Jed Horace Davis, Jr.

Memorial services for Jed Horace Davis, Jr., 93, Lawrence will be held July 31, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Private family inurnrment services will be held after the service at Memorial Park Cemetery.

He passed away Monday, May 25, 2015 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Jed was born July 31, 1921, in Stillwater, MN the son of Jed Horace Davis, Sr. and Margarita C. (Culver) Davis.

He served his country in the United States Army during World War II.

Jed received his bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees in theater from the University of Minnesota. He previously taught theater and creative dramatics classes at Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, and Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI before arriving at Kansas University,

He jointly authored two text books on theater for children and was nationally known as an innovator and advocate for connecting children with theater as an art form and means of expression. He is a charter inductee to the Kansas Theater Hall of Fame and was an emeritus professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas, retiring in 1986.

He married Elizabeth Jane (BJ) Crosby on August 4, 1945, in Litchfield, MN. She preceded him in death on Dec. 19, 2002.

Survivors include his daughter, Julie K. Davis of Lawrence; son, John C. Davis and daughter-in-law, Linda, of Salina, KS; three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Robert and Culver, Sr., sister Mira Elizabeth, and a son, Brian T. Davis.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the KU Endowment ~ Brian TenEyck Davis Award (KU Theater Department) or The Children’s Theatre Foundation and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.


8 Condolences

  1. Carole Calano Sullivan on May 29, 2015 at 8:24 am

    He will always be KU to me. My faculty advisor and my mentor for children’s theatre and creative dramatics study. A gentle man with an easy laugh. Thanks’s Jed for everything. RIP

  2. Jeanne Klein on May 30, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Jed Davis was an extraordinary gentle giant who had a major impact on my academic life and so many others’ lives around this country and the world. I am so very sad that I will not be able to attend his memorial services, because I will be in Montreal at the ATHE conference doing what he always did so well (presenting research on child audiences). But I will continue to contribute to the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America (that he co-founded) in his memory for many years to come. Peace.

  3. James Still on May 30, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Jed was one of the great teachers for so many of us — and a great example of how to live with gentle grace. He was so modest about his multiple accomplishments and national leadership that many probably don’t know how much he influenced a generation of theater-makers — especially those who were curious about making art for children and young people. He had passion and a twinkle in his eye (the child was always there!) — and he also witnessed first-hand the liberation of concentration camps in World War II. A life lived — so beautifully. My thoughts go to his family.

  4. David Holroyd on May 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Dr Davis so patiently put up with our antics as we presented plays at Wyandotte High School for the KCK school system grade school children. One thing still memorable was an actor not taking his props on stage with him. So the stage crew threw the prop over the set to Jed’s horror and disbelief! The well trained KU actor ad libs “thank you god” and all was well!

    BJ and Jed threw a party for us at their home. Their hospitality was the best.

    He guided me through a project on the King-Coit school and the results of which at his advice ended up at the library at ASU, the home of the Children’s Foundation.

    Looking back, he influenced Sharon Scoville, Bill Bowersock, Steve Grossman. Kip Niven, Paul Hough, to name a few who continued in a career of theatre.

    That famous ad lib line is now for you Jed Davis, his lovely wife BJ and his children for sharing their father with us at KU.

  5. Aurora Mendoza Perry on May 31, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Dr. Davis was always so kind, gentle, and honest when giving those of us fortunate to work under his direction feedback/notes. He was such a genuine person who made you feel good when chatting and catching up on news and family. I loved his chuckle that could make you begin to smile…chuckle…and right out laugh. He was also contemplative–and for many of us who needed to slow down to think & reflect–he modeled it beautifully. Love to his family.

  6. James Pennel on May 31, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Julie, so sorry to hear about your dad! Awesome man! Will be greatly missed!

  7. Joyce Halderman on June 2, 2015 at 11:22 am

    John and Linda, I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s death. I know he will be missed by so many. Peace

  8. Lilly Tsubaki, Arthur & Philip Tsubaki on July 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    To the Davis family: It is with love and gratitude we offer our condolences to a great and caring friend for all these years. Mom wanted to express that Jed will always have a special place in her heart for the compassion Jed had for my father, Andrew Tsubaki. When dad was hired by KU, Jed was there to advocate and support dad in his new career. That care continued beyond my father’s passing as he continually made sure that my mom was doing well! Our thoughts and prayers are with Julie and the rest of the Davis family. Love, the Tsubakis

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