Master Chief Air Traffic Controller Jess Burdette Davis, Jr., USN, Retired

Master Chief Jess Burdette Davis, Jr., 85, passed away peacefully at his Solomons, MD home on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. Before he did, he made sure his family knew he loved them immensely and secured promises that we love and take care of each other.

Speaking of love, Jess loved his country and was honored to have served in the Navy for 32 years. He was unabashedly patriotic and proud to be an American.  A true Sailor’s Sailor, he began his Naval career in January 1956, completing Recruit training at Bainbridge, Maryland, and Radarman “A” School in Norfolk, Virginia. He was assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron Twelve in Barbers Point, Hawaii, followed by duty with Airborne Early Warning Squadron Thirteen at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River. In 1960, Jess attended Air Controlman “A” School and received orders to the Control Tower at Naval Air Station Moffett Field, his first billet as an air controlman where, in less than a year, he was selected for Air Controlman First Class. His next two assignments were to Midway Island and Ellyson Field in Pensacola, where he was advanced to Chief Petty Officer. In October of 1969, Jess began a two-year tour aboard the USS HANCOCK followed by an assignment to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. While at Whidbey, he advanced to Senior Chief. He returned to sea duty aboard the USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT and then aboard the USS RANGER where he advanced to Master Chief. From there, Jess was assigned to the Naval Material and Manpower Accounting Center in San Diego where he served as the lead analyst in developing manpower requirements for the air traffic control shore establishment. In July of 1981, he reported to the Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Activity, Webster Field, at St. Inigoes, Maryland, to serve as the link between the operational and technical communities for the design, development, and acquisition of air traffic control equipment. Following retirement from active duty, Jess continued his work as a civilian in support of the air traffic control community. What he never retired from was being a mentor and champion to the Sailors with whom he worked. He enjoyed following their careers and advancements and was honored when told how he made a difference in their lives (and he was told this by many). His love for country, the Navy and all who serve remained strong.

Speaking of love and serving, Jess believed in serving. He was a long-time member of the Lexington Park Lions Club, where he was very active in helping with fundraising and community-support events. If you bought a snow cone at the County Fair, Jess was there. If you donated at a White Cane collection event, Jess was there. If you needed a hearing test, an eye exam, or to donate glasses, Jess was there. He was a long-time volunteer at his church’s food pantry, a deliverer of food through Meals on Wheels, he helped to others live independently by being their representative payee, and was a volunteer tax return preparer with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program. He made a huge difference in the lives of all he touched, and he loved volunteering to support his community.

Speaking of love, Jess loved baseball. And when he wasn’t cheering on the Orioles, Washington Nats or Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in person, he was always within earshot of a game while it was baseball season. He loved traveling to Florida with his father-in-law to take in the games during spring training.

Speaking of love, Jess loved being a Yankee, a man of the north. He was born on December 12, 1936, in New Haven, CT to his parents Jess B. Davis, Sr. and Cora Bloomingdale Davis. Even though he never moved back after leaving home for the Navy, he visited often and even subscribed to Yankee magazine, to stay in touch with his roots.

Speaking of roots, he loved pickled beets. Jars and jars of pickled beets. So many beets. He also loved pickled eggs, sauerkraut, hot sauce, and Texas pecans (puah-kaanz).

Speaking of love, Jess loved his family. Dana, his wife of 37 years, was his soulmate and companion on many adventures, local and afar. He met and fell in love with Dana while stationed at Webster Field. She fell in love with him after he offered to change her oil. Together, they blended their families and championed each other through the years. Together, they served their community. Together, they supported everyone who asked, and more importantly, those who didn’t. Together, they nurtured a partnership based on respect, admiration, laughs, tears, more laughs, back-seat driving, letting the other pack the car (even though that’s not the right way), and so, so very much more.

Jess really loved his kids and the families and lives they created. He was very proud of his sons Rick Davis (Machelle), Jess B. Davis III, and Eric Vogt (Torrie); daughters Shelly Winslow (Drew), Sherry Howard (Dave), and Kim Nelson (Lee); grandsons Michael Bulman, Tony Simkus, Sam Johnson, Dylan Vogt, and Justin Vogt; granddaughters Jennifer Haywood, Cara Davis, and Arispa Davis; and great grandson, Thomas Ryder.

Jess is reunited with his parents, sister Barbara A. Davis, and son, Jess B. Davis III, along with his mother- and father-in-law, Margaret and Rodney Yoder, with whom he had a strong bond and affinity.

Never was there a man more noble and kind, who lived his life with love and laughter. He lived by the Golden Rule. He inspired and made a difference. He created joy. He will most assuredly be missed.

And because he never met a stranger, we’re sure he’s making new friends and sharing sea stories. Lucky them.

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 26, 2022, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, Maryland. 

A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Parish in Solomons, MD on August 27 at 10am. Burial is private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:

Middleham and St. Peters Parish

PO Box 277

Lusby, MD 20657

Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department

PO Box 189

Solomons, MD 20688

Lions Camp Merrick

Campers Scholarships

PO Box 56

Nanjemoy, MD 20662

Condolences to the family may be made at

Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A.

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