The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
Max Davis Inducted 1989 - Class of 1937
Max Davis, Class of 1937, grew up on Yates Street, near the corner of Mulberry. Most of his neighbors were blue-collar workers, being employed in automobile plants, glass plants, and machine shops. Despite the tough times of the depression years, the houses were well kept and lawns well-groomed. His friends were from various ethnic backgrounds including Polish, Syrian, Jewish, Hungarian, and Black. Despite the difficult times, he feels that he, his family, and his neighbors managed to live modestly and survive quite well.
After an elementary education at Spring School, Max went on to Woodward. Here he met his best school friends: Irwin Dorf, Joe Sterling, Elsie Shemas, Violet Sheckler, and Norma Jean Allen. At Woodward, he had many teachers who influenced his life and his thoughts and who made a special effort to help him recognize his potential. They give him hope and encouraged him to do something important by helping him to develop a strong work ethic. Some teachers took him to task and disciplined him, while others made him aware that good fundamentals are important.
Most of all, he remembers that Woodward teachers taught him the difference between mediocrity and excellence.
The teachers that Max feels were most important to him were: Miss Dorothy-Kellogg, of the Little Theatre Guild; Miss Hannah Shaw, Miss Edith Murphy, Mr. Romaine Bitter, Mr. Van Gorder, Mrs. Marie Doering Ersig, Mr. Everitt Lords, and Mr. Clyde Meek. He feels that each teacher contributed to his success, helping him in many different ways.
Most of Max's favorite memories of Woodward revolve around the Little Theatre Guild and the Thespian Society. He thoroughly enjoyed acting, making scenery, directing the stage lighting, and helping to build the stage lighting system in the auditorium.
After graduating from Woodward, Max continued his education at the University of Toledo, the University of Cincinnati, and Ohio State. He then served in World War II as a project engineer for the U.S. War Department at the Erie Proving Ground where he directed the activities of three facilities concerned with recoil mechanisms, army tanks, and machine guns. He also directed field service modification to Army Tanks at Rock Island Arsenal and Waterviolet Arsenal.
In 1943, after military service, Max founded The Max Davis Time Service and Watch Repair, a business in which he and several technicians serviced watches for over forty jewelers. Success at this level led him, in 1950, to found the Max Davis Jewelry Store, a fine retail operation.
In 1968, Max Davis Jewelers merged with the Zale Corporation and Max was named Vice-President and Retail Manager. He was responsible for and directed, managed, and supervised twelve retail jewelry stores. He also served as a consultant to the Fine Jewelers Guild and was a moderator and training supervisor at the Zale Company annual seminars. It was during this time that he authored a nationally accepted service manual for jewelers.
In recent years, Max has also served as a consultant to J.B. Robinson Jewelers in Cleveland and Major's Jewelers in Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Coral Gables. He has founded and opened the Max Davis Diamond Galerie in nearby Sylvania, Ohio, a business which he operates at present.
Max's professional affiliations include memberships in the American Gemological Association, the American Society of Appraisers, and the American Watchmakers Institute. He is a certified diamond appraiser for the Gemological Institute of America and a certified Rolex master watchmaker.
Max and his wife, Beverley, have a son, Neal Evan, who lives and works in Los Angeles. Their daughter, Melanie, assists him in his jewelry business. They have a "delightful and charming" granddaughter, Britney Michelle Young. Max feels the real "blessing" in his life has been his wife who believed in him and gave him the direction to achieve his success. He is a firm advocate of the theory that "behind every successful man, there is a woman."
For fun, Max enjoys fishing, tennis, and golf. He also enjoys designing, creating, and inventing new ways of doing things. His loyalty to Woodward was evident during the many years he donated fine watches to the top senior boy and girl at Recognition Day ceremonies. We are sure that all the young people who received the watches join the rest of us in congratulating Max on his selection to the Woodward Hall of Fame.