Cover photo for Geraldine Phillips Davis's Obituary
Geraldine Phillips Davis Profile Photo

Geraldine Phillips Davis

September 26, 1925 — March 22, 2024

Fort Valley, Georgia

A  Servant’s Life Reflections
“Well done my good and faithful servant. . .”
Matthew 25:23

 Her Beginnings  ~

In the splendor of Spring, during the noonday hour on Friday, March 22, 2024, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in His infinite wisdom, quietly called His beloved daughter, Geraldine Phillips Davis, home to eternal rest. Although a native of Fitzgerald, Georgia, she lived most of her adult life in Miami, Florida until she returned to Warner Robins to live near her daughter, Andresa. She was born to the late Thomas, “Tom” and Amanda “Mandy” Madison Phillips, of Hawkinsville, Georgia, on September 26,1925 in Fitzgerald, Georgia. She peacefully departed this life at The Church Home LifeSpring Rehabilitation and Healthcare Community, Fort Valley, Georgia.

Geraldine, affectionately called Gerri, was the ninth child of twelve children. She had eight brothers and three sisters, two of which passed at an early age. They lived in Fitzgerald, in a white framed house with an L-shaped front porch, on the west side of town. It was where all her cherished childhood memories were created. She enjoyed laughing, playing under the big pecan shade trees, attending Sunday and evening church services, listening to her mother read the Bible nightly as well as exciting events like neighbors gathering on the lawn to hear the radio broadcast of the famous Joe Louis vs. Sonny Liston Heavyweight Championship Boxing Fight.

Her Life of Faith  ~

Geraldine became a Christian at an early age and joined Salem First Missionary Baptist Church in Fitzgerald, Georgia. Throughout her adult life, she faithfully served the Lord. She maintained membership at the Glendale Missionary Baptist Church, Miami, Florida and then at First Baptist Church, Garmon Street, Warner Robins, Georgia, where she served in their Caregivers Ministries. In her later years she was warmly welcomed as a member of Beulahland Bible Church, Byron, Georgia serving in the “Over Fifty Ministries”. 

~ Her Education  ~

Education was a quintessential joy in Geraldine’s life. She began at Monitor Elementary-High School in Fitzgerald and developed a great love for school, especially writing. In the ninth grade she established Monitor High School’s first newspaper, “The Wheel ” and was its editor-in-chief until she graduated. Geraldine soared academically. She attended the prestigious Spelman College in Atlanta and graduated with a BA degree in 1949. Her literary talents flourished all the more writing articles for the college newspaper, the “Campus Mirror.” She was also a member of the Spelman Glee Club and at a Sunday concert in Sisters Chapel, she met a young a man who was attending Morehouse College who sang in the Morehouse Glee Club. Unknowingly, her college experience would include becoming acquainted with, arguably, the most famous African American Civil Rights Leader of the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Learner Becomes The Teacher  ~

Geraldine returned to Fitzgerald following graduation from Spelman and eagerly accepted her first teaching position at her high school alma mater, Monitor High. The next course of events changed her life forever. As a new teacher, she attended a regional educational meeting and met, “The Love of Her Life,” the late Andrew Davis, also a teacher. They had a whirlwind courtship: within four months he proposed, and they married! They were blessed with two children, Andresa and Ricky (now deceased). Later, they moved to Andrew’s hometown in Miami where his parents lived, after Ricky was born.

Geraldine flourished as the consummate educator after moving to Miami. She was offered the opportunity to begin a new career as a counselor for the Miami School System. Her dedication to others, especially to the youth flourished. She took pride in mentoring and counseling students to enroll in proper courses to successfully graduate from high school in preparation for college or gainful employment. Her own academic achievements also soared. She earned a master’s degree from Barry University and became a Columnist and feature story writer for The Miami Times. She joined the Greater Miami Chapter of Continental Society, Inc. and enjoyed numerous public service projects which helped underprivileged children and youth.

Geraldine’s educational commitment to helping students spanned throughout her entire adult life. She never stopped! During her later years she enjoyed countless hours visiting various classrooms discussing her book and topics related to racial reconciliation in many Houston County High Schools; Fort Valley State University; and Spelman College. She also supported the aspirations and dreams of extended youth within her own family. She saw Nykeah Cohen, a great niece, as a strong, determined, driven young woman who was destined for future greatness. Geraldine willingly made sure her fiduciary obligations wouldn’t impede her career as the brilliant attorney she has become with many history making award winning recognitions dating back to her Maimi University Law School days in 2012.

