Brian Davis, born September 1, 1961 in Chicago, IL, died July 25, 2018 in Seattle, WA after being airlifted from St. Joseph’s Hospital where he suffered a massive stroke. Three months prior to the stroke, Brian had an infected foot amputated due to neuropathy, diabetes, and other lingering medical issues.
Brian was the adopted son of Drs. Ray and Corean Bakke of Acme. Forty-two years before, another son, Woody Bakke, now a teacher and coach at Lummi Nation Tribal High School, recruited his favorite classmate to be part of our family. As a result, our family had two sons named Brian – one black and one white – along with Woody. A visit to a Chicago court made it official.
Since blacks were locked out from voting in 14 states in the years Brian was born, and his family roots were deep into slave culture of Jackson, MS, we were all introduced to the parallel universe of race and class divides both in the country and in our extended family, where as Norwegians to meet a Swede could constitute a cross cultural experience.
For Brian’s new mother, Dr. Corean Bakke, concert pianist, professor of music, with her doctor and two master’s degrees, one in performance piano from Chicago’s finest conservatory, she had learned the traditional musicological reality that God was a European, angels in Heaven do Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Handel, but certainly not blues, rags, heavy metal or other music coming out of the many different black cultures. She spoke of the conversion of her ears when she discovered God appreciated Brian’s music as much as hers. She began playing and doing lecture recitals in African, African American, and Asian music on piano and with other instruments.
Woody and Brian attended an inner-city Chicago public school with 2000 students, from 63 nations, that was teaching in 11 different languages. Put simply: nearly 30% of the nations of the entire planet were going to school, in our 1 by 1-mile square community. Clearly, we concluded the Lord God of history was sending nations to neighborhoods, and our 3 sons were the beneficiaries and it shaped their entire life in so many ways. White Brian, the younger brother, travels the major cities of the Americas, developing all kinds of partnership grants in slum communities in the largest cities of the western hemisphere, where he works in English and Spanish. White people are a shrinking 13% of the entire planet. God clearly loves color, and world class cities increasingly reflect that on all six continents.
Brian Davis, like Woody, graduated from Judson College in Illinois. He also served proudly in the US Army, where eventually they discovered he was diabetic. He served as a social worker in numerous agencies over 3 plus decades, mostly in Illinois. Along with his adoptive parents, and two brothers, Brian lit up the lives of hosts of cousins, but will be missed most by his son, Jordan Carrier, and grandson Jordan Jr, living near Ocala, FL and his birth mother, Velma Davis, his half-brother Carlos Davis of Chicago, IL and two half-sisters, Charlotte Everett in Jackson, MS and Jackie Cameron living in Braxton, MS.
A graveside service for family and friends will be held at Saxon Cemetery on Bowman Road near Saxon Road at 10:00AM on Saturday, August 4, 2018.