Emmett Irwin Davis Jr., founder of Greenwood engineering firm Davis & Floyd Inc., died Wednesday night at 87, the company announced.
“The loss of my father is devastating for both our family and the Davis & Floyd family that meant so much to him over the last 63 years,” said Stephen L. Davis. “My father was an extraordinary man of honor and faith, and he dedicated his life to serving his community and working hard every day to make South Carolina a better place. His absence will be felt by many, but I am proud that his legacy will continue to live on.”
Born in Greenwood in 1929, Davis attended Greenwood High School and graduated from The Citadel in 1950. He returned to Greenwood and began working as a civil/structural engineer at Greenwood Mills while also serving with the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Reserve for twelve years.
In 1954, he and co-worker Phil Floyd began operations from the back of a liquor store in Greenwood. The multi-discipline professional engineering firm now has offices in Greenwood, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Florence, with 175 employees.
Davis was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Council of Engineering Companies, which awarded him the “Service to the Profession” award in 2008. He was awarded The Order of the Palmetto by S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, the Presidential Medallion from Piedmont Technical College, and the Palmetto Medal by The Citadel Board of Visitors. In March 2017, Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina inducted him into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame.
His former leadership roles include director of United Telephone Company; chairman of Self Regional Healthcare Hospital; director of Self Family Foundation; member of Clemson University Engineering Advisory Board; director/president of The Citadel Development Foundation; and board member/chairman of Erskine College. He received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from The Citadel and Honorary Doctor of Science from Erskine College.
An elder in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Davis was married to Mona Ruth Looper (deceased) and is survived by three children: Emmett I. Davis III, Rebecca Ruth Davis Flack, and Stephen Looper Davis, as well as five grandchildren.
A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Greenwood. Burial will follow in the Davis Family Cemetery at Eden Hall in McCormick County, followed by a reception on the grounds of Eden Hall.