~And The World Opened  ~

In between her educational pursuits and accomplishments, Geraldine traveled abroad during most of her years in Miami. She and Andrew became World Travelers visiting the countries of England, France, Italy, and various other destinations such as Westminster Abbey and Big Ben in London, England; the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; the Canterbury Cathedral and Leeds Castle in England; and The Vatican in Rome, as well as Naples and the Island of Capri in Italy, plus many other destinations. Their love of travel and Geraldine’s public service continued until Andrew became ill and passed away in 1998. She then moved to Warner Robins to be with her daughter.

After eight years of unwavering dedication and her commitment to someday write a book, at the age of 87 years, her first book, In Spite of Color: From Plantations to the White House was published in November 2012! It is a vivid, provocative, read about slavery and reconciliation from a positive perspective with a twist of humor that shows how friendship can transcend race, color and time. Her emphasis was on “how trust and friendship can transcend ethnic groups, language, color and racial barriers." Thereafter, a variety of book readings and signing opportunities opened for her from Atlanta to Miami; and she was even the featured guest on 41 NBC/WMGT “Day Break” with Suzanne Lawler, in the Spring of 2013. Geraldine believed that writing the book as a first experience was, indeed, an act of God in her life. She often said she could not have written or published that book without the anointing of God and the support from a dedicated group of literary minded people like Kate Addison who was the typist and Joan Abram, the manuscript editor; Marsha Moore, the manuscript reviewer, and Michelle Hendricks was the researcher and led Geraldine to the publisher.

However, her most rewarding educational contribution is her Educational Legacy of annually awarding a One Thousand Dollar “The Ricky Davis Scholarship,” established in honor of her son, to a local High School student accepted to college in the field of medicine.

~Family Beloved  ~

Gerri was preceded in death by her parents Thomas and Amanda Madison-Phillips, her husband, Andrew Davis of Miami, Florida, and her two beloved children, Andresa McNair-Marsalis and Ricky Davis, plus her brothers: John, Carsie, Coleman, Robert “T.G.,” Thomas, Matthew and most recently William. Her sisters – Eilen who died in infancy, Fannie, and Ida.

She leaves to cherish her memory grandchildren: Dr. Pamela McNair of Atlanta, Georgia; Dr. LaShonn McNair-Puente (Luis) of Miami, Florida; Alfred McNair of Orlando Florida; Atty. Jamie McNair-Benn (Shad) of Austin, Texas; and Dr. Jonathan McNair of Corpus Christi, Texas; great-grandchildren: Johneirio Bell, Jr., of Jackson, Mississippi; Quincy Freeman II and Loghann Puente-McNair both of Miami, Florida; Master Matthias McNair and Master Micah Benn both of Austin Texas; nephew, Anthony Phillips (Pam) of Yonkers, New York; devoted Nephew and wife, Dr. Derrick Phillips (Velma) of Macon, Georgia; two sisters-in-law, Bernice Phillips of Atlanta, Georgia; Elizabeth Phillips of Orange Park, Florida; special nieces: Geraldin Wilson (Mack) of Fitzgerald, Georgia; Karen Lucas (Bill) of Atlanta, Georgia; Patrice Williams of Ocilla, Georgia; Sharon Stevens (Casius) of Orlando, Florida, Bonnie Brown of Clovis, New Mexico, Fredia Morton (James) of Yukon, Oklahoma, Marchill Maxwell of Miami, Florida; a couple, Rev. Pat and Minister Michelle Hendricks, a “Special Cheerleader-Angel” of Warner Robins, Georgia; a truly devoted couple, Colonel (Ret.) Joe and Cynthia Harrison, a beloved “Daughter-of-the-Heart,” of Alpharetta, Georgia; a cherished lifelong friend, Earlene Dotson of Miami, Florida. A host of relatives, other caring friends, and many literary colleagues. 

Go to www.mcculloughfh.com to sign the Online Registry for the family.  McCullough Funeral Home has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Geraldine Phillips Davis, please visit our flower store.

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Visitation

Thursday, April 4, 2024

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Beulahland Bible Church South Campus

2368 Gunn Rd
Byron, GA 31008

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Funeral Service

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Beulahland Bible Church South Campus

2368 Gunn Rd
Byron, GA 31008

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Repass

Thursday, April 4, 2024

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The Farmhouse at McCullough Funeral Home

417 South Houston Lake Road
Warner Robins, GA 31088

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