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Published: Thursday, 9/28/2006

Secretary had an eye for details

Charris Davis, 68, an executive secretary known for her attention to detail who was a former supervisor of employee services at Owens Corning, died Tuesday in her West Toledo home of cirrhosis of the liver.

Ms. Davis had been unable to work since the 1990s because of her illness. She formerly was an administrative assistant to John Karl, a former president of what is now Buckeye CableSystem, and David Huey, who was then executive vice president.

"She was just a wonderful person who made everybody's day a little brighter and made everybody feel like they were special," said Mr. Huey, now president of Block Communications Inc., parent company of The Blade.

Ms. Davis worked for more than 20 years, until the late 1980s, at Owens Corning. She was administrative assistant to the head of corporate security before she was promoted to supervisor in the corporate employee services division. She was in charge of arranging employee service awards and company banquets. She planned Christmas parties and Cedar Point outings for employees and their families.

"So many times today in corporate America, the little things for people aren't covered. She made sure that people were taken care of," her son Scott said.

"She was a very detail-oriented person," he said. "She could keep account of all those things. She was very well-known for doing a good job. It was a thing she loved dearly."

Ms. Davis also helped arrange for employees to be the company's public face in the community through volunteer work with Junior Achievement, Toys for Tots, and other projects.

"She was pretty proud of the fact that she was a working mom and was supporting her kids," her daughter, Wendy Syroka, said. "She was proud of her ability to juggle a lot of things at once."

Ms. Davis was a past president and board member of the Toledo Industrial Recreation & Employee Services Council Inc. - best known as TIRES - which offers discounts and services to those whose employers are members.

Ms. Davis was a child when she moved with her family to Toledo from her native Tennessee. She was a graduate of the former Harriet Whitney Vocational High School. Her first job was as an executive secretary at Toledo Scale. She formerly worked at Vega Industries.

Ms. Davis grew roses and liked to travel. She was a supporter of the band Slow Burn, in which her partner, Sidney Harrison, is bassist, and of the Toledo Jazz Society.

She formerly was married to the late David Davis.

Surviving are her life partner of 24 years, Sidney Harrison; sons, Scott and Robert Davis; daughter, Wendy Syroka; brother, Ron Mayo; sister, Wanda Todd, and four grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Blanchard-Strabler Funeral Home, where the body will be after 3 p.m. tomorrow. The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio or the Toledo Jazz Society.



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