Apostles in Atlanta. H.M. Patterson & Son, Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Davis was not going to return to the House in the 2003 session. He had lost a GOP primary to fellow Republican legislator, Fran Millar of Dunwoody. Their former districts had been combined into one during the reapportionment of the Georgia House.

The younger Mr. Davis described his father as a staunch conservative Republican who had many friends on both sides of the aisle in the House.

"Democrats of all stripes loved him," he said. "He was such a gentleman."

The veteran legislator was most proud "that first and foremost he never voted for a tax increase," his son said. "And he killed a lot of bad legislation."

As a lawyer, Mr. Davis was interested in making the court system more efficient, his son said.

Other survivors include his wife, Mary; another son, Todd Davis, and a daughter, Stacie Davis Rapson.