William Davault

Sunday, July 8, 2012

William Hughes Davault, 96, of Jackson passed away Saturday, July 7, 2012, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.

He was born June 14, 1916, in Shawneetown, son of Dr. Webster and Anna Jenkins Davault. He and Doris Brennecke were married Nov. 20, 1941.

Hughes was a member of New McKendree United Methodist Church in Jackson, the Together Sunday school class and a former teacher of that class for many years. He was an active member of the Methodist Men's organization, served on many church committees through the years, and was an Old McKendree trustee. At the June 1999 Missouri East Conference meeting, he received the Outstanding Layman award for the Cape Girardeau-Farmington District. Hughes was a member of the Jackson Heritage Association, American Legion, VFW, Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, Cape Girardeau County and State Retired Teachers Association, Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri National Education Association and was a past president of the Southeast Missouri Vocational Teachers Association.

He was a charter member of the Bell City Rotary Club and a past president of the club while living in Bell City, Mo., and was a member of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce for many years after moving to Jackson. He was also an accomplished public speaker, being master of ceremonies and giving many, many programs throughout his years at Bell City and Jackson. He authored and published the book "These I Remember" in 1989.

Hughes served 42 months in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, including 34 months on nine islands in the South and Southwest Pacific Theater, 29 of those months being in combat zone. He was a combat medic and member of the famed 339th Fighter Squadron, whose pilots shot down Japanese Admiral Yamamoto. The squadron and all its members received the Presidential Citation for this action. In addition, he received four medals and six awards.

He received a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri in Columbia in 1948 and has been a member of the MU Alumni Association since graduation. He taught vocational Agriculture at Maryville, Bell City, and the last 22 years of his teaching career in Jackson. Before World War II, he taught rural schools at Gangle and Indian Creek, Mo., and spent a total of 32 years teaching. He was also a farmer. 

Loving survivors include his wife of 70 years, Doris; a son, Webster Joe (Gail) of Cartersville, Ga.; a daughter, Suzanna (David) Clippard of Richmond, Va.; five grandchildren, Dax (Marti) Davault, and Ian (Janice) Davault of Pensacola, Fla., Matthew (Lauren) Clippard and Mark (Stacy) Clippard of Sarasota, Fla., and Kristen (Kristian) Zamber of Arlington, Texas. Also surviving are nephews and nieces, Clinton (Beth) Summers, Alan (Pat) Summers, Paul (Sue) Davault, Mary Chris Davault; and a sister-in-law, Jean Davault of Richmond, Mo.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Marjorie Summers, and a brother, Dr. George K. Davault.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the chapel of McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson, and from 1 p.m. to service time Tuesday at New McKendree UMC South Campus, 1770 S. Hope St., Jackson.

Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the South Campus church, with the Rev. Jimmie Corbin officiating.

Interment will follow in Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau, with full military honors.

The family suggests that memorials be made to New McKendree United Methodist Church in Jackson.

Sympathy messages may be sent to the family online at www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.