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Early in the morning hours of July 20, 2009, the Rev. Barney Davidson died peacefully at Duke Medical Center, near where he graduated from Duke Divinity School over a half century earlier.

Born on a farm on the plains of Texas in 1920, Rev. Davidson grew up during the Great Depression. He attended West Texas A&M University before transferring to Southern Methodist University, where he joined the National Guard in the late 1930s. In March of 1940 his Guard unit was activated. Shortly thereafter, he was nominated for and completed Officer Candidate School. While stationed at Camp Mackall with the 542nd Parachute Infantry Battalion at Camp Mackall near Hamlet, N.C., he met Donna Howell, who was to become his beloved and beautiful wife for 64 years. He served as a company commander in the Philippines, on Okinawa and in the occupation of Japan. Rev. Davidson remained in the Army Reserve following the war, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

After the war Rev. Davidson returned to North Carolina where he married Donna and then moved to Texas to complete his bachelor's degree at SMU and West Texas A&M. Thereafter they moved to Durham, where he completed Duke Divinity School. He was blessed with a long and rewarding life devoted to ministering to the needs of others, through whom he will be long remembered. He served churches in the N.C. Methodist Conference for over 30 years including three small churches in Fayetteville, Gardner's Chapel, Wesley Heights and Johnson Memorial, the First United Methodist Church of Cary, the First United Methodist Church of Morehead City, St. Paul United Methodist Church of Goldsboro, and the First United Methodist Church of Wilson. He twice served as district superintendent, once for the Fayetteville District and once for the Burlington District, where he also served as president of the Bishop's Cabinet for the North Carolina Methodist Conference.

In l984, he and Donna retired to Cary to live in the house they had built in the l950s with the G.I. Bill. Until his death they attended the same church where he had served as pastor. In his last days, Barney said, "I have had a wonderful life with a wonderful wife." He is survived by his wife, Donna; their two children Carol Lani Dickey and Barney Mark Davidson and their spouses Pitt and Ann; and five grandsons, Dan and Will Dickey and Kenan, Stuart and Paul Davidson.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church of Cary, 117 S. Academy St., Cary. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 330, New York City, N.Y., 10715. Brown Wynne Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Condolences can be sent to the family through www.MEM.com.


Published in Obituaries on July 22, 2009 1:47 PM