Keeping DuPont’s memory alive

Published 12:50 am Saturday, August 21, 2010

It’s supposed to get easier.

That’s what we’re always told when someone we care about passes away.

Here we just days away from five months since we lost DuPont L. Davis and that just doesn’t seem to be the case. There are times when it seems just as surreal as the day I received the call he was in the hospital.

I’ve covered a lot of political leaders and known many of them personally, just the way I did with DuPont. I’ve written the story about their death and done all the things we do in those instances.

Few had the same impact on me or the people of the community he did. I guess that may well be one of the reasons it’s different this time.

In the last several weeks I’ve done several things that instantly brought the late Hertford County Commissioner to mind.  I covered a meeting of the board, attended New Ahoskie Baptist Church and wrote a story about Commissioner Howard J. Hunter III’s candidacy for a post with the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

At the commissioner’s meeting room, it still seems strange for Davis not to mosey in about five minutes after the meeting started. He was usually in the parking lot in plenty of time, but found himself stopped half a dozen times before he could get into the meeting.

New Ahoskie Baptist Church is where Davis was laid to rest. It seemed strange for him not to be there, even though it has been several months since he passed away at the much too young age of 63.

While working on Hunter’s story, I read a quote he used from DuPont that sounded exactly like him. It was the sentiment he always expressed – serve all no matter what.

I have found myself thinking a lot about the man that DuPont was during the last several weeks. I guess those places where I felt a closeness to his spirit are one of the reasons.

Another reason, I’m sure, is there is just no way to measure the impact someone has on your life until they are no longer a part of it. That’s sad, but I guess may be true.

DuPont was someone who made me laugh a lot. We gave each other fits and picked all the time. It was a fun and constructive relationship.

When I answered the phone and heard his voice, I knew he had something to say that was important. I always listened, even if I disagreed. He did the same for me.

I am appreciative of the business and personal relationship we shared. I am not the same person thanks to knowing him.

There are days when I still wonder how it could be that he is gone from us too soon. I still wonder what many more things he would have accomplished had God allowed him to stay just a while longer.

In all of my wondering, I know that there is a time and a season for everything. While the time of DuPont Davis’ life is past, the time for keeping his memory alive in our hearts is still very much present.

Thadd White is Staff Writer and Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. He can be reached via email at or by telephone at 332-7211.