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Jan Earle Davis

Bartonville – Jan Earle Davis, 77, of Bartonville, passed away at 8:20 AM on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at Pekin Manor in Pekin, IL. He was born January 24, 1943 to Oren E. and Edna J. (Wormer) Davis in Bartonville, IL. Jan married Paula Nan Heitzman on November 27, 1987 in Bartonville, IL. She preceded him in death on June 24, 2019.

Also preceding him in death are his parents, two brothers, Dale and Jerry “Jake” Davis, both of Bartonville, IL.

He is survived by two children, Brian Davis and Jana (Matt) Herman both of California; one sister, Beverly Gillig of Peoria, IL; four grandchildren, Josh Davis, Emma Davis, Elle Herman, and Brody Herman all of California; three nephews, Bob Davis, David Gillig, and Dan Gillig; two nieces, Melinda Davis and Leann Davis Scovil; and several cousins.

Jan attended Bartonville Grade School, Limestone High School and Illinois State University in Normal, IL earning a Bachelor of Science in education degree in 1965.

His work career started when he was 6 years old at Fred Heisel’s grocery store in Bartonville. He worked there until going to College. In 1965 he began his teaching and coaching career at Bartonville Grade School, his alma mater.

Coach Davis taught physical education and heath to boys and girls for 21 years and coached Jr. high baseball, basketball, and track for 25 years. His last 17 years he taught social studies, fifth through eighth grade. He retired in 2003 after 38 years. During his teaching career he was named in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers several times and was a finalist for the Disney Teacher of the year. He was proud of the 7th grade class for developing and implementing the original neighborhood watch program throughout the Bartonville community and also the adopt a grandparent program.

Jan was active in sports throughout most of his life as a player, coach, basketball official, little league and biddy basketball coach and director. In high school he was blessed with being voted onto several baseball and basketball all conference teams and 2 all-state basketball teams. He was also inducted into the Limestone High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Coach Davis started a summer recreational program for grade school boys and girls of the area, which included various games, activities, crafts, and sports, including tennis lessons. He directed the program for 15 years. After that he started a painting and remodeling business he ran in the summers and into retirement until 2015. He was blessed in this business with making many wonderful friends that he and his wife, Paula, enjoyed a relationship with for many years.

Coach Davis would like to thank the hundreds of students he had for the great impact they had on his life. Thanks also to his many colleagues, coaches, officials, and the many friends God blessed he and Paula with over their lifetimes. They are now together forever.

Graveside service will be held at 1:45 PM on Friday, June 26, 2020 at Lutheran Cemetery in Peoria, IL. A visitation will be held from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Friday, June 26, 2020 at St. John Lutheran Church in Bartonville, IL. Pastor Michael Jones will officiate. Endsley -Sedgwick Funeral Home in Bartonville is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be made to St. John Lutheran Church. To make online condolences you may go to


  • Kathy Chitwood

    Reply June 23, 2020 7:01 pm

    Jan is a man that I will never forget. He touched so many lives and made a huge difference in those lives. I will cherish my memories of him at BGS…

  • Don Sanders

    Reply June 23, 2020 7:16 pm

    Another of my old classmates “passing over the bridge”. We played baseball together throughout latter years @ Bartonville then Limestone.

  • Jim & Anita Schultz

    Reply June 23, 2020 7:25 pm

    Such a sad loss of someone so special. He touched many lives and will truly be missed by many, especially by those at church. May he rest in peace.

  • Brenda Kucavik

    Reply June 23, 2020 8:21 pm

    He was a wonderful man. I can hear Paula saying to him in heaven, Welcome home Poppa I’ve been waiting for you. Loved the both of them.

  • Linda Jefferson

    Reply June 23, 2020 9:37 pm

    Coach Davis was such a positive influence on me as a young girl playing sports. He is one of my favorite teachers I ever had!

  • KAREN Bledsoe MCMULLEN - Ron McMullen

    Reply June 23, 2020 9:42 pm

    Our condolences to the family of this great guy. I was in the same graduating class as Jan (1961) and Ron was coached by him, they both were avid sportsmen. Prayers for all of his family & friends and may God, in time, can heal your broken hearts.

