‘I’m just taking it day by day.’ NC woman loses husband, son to COVID-19

‘I’m just taking it day by day.’ NC woman loses husband, son to COVID-19
Barbara Davis lost her husband and son in a span of weeks due to COVID-19. (Source: Charlotte Observer)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) - Barbara Davis made it to Carolinas Medical Center in time to say goodbye to her son.

It had been less than three weeks since she lost her husband to COVID-19. Now the 81-year-old Kings Mountain woman was at the bedside of her son, Dennis Keith Davis, in a COVID-19 unit at the Charlotte hospital.

“I was holding his hand when he died,” Barbara Davis told The Charlotte Observer. Her 57-year-old son, who lived in Huntersville, spent three weeks in the hospital, she said, and had shown improvement just a day earlier before his condition suddenly worsened. He died on Thursday.

She said her son traveled the state as a construction supervisor for Charlotte-based Rodgers Builders, and the family doesn’t know where he contracted the virus.

Her husband, 82-year-old Dennis Craven Davis, caught the virus while living at the North Carolina State Veterans Home in Fayetteville, Barbara Davis said.

Dennis Craven Davis, who was from Cornelius, lived in the nursing home because of Alzheimer’s disease, she said. The Fayetteville facility was the only veterans nursing home in the state to have a bed available at the time he moved there, she said.

By May 29, seven residents of the home had died of COVID-19, The Fayetteville Observer reported.

Dennis Craven Davis died June 5 at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. His wife said she was not allowed to visit him after he was hospitalized because of COVID-19 restrictions.


The couple, who spent most of their years together in Charlotte, would have celebrated 60 years of marriage on Wednesday, July 1. Barbara Davis said she was 21 and Dennis Craven Davis 22 when they were married in 1960.

With no job prospects at the time, Dennis Craven Davis enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps five days after graduating from North Mecklenburg High School in 1957, Barbara Davis said. After his military service, he worked in roadway construction for 42 years for various companies. He retired from McWhirter Grading Co. in 2002 after 16 years with the Mint Hill company.

The couple had four children, including daughter Lori Davis Thornton of Florida and son Scott Davis of Kings Mountain, who drove his mom to see his brother at CMC. Another son, Donald, was 7 when he was killed by a driver in Cornelius 40 years ago, Barbara Davis said.


The family lived in the Westchester neighborhood off Freedom Drive in west Charlotte for 42 years before moving to Kings Mountain in 2005. That’s where Barbara Davis was born. Her family moved to Charlotte when she was 4, she said.

“Heartbreaking for the Davis family,” former Westchester neighbor Judie Walters posted on Facebook with a photo of Barbara and Dennis Craven Davis and their son Keith. “My heartfelt prayers for Barbara. … Our Westchester Neighborhood mourns with you.”

Barbara Davis said she’s enduring the loss of her husband and son “the best I can. I’m just taking it day by day.”

No services are planned for her husband and son, Barbara Davis said.

Memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Association-Western Carolina Chapter, 4600 Park Road, Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28209.