October 15, 1941 - October 7, 2021
D. Terry Daviston 1941-2021 "Blessed is the man who endures trials, because when he passes the test, he will receive the crown of life that He has promised to those who love Him." (John 1:12) A popular saying of the day addresses the theory that when a person leaves this world for the glories of heaven, a library closes. That might need to be expanded in the case of Douglas Terry Daviston. A review of this storied life would call for a library, a full-length feature film, a tome of short stories and any number of billboards. Terry was born October 15,1941, in the tiny community of Pea Ridge, Alabama. He was one of two sons born to Ed and Mattie Harris Daviston. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Charles. While Pea Ridge was only about forty miles from Birmingham, it was light years away from the reality of the old south as it raced to become a part of a contemporary society in an ever-changing world. As a young boy, Terry spent the afternoons sitting outside the coal mine where his daddy worked in the darkness of those caverns and the inherent poverty of that world. While he had the utmost respect for the legions of men who had labored for generations in the mines, he knew that he wanted more opportunities for himself outside the mill village where he was raised. He was smart enough to realize that if he wanted to go far in life, he would have to seize every opportunity and turn the life lessons he learned into the building blocks for his life and for his future family. So at the tender age of sixteen he was hired as the bus driver for the school. He had already signed on to keep the wood stove burning in their one room school for the regal amount of 40 cents a week. Anyone who has ever ridden in a car with Terry knows full well what a blessing it was that those children made it to school every day. An indelible impression was made on Terry upon hearing that he and his schoolmates were referred to as "those poor children from Pea Ridge". That lit a fire in him that could not be quenched. Terry's interest in funeral service was borne out of his being at so many funerals as he grew up. He marveled at the men who drove those huge shiny cars, and that only intensified his quest. By the way, he had a lifelong obsession for shiny cars, but he preferred them to be white. A burgundy interior would do, as red might be a little flashy for the ladies with blue hair. As was common at the time, Uncle Sam came calling and he heeded that call. While in the Army he realized he had a knack for cryptography and that was his skill in the service; and with that came top secret clearance while he served in Tokyo. One can only imagine the culture shock of a "snot nosed kid" (his words) from Pea Ridge upon landing in Tokyo! Anyone who knows Terry and has collaborated with him will attest that he had the worst penmanship in the world. They could have done away with cryptography and just let him write everything in his scrawling handwriting. After 33 months in the service, Terry returned home. He started college, but soon grew weary of that and heeded the call of a friend who had recently moved to Cobb County, Georgia with the offer of a job in the local cement plant. Well, anything was better than what he was doing; so he loaded up all his clothes in a paper garbage bag (a luggage choice he had for years afterwards) and set up residence with his buddy. It was during this time that he began working part time at Castellaw Funeral Home in Smyrna. He loved the party life of the big city. In 1965 he was also introduced to a pretty, blonde-haired schoolteacher by the name of Martha Ann Rutherford. While she had a boy friend at the time, he had to be home early at night. That being said, as soon as he went home, she took up with her late-night date, Douglas Terry Daviston. Ten months after their first date, they were married. Soon after they loaded up and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, so Terry could go to mortuary college. Upon completion of his degree, Terry worked for funeral homes in Vernon and York, AL before they moved back to Smyrna and he began his career with Castellaw as their general manager. Still, Terry knew there must be something better around the corner. Upon learning that there was a firm in Newnan on the market, he jumped at the chance. After a lot of back and forth in negotiations, Terry closed the sale on McKoon Funeral Home in 1986. After the closing Mr. Robert McKoon told Terry that he knew their family business was in good hands. He was the only one at his home who would be overjoyed by the move, but his reluctant family made the move. What Terry and his family learned was that Newnan would come to embrace Terry and his family and Terry's desire to serve the entire community. Over the span of his career, he was ever a presence in every facet of the life of Newnan and Coweta County. His work was a labor of love for him, and that was the watchword he impressed on everyone on his staff. His philosophy was that he did not pay an employee's salary. It was paid by the families that the firm served. Terry immersed himself in the lives of all the churches in the community. It was not unusual for a pastor to look out on Sunday morning and find him smiling back and shaking hands. It was also a fair wager that there would be an extra check in the offering plate. Only God in heaven knows how many lives were touched by his benevolence, for it was Terry's desire to help where there was a need and not bother with taking credit for his gifts. This was also the same guy who, in the dark of night, would throw turnip green seeds in your newly plowed and seeded front yard! Terry knew that as he became so successful, it became his responsibility to give back to his professional organizations and his community. He was active in the Georgia Funeral Directors' Association and went on to head that organization. He also served on State Board of Funeral Service. In his hometown he was associated with The Kiwanis Club and served on the advisory boards for numerous non-profits. He was a key figure for many years on The Coweta County Development Authority and the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. Terry Daviston wore a variety of hats during his almost 80 years. He will be remembered for his honesty, loyalty, generosity; and yes, he was at heart, a humble man who had a strong servant spirit and a profound respect for the dignity of everyone he knew. Nothing in life gave him more honor than his role as a staunch family head and husband to his "bride" Martha Ann. Nothing was more important than his desire to serve as an example to his children Tracy and her husband Jim Piepho, John Daviston and his wife Meredith. His grandchildren Sawyer Daviston Piepho, Wilson Lanier Daviston and Ruby Adair Daviston won the grandfather lottery. Terry's family will receive friends at McKoon Funeral Home & Crematory on Monday, October 11, 2021 between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The service of thanksgiving for his life will be on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at 2:00 PM, Newnan First Baptist Church with Dr. Joel Richardson officiating. Interment will be at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The current and previous team members of McKoon Funeral Home will serve as honorary pallbearers. Flowers are welcome or memorial contributions may be made to The Atlanta Speech School at www.atlantaspeechschool.org, Coweta Samaritan Clinic at www.cowetasamaritanclinic.org , or First Baptist Church of Newnan at fbcnewnan.org. Condolences may be expressed online at www.mckoon.com. McKoon Funeral Home and Crematory 770-253-4580.
D. Terry Daviston 1941-2021 "Blessed is the man who endures trials, because when he passes the test, he will receive the crown of life that He has promised to those who love Him." (John 1:12) A popular saying of the day addresses the theory... View Obituary & Service Information
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D. Terry Daviston
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