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In loving memory of William E. David (1925-2019)

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 7, 2020

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. William “Bill” E. David, who died on September 5, 2019, at the age of 94.


Bill was born on February 8, 1925 in Houston, TX to Edward and Anna Lou David. He served as an intelligence officer (May 1942- December 1945) for the Flying Tigers Airforce Unit in China during World War II, following which he received his Bachelor of Arts in History (1949), and Master of Arts in History and Political Science (1950), both from Baylor University, TX. In 1954, he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, KY and worked as a chaplain at the V.A. Hospital, Nashville, TN (1954-1958). Later in 1958, Bill earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion from Vanderbilt University, TN. After his Ph.D., Bill was drawn to being fluent in Spanish; he and his first wife Lena David, started their intense Spanish language studies and missionary training work in Costa Rica for a year before traveling as missionaries to Argentina.


Rev. Dr. David was ordained on September 1, 1951 and granted preliminary fellowship in 1973. He served his parish ministry at the Clayton UU Memorial Church, Newberry, SC (1971-1985); and the Canon UU Church, GA (1971-1986) until his retirement on September 19, 1989.


Rev. Dr. David’s denominational activities included serving the Mid-South District Board and conducting workshops at the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute on the campus of Radford University, VA. He was a member of the UU Fellowship of Athens, GA for almost fifty years and served as guest speaker for several different UU Fellowships in the Southeast. Bill’s first wife Lena played a profound and pivotal role in the churches that he pastored. She was a virtuoso in piano and organ and led all the choral and musical activities that congregations loved.


Before his ministerial calling, Bill served as professor of Religion and Philosophy for several years. In 1962 after returning from Argentina, he accepted a position as a Professor of Religion at The Christian College of Georgia. Soon after, he served as Chair of the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia (UGA) and taught Religion and Philosophy. He retired from the UGA at the age of 62, and then worked as Patient Representative Advocate for Athens Regional Medical Center for over 10 years. He also was a Spanish translator there. Subsequently, he became Chaplain for the Angel Medical Center in Franklin, NC for several years. He started the First Unity Church in Athens and launched the first Course in Miracles study group. He always had various speaking engagements, including at Piedmont College. In his spare time, Bill enjoyed nature, hiking mountain trails, and traveling across the world. He loved being with friends and family and was an avid reader.


David’s son Drew offered the following beautiful remembrance of his father:

“He was fondly known as simply "Bill”, a people person, who was a compassionate humanitarian that was warm and affectionate with his "hugs".   A "peacemaker", a world traveler, and an avid reader. In fact, I recently found a handwritten list that he had written down of many of the books that he had read and even the dates of when he had finished reading them and it was literally in the hundreds of books!  He was widely known by his family, friends, and acquaintances as a scholar on a variety of religious and spiritual topics.  He also loved to keep on top of current events.  I had many trail hikes with him, and new-thought, spirituality and religion was always something he loved to discuss while out in nature on the trails.  A peace-loving and "service to others" oriented person, who has humbly helped many people in our community”.


Bill is survived by his wife of thirty years, Kathleen David; his children: Garry David, Drew David, Caroline Carey (Nelson), and Robert David; his stepdaughters: Siobhan O’Brien, Maureen Corneal (Mark), and Erin Jamnoul (Ahmed); his grandchildren: Nicole Bare (Kevin), Crystal Sharon (Chris), Joshua Berryman, Bronson Carey, Matthew David,  and Graciella David; his step grandchildren: Nahed, Radwan, and Amir Jammoul; as well as his great grandchildren: Cody, Emily, Cannon, Nate, Annalise, Lena and Scarlett.


A memorial service was held at 7 pm on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, 780 Timothy Road, Athens, GA 30606.


Notes of condolences may be posted here


You may also wish to visit the web page for Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association here


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