Reginald Saunders Davis

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, March 23, 2021

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Reginald Saunders Davis entered this world on June 29, 1949, to Isaac Saunders and Dorothy Lee Watson Davis in Rehoboth, and his soul was reclaimed by God on March 14.

During Reginald’s youth, his parents realized that he loved music. Thus, they purchased him a piano and he paid for his piano lessons. After graduating from Lunenburg High School in June of 1967, he continued his education at the then Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville where he was a member of their infamous choir. During the summers, while attending Saint Paul’s College, Reginald continued his vocal training at the Manhattan School of Music in Manhattan, New York. Reginald graduated from Saint Paul’s College in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. He earned a Masters of Education from Virginia State University in Administration and Supervision in 1980.

Musically, over the course of his life, Reginald served as the pianist for the following churches: Mt. Mitchell Baptist Church, Drakes Branch; Calvary Baptist Church, Victoria; Concord Baptist Church, Chase City; Greater Union Baptist Church, Chase City; St. John Baptist Church, Clarksville; Antioch Baptist Church, Oxford, North Carolina and Third Baptist Church, Petersburg. He was the first black soloist hired by the Washington Street United Methodist Church in Petersburg, under the direction of Fred Clements. Reginald was also the first black Organist at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Clarksville. He was also the musical director for the R.S. Davis Singers. He is best known for his bass baritone voice when he performed Handel’s Messiah with the Petersburg Symphony, Richmond Symphony and National Symphony.

Professionally, Reginald taught in the public-school systems in Prince Edward County, Charlotte County and Petersburg City. He also worked as the Director of Pupil Personnel at Virginia State University until 1983 when he began his tenure with the Lunenburg County Public School System. He was the Assistant Principal at Victoria Elementary, Kenbridge Elementary, Lunenburg Middle and then Principal of Lunenburg Middle School. He was appointed as the Director of Alternative Education and Special Projects and finally the Director of Administrative Services when he retired in 2016. He continued to work part time in this position until 2020.

Civically, Reginald was the President of the Men’s Ministry for the Baptist General Convention of Virginia, Secretary of the Averette Union Masonic Lodge #235, Treasurer and Financial Secretary of the Saint Pauls’ College National Alumni Association and President of the Lunenburg High School Alumni Association Reunion Planning Committee.

To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife, Gracie T. Davis of Chase City; his daughter, Robyn J. Davis, and granddaughter Jocelyn F. Davis-Russell of Laurel,

Maryland; two stepsons, Kevin A. Smith of Pfafftown, North Carolina and Reginald D. Smith of Edgewater Maryland; one stepdaughter, Brenda Walker Gatling (C.J.) of Fayetteville, North Carolina; brother-in-law, Deacon George A. Taylor (Renell); four sisters-in-law, Deacon Laura T. Tucker, Joyce T. Blackwell all of Chase City; Reverend Rachel T. Satterfield, Richmond and Pearl E. Taylor, Chesterfield and a vast number of other loving relatives and caring friends.

Funeral services for Mr. Reginald Saunders Davis were conducted Noon, Sunday, March 21 at Giles-Harris Funeral Home, Chase City with Rev. Dr. J. Elisha Burke officiating. Burial with Masonic Rites followed in Mount Mitchell Baptist Church Cemetery, Drakes Branch.

Arrangements are by Giles-Harris Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Chase

City. Online condolences may be expressed at