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Leland Eugene Davis
June 8, 1927 – February 10, 2023
Leland Eugene Davis was born on June 8, 1927 in London Mills, Illinois to Alva and Doris Davis. He grew up during the Great Depression on a farm near there. Following graduation from high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy in 1945 and began training to be a Navy pilot. Thankfully, World War II ended, and he returned to farming.
Leland married Nellie Louise Suydam on February 2, 1951 in Galesburg, Illinois. They had three children: Linda Henks (Rick), Kathryn Smith (Dwain), and John (Laura). They had eight grandchildren: Daniel Henks (Sarah), Lori Driskell (Brian), Matthew Smith (Heather), Mark Smith, Brian Henks (Jessica), Scott Davis, Jennifer Smith, and Sarah Workman (Austin). And, they were blessed with 15 great-grandchildren: Mackenzie Henks, Ellie Henks, Trace Henks, Noah Driskell, Bailey Driskell, Alexander Henks, Caleb Henks, Jacob Sandy, Carter Smith, Aubrie Smith, Emma Smith, Chase Smith, Blake Ladd, Lily Ladd, and Everly Workman.
Leland was preceded in death by two younger brothers: Stanley Davis (Jane) and Lester Davis.
During his lifetime, Leland farmed for the first five years of marriage but soon took a job in Galesburg as an engineering technologist for Butler Manufacturing. After eight years, Leland was transferred to Kansas City where he raised his family and spent the rest of his life. He was passionate about his work and had a career with Butler spanning 39 years. Personally, he was a born-again believer in Jesus and attended First Baptist Church of Raytown, serving as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon. Additionally, he and Louise were very engaged in their children’s activities, enjoying time with friends, and traveling when possible.
Leland was a loving and considerate caregiver to Louise late in her life until she passed away on January 25, 2010 of cancer after just less than 59 years of marriage.
Leland later married Mary Lou Rickard on December 30, 2012. Their common bonds of having both been caregivers to their first spouses, common faith in Christ, and relationships among their children made this an easy and wonderful blending of their lives and their families. He and Mary Lou enjoyed working in Hope Network and at their church, getting together with family and friends, traveling, and frequent desserts. Leland especially loved his time with friends working on construction projects in the church shop to support the needs of his church.
Mary Lou died on December 20, 2018 following a very brief battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
Leland struggled with declining health in the last four years of his life. He died on February 10, 2023 following complications from a stroke and a fall that broke his pelvis.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 18 at 10:30 AM at Connection Point Church in Raytown, 10500 E. 350 Highway, in the Atrium (entrance on the 75th Street side). The visitation with family will be on Friday, February 17 from 6-8 PM at the same location.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hope Network of Raytown at Connection Point Church.
Arrangements have been made through Heartland Cremation and Burial Society in Raytown. Graveside will be at Floral Hills Lee’s Summit Cemetery, 25203 E US Hwy 50, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086.
Janet Rickard says
What a great man!! We loved Leland. He will be greatly missed . Such a faithful father and servant leader. He was so devoted to his family. Thankful hr is home at last with his Savior
Jack & Katherine Reighley says
The times we were with Leland, was in family gatherings, we had only known him a few short years, before & after Sarah & Austin were married. He was such a joy and delight to be around. His smile lit up the room, & his gentleness made us feel like we had know him for year’s. He will be missed!
Kevin, Michele and Dylan Workman says
What a blessing Leland was in our lives. He always treated us like family and loved in our Dylan who lovingly referred to him as Grandpa. He was kind and sincere, alway smiling. He loved his church and served it and Hope Network well, building and repairing shelves, fixing broke items that could be readied for donation to a family in need. He loved his family so well and was so genuine. Our family will miss him so.