Wilburn George Davis
Wilburn George Davis
  • December 31, 1911 - May 23, 2017
  • Fort Worth, Texas

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At 105 years young, Wilburn G. Davis of Fort Worth, Texas was called home to be with his Lord on Tuesday, May the 23, 2017.

Wilburn was born on December 31, 1911 in Port Author, Texas. His parents were Lon Brown and Minnie Lou (Blackwell) Davis. He had two sisters, Mildred and Louella. Wilburn graduated from Central High School in 1930 and saved enough money working in a local drug store to attend Texas Christian University. When the Great Depression rocked America, he was forced to discontinue his education and help support his family. He began taking infant portraits on the side and before long, it was clear he possessed an inherent talent for photography. In 1934 he was offered a job as a professional news photographer at The Fort Worth Press and later became a photographer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Wilburn has been credited with bringing color separation (color pictures) to the newspaper. On June 22, 1941, Wilburn married the love of his life, Genevieve M. Papineau. In 1942 Wilburn was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps and soon became a photographer for the military. He was in Public Relations at Tinker Field, Oklahoma City where he produced black and white photos for publication. When General Patton began to successfully drive Hitler’s forces back to Germany, Wilburn had the opportunity to document World War II from behind the lens.

When Wilburn returned from the war, he continued his career as a professional photographer with the Fort Worth Star Telegram until mandatory retirement at age 65. He loved using the camera to capture emotion and immortalize beauty. His gentle nature contributed to his unique photographic style. Wilburn knew there was nothing more personal than preserving a fleeting moment so that it could be treasured and relived in print.

Wilburn and Genevieve had five beautiful children. Wilburn was a loving father and attentive grandfather. His wife, Genevieve, two of their sons, Davey and James “Jimmy” Davis, his parents, and his two sisters preceded Wilburn in death. Survivors include children Daniel and Cathy Davis, Mary Irene (Davis) and Michael Tiejens, and Sandra Davis (Cunningham); Grandchildren, Anna Tietjens Fischer and Jens Henning Fischer, Gesa Tietjens and Christian Asche, Byron and Mariana Davis, Alaina (Davis) and Randy Berger, Alexandria (Davis) and Luís Rodriguez, and Coleton Davis; and great-grandchildren, Santiago and Sofia Davis, Paxton, Romi, and Rowan Berger, Lukas and Luisa Fischer, and Johannes Asche.

Services are scheduled for Saturday June 3, 2017 at Laurel Land Funeral Home, 7100 Crowley Road, Fort Worth TX, 76134. Visitation is at 10:00 A.M. and the funeral will immediately follow at 11:00 A.M. Both the visitation and the funeral will be held in the Chapel of Chimes. There will be a reception immediately following the funeral in the Laurel Land Reception room located in Laurel Land Funeral Home’s main building.

Wilburn was an old-fashioned gentleman who had the ability to make anyone feel like the most important person in the room. He always had a smile on his face and love in his heart—never complaining or speaking an unkind word. He taught those around him to embrace life and left each of us a better person for having known him. Wilburn always said, “I’m a lucky guy,” but his friends and family know that they are the lucky ones.