The Jerry Davis Prairie Parks Foundation Fund was established in 2012 as a designated fund to support the programs and facilities of Marion’s Prairie Parks Foundation and its most well-known project, the Marion Tallgrass Trail, a 12.44 mile recreational trail completed in 2017.
The late Jerry Davis (1928-2017) was a long-time resident of Marion, a successful businessman, and noted philanthropist. Jerry was an Army veteran of the Korean War, earning the Bronze Star and a Combat Infantry Badge. He married his wife, Betty, in 1953 and shared 50 years together. The couple had two children, Bonnie Ruth and W. Keith Davis. A jeweler by trade, he owned and operated the family business, May Jewelry Company, a fixture in downtown Marion for decades, as well as David Diamond Designs.
Jerry’s impact on the Marion community was extensive and included the Marion Palace Theatre, MARCA, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Marion Rotary Club, Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, American Legion Post 162, CAN DO!, the YMCA, Central Ohio Symphony, and Grand Prairie Cemetery. His family was instrumental in Marion’s Temple Israel being built; Jerry was a long-time member and past president. He was Bar-Bat Mitzvah teacher to 12 students and donated a Torah in honor of his son. He was also an ardent supporter of Telshe Yeshiva in Wickliffe, Ohio.