  • Jessica Berardi

    Reply June 23, 2020 10:27 pm

    Coach, you were an inspiration to me. You always were willing to take extra time and made sure we knew you cared about each and every one of your students. You were Absolutely the best teacher I’ve ever had. I will always appreciate everything I learned from you. You made learning fun and engaging without letting us get away with too much 😉
    When you showed up to my Mom’s funeral it really drove the point home that you CARE about your students. It really meant the world to me. You will be missed. ❤️

  • Stephanie (Tucker) Maszak

    Reply June 24, 2020 12:49 am

    It’s hard to express with words the impact Coach had on my life. I have so many memories of him, mostly as a coach. He was also my favorite teacher. He made it easy to develop a passion for health and athletics. I admired him so much because he was always so kind, caring, fun, and easy to talk to. I always felt safe with him, and he was so good at making me and other students feel special. Not many people know this, but I once ran away from home and ended up at his and Paula’s house; we lived in the same neighborhood. I trusted he would be able to help, and he did. Everyone should have someone like Coach Davis in their lives even if only for a short time. He was abundantly loved by many, and he will be missed greatly. Praying for peace and comfort for his loved ones.

  • Kim Quinn Wharton

    Reply June 24, 2020 10:00 am

    So sorry to hear of Jan’s passing. He was a good friend of my brother, Pat, and lived just down the street from us. RIP

  • Alan Bruce,, class of 1974

    Reply June 24, 2020 1:10 pm

    What a great coach Jan Davis was. I remember going to The state basketball championship in 73.. what a great influence he was for this group of athletes. The good lord has a great new resident. My condolences to the family..

  • Brent Glore Jr

    Reply June 24, 2020 3:18 pm

    I will always cherish PE with Coach Davis. He was so good at training us while I was on the basketball team that I was a manager in 7th grade and a starter in 8th grade! I’ll never forget the Logan game in 1978 for the district championship. Long story short I made the last basket out of the game with two seconds left that propelled our team to Victory. Coach Davis and the rest of players picked me up on their shoulders and carried me around the gymnasium.That was probably my best 15 minutes of fame I’ve ever experienced.Beating Logan High School meant so much because when we played them two weeks prior we lost by 30 something points. I’ve never seen coach Jan Davis happier!

  • Ed Monroe

    Reply June 24, 2020 3:51 pm

    I had the privilege of playing behind Jan for 4 years at LCHS as he took the mound. He was always a classy individual and a great team leader. He continued to lead throughout his teaching career. RIP, Jan.

  • Kristy Quinn

    Reply June 24, 2020 5:10 pm

    So sorry to hear. A precious memory — When he coached at Bartonville he walked to school with a gaggle of kids joining him. On a rare day, we were ready early enough to join his happy group.

  • Karen Vandergriff

    Reply June 24, 2020 7:24 pm

    My deepest condolences to Coach Davis’s family. He was a truly inspiring Teacher. I had a lot of respect for Coach. I thought of him often after graduating BGS.

  • Regina Clendenny

    Reply June 24, 2020 11:53 pm

    Thoughts and prayers for the family. My bf, Dianna Maloney and I loved him so much

  • Mary Rath

    Reply June 24, 2020 11:53 pm

    Rest in Heaven Coach! Your memories live on in everyone you met. You are an icon. It was an honor to know you.

  • Karen Adams Onyett

    Reply June 25, 2020 10:01 am

    I enjoyed him as a teacher. Even though I was not very athletic he was always encouraging.

  • Christina Hartleib-Jones

    Reply June 27, 2020 4:47 pm

    We will cherish the wonderful memories we have of both Jan and Paula.
    It was a privilege and joy to call Jan & Paula our friends and parishioners at St. John Lutheran.
    You will be missed!
    Christina Hartleib-Jones

  • Linda & Kerry Leifeld

    Reply June 30, 2020 1:34 pm

    Jan was a very thoughtful and kind man. He truly did touch many and will be missed.

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