Howard Bruce “H.B.” Davis Jr.

December 10, 1938 - August 13, 2022

Howard Bruce Davis Jr

Howard Bruce Davis, Jr “H.B.” formerly of Carl Junction, MO, passed away peacefully at the home of his daughter in Pineville, MO on Saturday, August 13, 2022. H.B. entered this life on December 10, 1938, in Carthage, MO, son of the late Howard B. “Red” Davis, Sr. and Evelyn (Warden) Davis. He had a sister Dorothy (Davis) Sharp and a brother Benny Davis, both of whom preceded him in death.


H.B. was raised in Carthage, MO and was a 1957 graduate of Carthage High School.


He married the love of his life, Carla Taylor, on February 10, 1961 and to this union four daughters were born. He was preceded in death by twin daughters, Holly and Heather Davis. Surviving children are Jennifer Davis and Susan Davis Goldstein (Scott) both of Pineville, MO. He is survived by three grandsons, Alex McCall of Omaha NE, Erik Bodin (Celeste) of Reno, NV, Keegan Chorum of Asbury, MO, and one granddaughter, Kendall Goodyear of  Rogers, AR, and great granddaughter, Brooklyn McCall of Omaha, NE. He was preceded in death by one grandson, Case Chorum of Asbury, MO. Also surviving are two grandsons by marriage, Adam Goldstein (Nina) and son Tyler, of Huntsville, AL and Aaron Goldstein of Charlotte, NC.


H.B. attended Eugene Field, Mark Twain, Pleasant Valley and Hawthorne Schools, and graduated from Carthage High School in 1957. In high school, he played varsity football as a fullback. During his junior year, the team won the conference championship with an undefeated season. H.B. was chosen for the National High School All-American Team and was voted to the 2nd team All-Big Nine team. He amassed 710 yards on 121 carries. During his senior year at CHS, H.B. played fullback and led the Big Nine in scoring with 101 points. The team tied for 2nd in the conference. He was the only unanimous selection for the Big Nine All-Conference Team. H.B. was voted 1st Team on the All-Ozarks Team as a halfback, again selected as an All-American, and selected 3rd team All-State as a halfback. At that time there were no state football playoffs and no school classifications, and only 9 halfbacks were selected from across the state.


Recruited by Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, H.B. first decided on Mizzou, but then returned to the former Joplin Junior College (MSSU) to play football as a fullback. He was co-captain of the team. During his final year, he was selected for the Junior College All-American Team and voted MVP by his teammates.


In 1959, H.B. enrolled in Kansas State College of Pittsburg, KS (PSU), to pursue a degree in Education and left playing football behind. H.B. received a B.S.Ed. in 1962 and began teaching and coaching at the high school level in central Missouri. In 1964 he returned to Carthage High School, where he taught social studies and served as assistant football coach. In 1967 he taught and coached at Kemper Military School in Booneville, MO. In 1973, he moved to Carl Junction High School, first as an assistant football coach for 7 years, and then as head coach for an additional 14 years, in addition he taught social science and coached various other sports. During his time as head coach, H.B. led his teams to shared Big 8 Conference Championships in 1982, 1983 and 1984, a Big 8 Conference Championship in 1989, as well as District Titles in 1988 and 1989. H.B. retired from coaching and teaching in 1994. Family, coaching and sports were his life. H.B. touched many young lives during his career.


After retirement H.B. and Carla enjoyed traveling and were winter Texans for 20 years. H.B. was a competitive tennis player and enjoyed golfing and fishing, Nascar, the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs as well as spending time with his family.  He was inducted into the Carl Junction Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Class of 2017 Hall of Carthage Heroes located at the Carthage YMCA.


H.B. will be greatly missed by his family, many friends, former students and his cat, Hannibal and his grand fur babies. His honesty, integrity and amazing sense of humor are just a few of the qualities that made him the great man that he was.


A celebration of life will be held at Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, 602 South Byers Avenue, Joplin MO, on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 2:00pm.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in honor of H.B. Davis, to the Carthage Humane Society, 13860 Dog Kennel Lane, Carthage MO 64836.