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|Illinois wrestling leader Jon Davis, 64, passed away on Monday; Visitation is Thursday, with funeral on Friday|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Jon Davis of Edwardsville, Ill., 64, a longtime leader within youth wrestling in Illinois, passed away Monday from a sudden heart attack.
Davis was active with the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF), the organization within USA Wrestling that provides outstanding wrestling opportunities to thousands of young people within the state.
Davis ran two of the largest and most prestigious tournament in the state, the State Folkstyle Championships and the Kids Open. He was also an active youth wrestling coach in his community.
"He was the longest tenured member of the IKWF Board," said Jim Considine, USA Wrestling's state chairperson in Illinois. "He helped organize the Southern part of the state, down near St. Louis. He was great for wrestling."
Davis passed away after leaving a freestyle wrestling practice in Edwardsville. He is a retired educator
"He was a good, good man, not only to me, but to everyone in the organization. We will really miss him," said Considine.
Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, May 10th from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Weber Funeral Home, 304 N. Main in Edwardsville (Phone: 618-656-4655)
Funeral Service is Friday, May 11th at 10:00 a.m. at the Immanuel Methodist Church, 800 N. Main in Edwardsville (618-656-4648). A luncheon will be held immediately following the graveside service at Immanuel Methodist Church.
Anyone who would like to contribute is encouraged to bring a side dish or dessert. Jon and Mary have touched the lives so many people, a large crowd is expected. The church has asked for help in serving all the people. Dishes may be dropped off at the church prior to the service on Friday morning.
Service Schedule for Jon Davis
Official Obituary for Jon Davis
1942 - 2007
Jon Davis personified excellence in wrestling. During his wrestling career, he served as a Wrestler, Teacher, Coach, Christian, Father, Administrator, Mentor and Leader.
Jon began his wrestling career as a Junior High and High School Varsity wrestler at Granite City, IL, under legendary Coach Red Schmitt. He was hired as a math teacher in Edwardsville in 1968 and developed and coached the Junior High Wrestling team from 1970 - 1987. Jon also started the Edwardsville Wrestling Club in 1970 so that his wrestlers could compete in the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) State Tournament Series. During his coaching career, the Edwardsville Wrestling Club won every District/Regional Tournament, placed at all Sectional Tournaments, and sent hundreds of wrestlers to participate in the IKWF State Finals. Jon has been the Director of the Edwardsville Kids Open Tournament since its inception. He continued to be a vital part of the Edwardsville Wrestling Club until his death.
Jon served as the South Sectional Director of the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation since 1977. During his tenure, the South grew from the smallest to the second largest Section in the State. His tenure of service to the IKWF is the longest of any State Officer. He was instrumental in helping start over 15 Wrestling Clubs in Southern Illinois. Under Jon's leadership, the South Section now boasts 26 teams and two thousand wrestlers. Jon has been the Director/Co-Director of the IKWF Kids Open Tournament since its inception. He was the Director/Co-Director of the IKWF State Finals since 1977. In 1989, he was honored as the Grand Marshall of the IKWF State Tournament.
Jon was the definitive leader of the South Section of the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation. He was the eyes, ears and voice of the South. He educated over 100 young wrestling coaches in what it takes to start and run a successful wrestling club. He was the "voice of reason" not only the South Section, but also the entire State of Illinois in regard to Youth Wrestling. Jon's knowledge of the IKWF history and Wrestling Rule Book is second to none. His understanding of how and why the rules were implemented was invaluable to the growth and administration of the IKWF organization.
Jon's work ethic, dedication and loyalty to the IKWF and Youth Wrestling were of the highest standard. He worked tirelessly for kids and for coaches in the entire State of Illinois. The letter "K", which represents "Kids" in the IKWF logo, says it all in defining the man: Jon Davis. He did it all for the Kids.
Jon Davis is irreplaceable in Illinois Youth Wrestling. He leaves a legacy of dedication and service for all to follow.