William E. & Margaret H. Davis with family

William E. & Margaret H. Davis

A native of Nebraska, William "Bill" Davis attended Drake University before transferring to the University of Nebraska, where he was a Big Six tennis champion in his division. Upon graduation, Bill was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. During his training in South Carolina he met his future wife, Margaret Porter Haskell, in 1940. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, during the attack on Pearl Harbor before transferring back to the mainland in 1943, where he married Margaret after three years of writing to each other. Bill later retired from the U.S. Army Reserve after 20 years of service.

In 1947, they moved to Oklahoma City, where Bill went to work with the John Sexton Co. to learn the food service distribution business and the couple raised six children. In 1953, he and Margaret started Davis Wholesale Grocery. It was truly a family business, with the couple and their six children all maintaining active daily roles in the company that would become William E. Davis and Sons food distribution business. After selling the company in 1986, Bill continued with the successor company U.S. Food Service for another 14 years.

In 1987, the family established the first family affiliated fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. While Margaret died in 1990 and Bill in 2015, the permanent endowment fund continues to support their family's charitable interests as directed by the Davis children.

Read more:
-Creating a Family Legacy: The William E. and Margaret H. Davis Family Fund
-A Family Enterprise creates a Family’s Legacy

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