Karen Joyce Davis, the wife of Fort Worth oil heir Cullen Davis, died Friday. She was 67.
The cause of her death at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is unknown, pending an autopsy, said her son Trey Davis on Sunday.
Cullen Davis said Sunday that he and Mrs. Davis, of Colleyville, studied the Bible constantly, which helped them through life’s hard times.
“We’ve had a lot of storms,” he said. “But I believe that God is in control. … God controls life and death and everything in between. I truly believe that he is involved in everybody’s life even though they don’t see it.”
The former millionaire was accused of shooting four people in his Fort Worth mansion 40 years ago, on Aug. 2, 1976. Two were killed — his 12-year-old stepdaughter and former TCU basketball player Stan Farr.
Cullen Davis was charged with capital murder in the case of the stepdaughter, and acquitted.
Despite trying times the couple faced, he and Mrs. Davis kept a calm demeanor with each other, Cullen Davis said.
“We never argued, never criticized each other for anything,” he said. “Whatever the other did was going to be just fine. That’s the way we got along.”
Cullen Davis said what first attracted him was outward appearance, but then he learned she was just as pretty on the inside. They married on May 24, 1979.
“She was beautiful. I got Exhibit A before I married her,” he said. “She was just a loveable person, always happy, smiling and easy going.”
Trey Davis said his mother was generous to a fault.
“You will never meet a kinder person than my mother,” he said Sunday. “She always stood with her arms wide open, willing to lovingly accept you regardless of your religion, ethnicity, upbringing, financial status or political party. She had a way of making you, whomever you may be, feel significant. I will miss her immensely.”
He said his mother weathered many storms in her life — more than just those that made headlines — including a car accident in 1971 that left her other son, Chesley, developmentally challenged. Chesley Davis, now 45, was just six months old at the time.
“She poured her life into my brother Chesley,” Trey Davis said. “She did all she could to make him feel accepted.”
Mrs. Davis was born Nov. 3, 1948, in Fort Worth, where she lived all her life. She graduated from Tech High School and worked at Alcon Labs before her marriage to Cullen Davis, which allowed her to stay home and care for her family.
She liked to read, loved spending time with her dog Princess, a 3-year-old keeshond, and enjoyed going to her ladies’ Bible study group at Gateway Church.
“I noticed her Bible on the credenza,” Trey Davis said. “It was well-used and written in with a rainbow of different inks. It was taken very seriously; it meant something.”
She also is survived by stepsons Cullen Davis II and Brian Davis; grandchildren, Landon and Summer Davis; and her sister, Sandy Simmons.
A memorial service for Mrs. Davis will be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in Greenwood Chapel. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday.
Susan McFarland: 817-390-7984, @susanmcfarland1