Charles Lewis Davidson, Jr.
Charles Lewis “Charlie” Davidson, Jr., 89, passed away peacefully on July 26th in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Charlie was born on March 22, 1928 in Lithonia, Georgia, the elder of the two sons of Charles and Florre Jo Davidson. He graduated from Lithonia High School in 1945 and then went on to earn a degree in Industrial Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1949. While at Georgia Tech, Charlie was a member of The ANAK Society and the Phi Delta Theta social fraternity.
Shortly after graduation from Georgia Tech, Charlie met the love of his life, Sarah Cecelia “Cile” McCurdy of Decatur, GA. Despite the fact that Cile was a graduate of one of Georgia Tech’s arch rivals, the University of Alabama, where she led Alabama’s famous marching band as “Miss Alabama”, the couple married on December 21, 1950 and thereafter enjoyed more than 56 years of marriage together before Cile passed away on February 23, 2007.
Charlie’s business career was spent in the crushed aggregates industry, where he rose from a twelve-year-old “water boy” to President of Lithonia-based Davidson Mineral Properties, Inc. and its affiliated entities, North Carolina Crushed Stone, Inc., the Gainesville and Athens Stone Companies and the Atlanta, Stone Mountain and Lithonia Railroad. After this group of companies grew to become Georgia’s second largest producer of construction aggregates, the business was sold in 1970 to Koppers Co., a NYSE-listed firm. In 1980, at the age of 52, Charlie retired from the aggregates business in order to spend more time with his wife and the couple’s four children. Following his retirement, Charlie split his time between Atlanta, Highlands, NC and Naples, FL, where he enjoyed playing golf, fishing and hunting with his friends and family. During those years, his social memberships included the Commerce Club, East Lake Country Club and the Atlanta Athletic Club in Atlanta, Wildcat Cliffs Country Club in Highlands, and Royal Palms Country Club in Naples. In the final years of his life, Charlie moved to South Carolina where he lived near his daughter and her family in both Kingstree and Charleston.
Charlie’s many civic and philanthropic activities included board and leadership positions at institutions such as Brenau Women’s College, Wesley Homes, the United Way, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Charlie was a longstanding member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, where he served a term as President and also maintained 50+ years of perfect attendance. Charlie also served as President of the Georgia Freight Bureau as well as of the American Automobile Association (AAA) Club of Georgia. Early in his professional life, Charlie was selected as DeKalb County’s “Outstanding Young Man” by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and as one of Georgia’s five “Outstanding Young Men” by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Years later while serving on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce board, Charlie headed its STAR Student Program and established and funded the four-year Davidson-McCurdy STAR Scholarship, a college scholarship given annually for twenty years to Georgia’s top public high school graduate. Because he was an accomplished and life-long sportsman and conservationist, Charlie was appointed to serve on the Georgia Game and Fish Commission by four Georgia governors and, upon completion of his term as Chairman of the Commission, he received from then-Governor Jimmy Carter an award recognizing him for his many contributions to the Commission’s important work, including in particular its support of the state’s acquisition of almost 8,000 acres on Sapelo Island for scientific and public preservation purposes. In addition, Charlie was instrumental in arranging for the gift to DeKalb County by his family of the initial 500+ acres which created the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve near Lithonia, and he also made the lead gift that led to the construction of the Davidson Natatorium at Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners, GA.
Charlie was predeceased by his wife, Cile, and his only sibling, Everett Davidson, and he is survived by his four children, Charles Lewis “Chip” Davidson, III (and his wife, Donna), Robert McCurdy “Rob” Davidson, Reid Holmes Davidson (and his wife, Stephanie), Leigh Davidson Connolly (and her husband, Duffy), eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for Charlie will be held in the sanctuary at Northside United Methodist Church in Atlanta (2799 Northside Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30305) on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM. Arrangements by J. HENRY STUHR, INC., MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to either Northside United Methodist Church, Bethel United Methodist Church (57 Pitt Street, Charleston, SC 29401) or Beacon Hospice (501 Wando Park Blvd., Suite 100, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29494).
A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www..jhenrystuhr.com.